3 businessmen and 1 businesswoman leaning on railing (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you ask female financial advisors what they see as the biggest challenges they face in growing their business in 2020, they’ll tell you that new or coming regulations could be putting up roadblocks to that growth.

In fact, according to a survey from Edward Jones, 31% take that view — but of course other challenges lie ahead:

  • 23% point to fee compression
  • 17% cite geopolitical uncertainty

Professional development can be key to meeting those challenges and conquering them, and 55% say they plan to leverage their firms’ resources in their quest to advance. And a quarter see attendance at industry events and conferences as providing necessary professional development.

In their pursuit of new clients and efforts to retain existing ones, they’re looking at a range of strategies: While 85% believe in the personal relationships they’ve already forged and plan to leverage existing client relationships or rely on word of mouth for growth, the other 15% are looking at executing the following strategies:

  • community educational events (7%)
  • digital marketing (4%)
  • attending networking events (3%)
  • advertising in local media and at events (1%)

Optimism rules for a little more than half, as 52% of respondents say they feel barriers to women’s career progression in the financial services industry are coming down and that women have an equal opportunity to succeed in the industry.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t have some advice for financial firms and the public at large:

  • 46% said that clear visibility of women in executive leadership positions would have a noticeable effect on firmwide policy
  • 27% said more access to financial classes for high school and college students could steer them toward the financial advisory field

In addition, the importance of mentors — particularly early in a career, although by no means only then — is important to 30 percent of respondents.

Edward Jones conducted an online survey of 204 of its top-earning female advisors. Around 17% of the firm’s 18,000-plus advisors are women.