Both women and the financial services industry have an opportunity (and a responsibility) to make meaningful progress to greater financial wellness for women.
Female investors tend to leave a lot of money on the table, while wealth management firms are not doing all they can to serve their female clients.
Recent research from Fidelity found that in 2018, 35% of millionaires were women. By 2030, women will control two-thirds of the country’s wealth. In 40% of American families, women are the primary breadwinner. Research also found that outside of retirement, 56% of women were not investing, missing out on a significant opportunity to build wealth.
In the financial services industry, there’s a crisis in talent brewing. Professionals retiring from the wealth management business are outpacing new entrants. Today, only 12% of advisors are under 35. The number of graduates entering financial services is also on the decline, dropping from 45% in 2008 to 31% in 2018. It’s critical to encourage more people to enter the field and attract a more diverse population of advisors who will be more attuned to the needs of all clients – especially women. Fidelity research also found that softer skills like empathy and communication are increasingly important, and female advisors tend to be strong in these areas.
Women have money and need to invest. Wealth management firms need to hire more women. So what’s to be done? Women’s issues are relevant to everyone, regardless of gender. Women need to become more active in their financial lives, and the industry needs to find ways to attract and encourage women. It’s important to engage girls with financial topics early in life and promote interest in an area that will be vitally important in their lives. And for those of us in the industry, we need to do more make our organizations more attractive to diverse candidates and young people entering the professional world.
To learn more about how we can drive progress and empower women to become more engaged in their financial lives, please see:
Women and Wealth: How to Get it Right | Wealth Management