Financial advisors may find that males are their primary clients and tend to be more aggressive in their investments and retirement plans. It turns out that women, however, are interested in obtaining guidance from a professional – and more likely to listen to what an advisor has to say than their male counterparts.
This scenario was explored in depth in a recent TIAA-CREF study, which revealed that while women seek and are open to advice from industry experts, they tend to find these services less accessible than men. For example, nearly half of women surveyed believe that the cost of receiving personalized advice that is unique to their needs is higher than they can afford. A third of women said they didn't have time to seek out advice, which has prompted many to turn to non-professionals, such as family and friends.
Misconceptions about cost and difficulties of finding a professional may be a significant barrier to finance lead generation among the demographic that seeks financial guidance the most. The same study showed that of women who work with an advisor, 90 percent are likely to follow the advice received.
"It's encouraging that women are willing to take action after they receive financial advice, but the fact that so many women say they don't know where to look for advice and don't know whom they can trust shows there's more work to be done," said Cathy McCabe, managing director for TIAA-CREF. "It's critically important we begin to reach women with the information they need in a way that is truly relevant to them."
Women may need more financial guidance than men
The results of the study may be enlightening to financial professionals looking for which groups to target, particularly because women may be in greater need of guidance than men. This is primarily the result of the less aggressive savings and investment strategies that women use, as well as the likelihood that many will outlive men. Studies have shown that females generally invest in more conservative products than males, which can lead to fewer returns. In addition, women typically earn less money than men, and some leave the workforce for a period of time to raise families, which may lower their retirement earning potential.
Therefore, advisors have the opportunity to cross-sell several products that may appeal to womens' more conservative management strategies, while still ensuring that they are planning ahead for retirement. Longevity products, such as annuities, life and long-term care insurance may be particularly popular with women who are more concerned with protecting their assets, rather than aggressive wealth-building.