Women in finance

May 30, 2017 by Amanda Arient

An advisor communicates with her clients.

About the author:

Amanda Arient

Training coordinator

Amanda works to improve the implementation process for customers through expert onboarding, creative instructional design, and personalized training. Prior to her role on the technology adoption team, she worked as a partner support specialist.

In college, it was common for me to be one of very few women in my class of 100 students. When I was first hired at Advicent, I was the only woman in my department. I was also one of four or five women on my floor out of dozens of individuals. Sure, this was a nice change in pace when it came to bathroom lines, but this novelty wore off once I noticed the general lack of women in finance.

When advisors ask about their clients, they typically ask about the husband. Although this is not an odd setting for a software company, it concerned me; so I started asking questions. Why are not more women working in finance? Where are the women investors?

Women are at a financial disadvantage

After doing some research I discovered the MANY reasons that women should be investing, but found out that most women are not. According to CNBC, “85 percent of women aren't saving enough money to support themselves in retirement.” This means that only 15 percent of women are prepared to retire without support or assistance from someone else.

This number is disturbing because I pride myself on being a strong independent woman who can support myself, but am I in the minority? Are women choosing not to invest, or is something else wrong with the finance industry?

Women control a majority of the money spent in a household, even if they are not the breadwinners, and eventually will make up the majority of the population that controls the wealth in America.

A shift in who handles money

According to an article from Nielsen, “Fleishman-Hillard Inc. estimates that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history.” Women are in control of where the household spends their money, but still tend to turn to their husbands for big-ticket items and investing decisions.

On average, women live longer than men do. In most marriages, the wife will survive her husband by at least five years. This means that women should be prepared to manage the finances in the event of their husband’s death; therefore, women should be involved in the financial decisions from the start.

This old, tired view of the poor widow who is clueless about the finances after losing her husband needs to be put to rest. This is a generation of strong-willed and powerful women. We are partners, not followers.

We need to take the time and effort to be involved in all finance decisions, going out of our way to do research and understand what is being decided about our future. We, as women, bring so much to the table in terms of investing strategies.

Women and investing

According to Investopedia, “studies of gender differences in investment behavior consistently show that, in the long term, female investors consistently outperform men.” Women tend to make less risky financial investments, which pays out in the long term.

Since some women may seem apprehensive about investing, some incorrectly assume that we do not care or lack interest in finance. It may seem unfair that because we are confused or apprehensive about investing we are pushed out of the conversation, but that seems to be the reality.

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