Do Female Clients Prefer Female Financial Advisors?

Working at the all-female financial planning advisory firm of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors, as you may imagine, we were all very interested in Financial Planning Magazine’s report about a recent Pershing study on women investors and their advisors.

Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors, an all-female investment firm, is a rarity in the industry,” wrote Chris O’Malley in the Indianapolis Star, quoting Lisa Porter-Chaille of the Denver-based Financial Planning Association: “Men outnumber women in the industry four to one.” The women-only staffing of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors is not necessarily deliberate, our founder Grace Worley often explains. But with women advisors relatively rare in our industry, our advisors work hard to mentor younger women in the profession.

The Pershing study, which surveyed 2,000 American adults, yielded some interesting notions about leadership and gender roles, with a wide margin of participants saying they prefer leaders who demonstrate more collaborative styles compared to traditional leadership approaches. 66% agreed they associated a collaborative style with women rather than with men.

Among women investors who use a financial advisor, the study found, 86% said they would be equally comfortable working with a male or female advisor. Ironically, 83% of the affluent women surveyed currently work with male advisors! Part of the reason that’s so, pershing comments, is that there aren’t a lot of female advisors in the financial services industry.

While most women in the study had no specific gender preference when it came to choosing a financial advisor, there are two groups of women, Pershing discovered, who specifically prefer to work with women advisors. First are divorcees (Pershing speculates that trust issues exist in these situations). The second group consists of widows (Pershing explains this preference as generational, since most widowed investors tend to be older).

About 60% of clients at Worley Erhart-Graves are women, but of course senior financial planner Grace Worley’s advice applies to both women and men: “Have a plan for achieving your future financial needs. If you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to wind up anywhere you’re going to like.”

No matter the gender of either the advisor or the client, the focus needs to be on the accumulation and management of financial assets. Good financial planning is gender neutral! 

Content was prepared by a freelance journalist on behalf of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors