The Investment Gender Gap: Women Feel Ignored by Financial Advisors

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The Investment Gender Gap: Women Feel Ignored by Financial Advisors

In March, we observe Women’s History Month to recognize and celebrate the vital role that women have played in shaping American history. Indeed, women have made countless contributions to society, and yet, in one area, they still feel like outsiders: retirement planning. Although more women than ever are taking an active role in the family finances, they still feel that their needs are being ignored, especially by the male stock brokers and advisors who dominate the financial industry.

At Crash Proof Retirement, our mission is to foster an environment where men and women alike can improve their financial literacy and empower themselves to make the best decisions about their retirement planning. Today, we would like to share some information with you about why women feel ignored by their male financial advisors, some specific challenges they might face in retirement, and how they can become more financially literate.

Study: Financial Advisors are Failing Women

A 2019 study conducted by New York Life Investments’ Advisor Advancement Institute revealed some startling statistics about women’s attitudes toward their male financial advisors. The women surveyed said they agreed completely or agreed somewhat with all of the following statements:

  • Financial advisors treat women differently (40%)
  • Women feel patronized by financial advisors (36%)
  • Financial advisors are less likely to listen to investing ideas from a woman (30%)
  • Financial advisors push women out of financial conversations (28%)
  • Women have less access to financial education (26%)
  • Financial advisors find it hard to relate to women (26%)
  • Financial advising is a man’s world (24%)

Financial industry data supports the attitudes expressed in the study. Jobs research firm Zippia reported in 2023 that of the 241,225 financial advisors employed in the U.S., 72.3% of them were men, and their average age was 44. While the role of women in making household financial decisions has drastically changed in recent years, it’s clear that the attitudes of male financial advisors on Wall Street have not kept pace. This is a major oversight for a number of reasons.

According to BMO Wealth Management, 51% of personal wealth in the U.S. is controlled by women, while data from Forbes shows that 70-80% of consumer purchases are driven by women. It’s clear that women are making more money than ever before, and having more influence over household financial decisions, and yet they are still significantly less likely than men to invest the money they earn. This investment gender gap can be explained by the way many financial advisors fail to address women’s retirement planning needs, making them feel unwelcome in the investing world. It is also worth noting that most traditional financial advisors are focused on risk management, and are not in tune with the needs of people in or near retirement. They generally deal with younger people who are more risk tolerant, and fail to advise them to decrease their exposure to risk as they age. Older people who cannot tolerate any risk, and especially women in or near retirement, are clearly not having their needs met by financial advisors who recommend risky, securities-based investments. At Crash Proof Retirement we feel that anyone in or near retirement needs security more than anything, and women need to be especially cautious because of the special challenges they face when planning for retirement.

Womens’ Unique Retirement Challenges

In the 20th century, household financial decisions were more likely to be dominated by men, leading to the gap in financial literacy that still exists today. Data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority shows that women consistently score lower on financial literacy tests than men. Specifically, women of the baby boomer generation scored 0.7 points lower than men on a five-question financial literacy test.

This is unfortunate because women generally live longer than men. Married women who have relied on their husbands to make investing decisions may not be equipped to manage their own finances after their husbands pass away. 

How Can Women Improve Their Financial Literacy

If you are a woman who wants to learn more about retirement investing, we encourage you not to let your past experiences with financial advisors prevent you from getting educated on how to protect your retirement future. At Crash Proof Retirement, our CEO Joann Small understands all the challenges faced by women as they prepare for retirement. Crash Proof Retirement’s team of licensed independent retirement educators would be happy to speak with you, and are well equipped to help women deal with the unique challenges they face.

The three-step educational process employed by Crash Proof Retirement allows both men and women to better understand their finances and make informed decisions about their investments. In fact, we insist that both spouses be present at all appointments to ensure that they can learn and grow together. 

Our dedication to financial education is what sets our process apart from the methods used by traditional financial advisors. We also make it a point never to pressure anyone who comes into our offices. Our team will present you with the facts about investing in terms that you can understand, and if you decide to go in a different direction, we will be satisfied knowing that we helped you gain a clearer picture of your finances. While traditional financial advisors may try to talk over your head, our goal is to ensure you understand every aspect of the retirement investing landscape.

The Crash Proof Retirement System is so versatile that it can be custom tailored to prepare for all the difficulties women might face in retirement, including the loss of a spouse. Each Crash Proof Retirement System can even be adjusted as your situation changes. Our team is also always available to answer any questions you may have about income solutions, long-term care solutions, protection of principal, growth, and anything else related to retirement planning.

Call 1-800-722-9728 to discuss your retirement planning in Malvern, PA or anywhere else nearby. Saving for retirement as a woman carries its own set of challenges, but the Crash Proof Retirement team is here to help you empower yourself to build the retirement of your dreams.

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