Women face unique challenges when planning financially. So not surprisingly, often the best advisors to help women plan are other women. No, this is nothing against male advisors who may be equally as competent. These are insights into some of the dynamics that might affect whether a woman could be more comfortable working with another woman.
Gender traits – To begin, “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” right? It’s common knowledge that women operate differently than men. Many women tend to excel at listening empathetically, building relationships and practicing patience. This is not to say men cannot act in a similar manner, but it’s not as common with men in the client-advisor relationship. These traits that many women advisors possess aid in effective communication, which is imperative for a good planner-client relationship.
Understanding and education – Women planners usually better understand the challenges women can face because they occupy the same space in society. Women are often acutely aware of what other women deal with on an ongoing basis, socioeconomically and otherwise. Because of this, a female advisor can tailor vital education in a way that fits female clients, helping them make informed decisions when choosing between available options. In doing so, women advisors can find ways to help their clients overcome financial challenges and plan smartly for retirement and other financial aspects of their lives.
Executive women – Executive women are where they are because of their expertise, experience and keen understanding of what needs to be done. They also need to know when to delegate important responsibilities to someone who can focus on their financial concerns. Some women would like jump out of the corporate world and join the entrepreneurial world to work for themselves. Some may want to reduce their work hours over time to ease into retirement or a volunteer association. And some are looking for better work-life balance. A good advisor can help sort through the financial issues successful women face, such as the corporate benefits, taxes and when they can afford to leave the stress of corporate work life.
The personal aspect – When you are working with a financial advisor, you discuss personal information. Therefore, it’s important when choosing a financial advisor that you feel comfortable with the person advising you. As you are building a bond with your advisor, you need to be okay with asking questions. Trusting and knowing your advisor is working in your best interest is paramount to this relationship. If you are female, you might be able to do that more easily with a female advisor.
If you have not done so already, give some thought to the kinds of issues you could face financially and the sort of advisor you want to work with. The time you dedicate to deciding will be time well spent.
Next week, we will discuss women and retirement planning and offer some thoughts on shifting mindset to ensure favorable outcomes. Stay tuned.
Wood Smith Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.
“Finance Made Simple” blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.