The world of finance has long been known as a male dominated environment but leading experts say women may be at an advantage in the financial services industry, here’s why.
“More women are owning their own businesses, more women are taking an interest in finances and more women are in control of their own money,” says advisor Lee Helkie. The number of women who are the primary income earners for their household is on the rise and more women are choosing to seek professional financial advice, leaving female advisors perfectly placed to offer their expert help.
Helkie manages her own successful practice, Helkie Financial and Insurance Services Inc., with husband Jim and reveals that while most male clients are happy to deal with a female advisor, some female clients have a harder time dealing with men.
“It’s just because they value trust over anything else,” says Helkie, “it’s not about promising a high return on investment for most women, they just want to make the right decision and ultimately go with someone they trust.” Now that could just as easily be a man but for many women, it’s easier to build trust with a fellow female.
“Women may have, by their nature, more to manage on their plate, especially as we get older and some of us become mothers,” says Helkie. “Balancing a career and a family becomes a huge challenge for many women but this shouldn’t be seen as a disadvantage and it gives women greater insight into what their clients may be going through.”
Granted, but it’s not just women who juggle family life with work, and we’re certain that male advisors are equally competent, so what is it that could put women ahead of men? Well, to put it bluntly, death and divorce.
Women enjoy a longer life-expectancy than men which means they often inherit significant wealth from their dearly departed husbands. Recent surveys suggest that up to 70% of female widows change their financial advisor within three years of their spouse’s death and it’s often to a woman.
Similarly, newly divorced women have shown a tendency to choose a female advisor and with divorce rates in Canada hovering at around 40% that’s an awful lot of ladies in need of new advisors. Take into consideration that women make up just 25% of the financial advising force and it’s clear to see how female advisors have the potential to tap into the incredibly lucrative market.