“Stereotypically, (women) might not know as much but they are certainly eager to learn and they do want the advice,” says Daniel Hanzelka, a Toronto-based financial planner and coach. “On the education front, they don’t necessarily want to learn everything about investing. They want to build a trustworthy relationship.”
As more and more women control the household wealth (in the U.S. alone, women make up 47 per cent of the labour market, with 56 per cent of them employed in the financial service market, according to a PriceMetrix – Flash of Insight study), this demographic is one advisors should turn their attention to.
To do so, they must adapt their approach accordingly, explains Mizgala, who doesn’t believe the traditional financial services industry is well-equipped to handle the female market.
“The biggest challenge with women is they are intimidated and suspicious, and lack engagement with the financial industry,” she says. “It’s hard to gain their trust into the world of investing. Even with the best of intentions and a sincere desire on behalf of the advisor to reach out and help, it’s going to take a lot of time.”
Mizgala says patience, a listening ear and an attempt to understand a woman’s disposition and life experience are key. “An advisor needs to be committed to trying to understand what a woman’s needs are,” she says. “They don’t need pink. They need to be listened to and to be understood.”