Category: Women Investors

What Makes Women’s Planning Needs Different?

While both men and women face challenges when it comes to planning for retirement, women often face greater obstacles.

Women, on average, live longer than men.  However, women’s average earnings are lower than men, according to a recent article in “Investment News,”  in part because of time taken off to raise children.  What this means is that on average, women tend to receive 42% less retirement income from Social Security and savings than men.

The combination of longer lives and lower expected retirement income means that women have a greater need for creative financial advice and planning.  The problem is finding the right advisor, one who understands the special needs and challenges women face.

A majority of women who participated in a recent study said they prefer a financial advisor who coordinates services with their other service professionals, such as accountants and attorneys.  They want explanations and guidance on employee benefits and social security claiming strategies.  They want advisors who take time to educate them on their options and why certain ones make more sense.  Yet many advisors do not offer these services.

Men tend to focus on investment returns and talk about beating an index.  Women tend to focus more on quality of life issues and experiences, on children and grandchildren, on meeting their goals without taking undue risk.

If your financial advisor doesn’t understand you and what’s important to you, it’s time you look for someone who does.

Single Women and Investing

Women are in charge of more than half of the investable assets in this country.  A recent Business Insider article claims that women now control 51% of U.S. wealth worth $14 trillion, a number that’s expected to grow to $22 trillion by 2020.

Single women, whether divorced, widowed, or never married, have been a significant part of our clientele since our founding.  Widows that come to us appreciate that we listen and take time to educate them, especially if their spouses managed the family finances.  Once their initial concerns are alleviated they’re often terrific investors because they are able to take a long-term view and don’t let short-term issues rattle them very much.

Unfortunately, we have had women complain to us that other advisors that they’ve had in the past did not want to discuss the details of their investments and the strategy employed. Other women have come to us with portfolios that were devastated by inadequate diversification.

Our female clients are intelligent adults who hire us to do our best for them so that they can focus on the things that are important to them.  We are always happy to get into as much detail on their portfolios as they require.  Our focus on education, communication, diversification and risk control has led to a large and growing core of women investors, many of whom have been with us for decades.

Our book, BEFORE I GO, and the accompanying BEFORE I GO WORKBOOK, is a must-have for women who are with a spouse that handles the family finances.  Men who have always handled the family finances should also grab a copy and fill out the workbook.  If something were to happen to them, it would be a tremendous relief to their spouse to have such a resource when taking over the financial duties. 

Women and Financial Advice

Glass ceilings continue to be broken!  Two women are currently vying for the office of President of the United States.  More women are attending college than men, and those women are graduating in larger numbers.  Affluent women are handling more money than ever before and are becoming their families’ primary breadwinner in increasing numbers.

Women are willing and able to hire financial advisors.  However, according to a number of studies, many women are unhappy with their financial advisors because of disrespectful and condescending attitudes from many in the advisor community.

Many women do not feel they are getting what they need or want because their advisors don’t listen.  Women don’t necessarily need different or unique investments. But they do want to have more detailed conversations about their goals and their concerns.  Women want a “deep, meaningful advisor relationship” according to one major research study of affluent women.  Women are generally more willing to share their personal information and concerns. These things actually allow financial advisors to do a better job!  For instance, women who have family members battling medical problems or drug addiction may find that these issues can have long-term financial implications on themselves and their families.

These women owe it to themselves and their families to interview a number of financial advisors until they find the right fit, depending on what they value most.  We work with a large number of affluent women clients.  Generally these women value that we listen to truly understand their aspirations, concerns, and fears; come up with solutions that address those issues; continuously monitor and manage of their portfolios; and provide proactive outreach.

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Korving & Company, Investment Management, Suffolk, VA

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