Female investors want to work with someone who understands their needs. And right now, that’s female financial advisors. In a new study, 60 percent of women say they would rather work with a female financial advisor, with that number climbing to almost 80 percent when talking to women over 65.
“Women investors demand an advisor that gets them,” says Kim Dellarocca, director for Pershing, told reporters Wednesday. But that doesn’t necessarily always mean a woman needs to be sitting on the other side of the table. “They’d be fine with a male advisor,” Dellarocca says, as long as the advisor understood the female client’s situation.
But right now, women seem to be the ones getting their female clients, she adds. “We wouldn’t see this black or white—‘I want a women’—if we had people who were open-minded and getting it.”
To better serve clients, both men and women need to remove the unconscious biases. Advisors should challenge themselves, consider all sides of the situation, Dellarocca says. “This is an opportunity for not just women, but both men and women to expand their skill sets.”
Age also plays a factor. Older women in partiular prefer to work with a female financial advisor, the study shows. While only 58 percent of female Millennials say they’d rather work with a female advisor, 79 percent of women over 65 say they have a female preference.
Surprisingly, that preference dips with women ages 55-64, with only 53 percent of these women saying they would rather work with a female advisor. This is also the age group where the average age of widowhood falls. Studies show 70 percent of women fire their husband’s advisor at the time of death or divorce.