The Future of Wealth Owners: Invest in Women Conference Recap

Sharmila Wijeyakumar / July 20th, 2022

     Weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be one of the attendees at the 7th Annual Invest in Women: A 360 Degree Approach For Women in Wealth Management Conference. Hosted by Financial Advisor Magazine and sponsored by so many amazing banks and wealth firms, this event aimed to discuss how to increase the number of women working in wealth management, and how to grow the women currently in this industry to higher levels. Through these conversations, I was reminded of how underrepresented women are as wealth managers and investors.

     While females in wealth management have indeed pushed the envelope forward, there is still a great deal to be done. Today there is an increase of females entering the profession; however, it is no surprise that it remains a very male-dominated industry. An estimate shared at the conference noted that women control more than half the private wealth in the United States, and the majority (~90%) of those women have a primary or shared responsibility for financial decisions in the family. Despite these facts, there remains a gap in how women view and manage money and plan for retirement. 

     New tactics are needed to explore ways to bridge the retirement gender gap and provide resources to help financial professionals elevate their relationships with the female clientele. Topics need to include financial education, the sequence of “concerns” that include market volatility, life expectancy, inflation, and tips to help financial professionals be the catalyst of change in their practices. For too long, the traditional financial planning experience had ignored and disengaged clients that aren’t financially oriented. These clients often make up 50% or more of wealth managers’ client bases, and usually do not care about tax returns, risk profiles, and fact finds. They’re not logging on to see how their investments are performing. Instead, they’re entirely left out of the financial planning experience, which is why a high percentage leave their advisor after losing a spouse. 

For too long, the traditional financial planning experience had ignored and disengaged clients that aren’t financially oriented.

     Growth is the lifeblood of any business, and in the advisory world, that means young advisors and clients. Young women are significantly underrepresented in the investment marketplace. Wealth managers must take time to get familiar with the next generation by discussing their financial outlook and goals, which may require a different mindset from what currently exists among advisors. 

     Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s largest generation, numbering 72 million, and stand poised to inherit $70 trillion from their parents, yet some of these Millennials have already achieved a level of wealth–and wealth complexity – requiring  advice and guidance from a professional. In a session, Angie O’Leary, Head of Wealth Planning, shared key survey learnings and proposed strategies designed to capture money in motion. One interesting finding that O’Leary pointed out was that wealth through the exit of companies, or equity options, are new ways that wealth can happen earlier for this generation. 

     Wealth as we know it is continuously evolving. One example of this evolution shows that women will be the next wave of wealth owners over the next ten years. Financial managers must find ways to engage them, or they are bound to lose this important segment of customers. 

     We at Veriday have answers to assist you in capturing this audience. As a member of this target market, I can provide insights on what to do and what not to do. Which I’ll share in my next blog, The Dos and Don’ts: Engaging Female Wealth Owners. Stay tuned!

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