Why more women need to get into wealth management as female wealth rises

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Article provided by Kate Howells, Wealth Manager at BRI Wealth Management

Let me start with two facts:

  • 60% of the UK’s wealth will belong to women by 20251
  • Statistically, women are more likely to seek financial help than men

More women entering the wealth management industry will represent a significant shift, moving away from old fashioned views that men deal with finances. Women will be firmly in control of the purse strings and will be making decisions about how best to protect and nurture the family wealth.

This is something that the financial services industry is realising, having long been male dominated. In fact, in 2018 the CFP Board reported that 76.83% of Certified Financial Planner professionals were men and only 23.16% were women. However, one sector was very quick to pick up on this shift towards more women entering the wealth management industry – recruitment. Jobs for female financial advisors are more in demand than they have ever been.

For those young women at the start of their career or those considering their options, we would like to invite you to consider working in wealth management. What does wealth management mean and what does this entail? Wealth management is a relatively modern phrase, and you may be more familiar with the term Financial Advisor or IFA (Independent Financial Advisor). Many assume that for such roles one must be a mathematical genius sleeping with an abacus in tow. Inevitably yes, maths is important but there is so much more to the role, and we urge people not to be put off by any numerical concerns.

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I view my job as a wealth manager as an all-encompassing role, and without a doubt, no two days are the same.

My job is not to reel off statistics about the performance of the German stock market or to predict how the exchange rate of the Vietnamese Dong against the US Dollar is going to hit investors. My job is to talk to people and understand what their life goals are and to help them achieve these using the resources they have available.

It is a nurturing and rewarding job and is ideal for somebody that likes dealing with people. One of the key criteria of being a successful advisor is the ability to create trust. Trust is earned and maintained by an advisor giving sound advice, listening carefully to understand the client and most importantly, delivering on what they said they would do.

Having trusted relationships with clients is essential. In order to offer advice, you need to obtain a lot of personal information about a client, spanning from their health, the inner workings of their finances and also the extent of their personal relationships with family.

It is very often the case that people seek financial advice after a major life event. For example, a family member has died, and they have inherited money, or they have divorced or separated from their partner and need help understanding how their finances could look in light of this change.

These areas in particular are more pertinent to female financial advisors and strongly support the premise of women practising wealth management. In January 2021, a study2 was conducted asking clients whether they would prefer to work with a female or male financial advisor. Broadly the result was that neither men nor women had a strong preference for the gender of this advisor, however the number of women which would prefer a female advisor was twice that of men.

Even more interestingly, women’s preference for a female advisor increases dramatically if they are widowed or divorced. With more women imminently set to be the financial decision makers, this presents a great opportunity for female advisors to learn their trade and start supporting these clients. I would strongly recommend wealth management as a career!

1According to WealthiHer
2 Survey by Aviva Financial Advice in January 2021

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