Years of research show sexuality investors outperform men, Blair duQuesnay, CFA, observed in her January 2019 New York Times opinion piece. Yet only well-nigh one in five brokers are women. duQuesnay undisputed that while gendering any worthiness or trait can make people uncomfortable these days, there is zaftig vestige to support the idea that women might be largest equipped to “help families nurture and protect their nest egg.”
She provided her unslanted perspective on the flaws in the persistently male-dominated finance industry and suggested that the implications of the gender gap included, potentially, “a financial wrack-up to millions of households.” She continued:
“Whatever the paths taken, the future of finance should be female. It wouldn’t just be increasingly fair. If the years of data are any indication, it’s a future in which all of us would make increasingly money. Find me a good treatise versus that.”
Not just a pretty title, “Consider Firing Your Male Broker” sure made waves in the finance community.
Last month, Blair invited me to join her in discussion on her IGTV show “This Week in Women Live” and to share my current research. She asked me well-nigh the women and finance trends I’m seeing these days. In reflecting on her question, I quickly realized that my top five findings would lend spare support to her thesis from nearly three years ago. Now that would make for an interesting discussion!
duQuesnay moreover well-set to co-author this article. Her comments can be found in unvigilant unelevated each of mine.
Women and Finance: Today’s Five Hot Topics
What are women investors asking their investment tutors as we sally from the global pandemic? What issues are top of mind for women and their money?
I am unchangingly trying to track trends in this space by conducting confidential interview-driven global research. In spring 2020 I set up The Rich Thinking® Financial Translating Hotline: a self-ruling 30 minute confidential Zoom yack offering an independent, unbiased perspective on a woman’s financial situation with no sales pitch. In exchange, I received permission to use the anonymized data that comes from these conversations to make my research plane better. I’ve now had nearly 100 Zoom calls. To remoter corroborate my findings, I am moreover reaching out to top global investment tutors for the current investor mindset.
1. Job Loss / Career Shift
This issue often comes up on my calls with women. Perhaps it relates to the fact that a significantly higher percentage of women have either lost their jobs or a big permafrost of their employment income during the pandemic. Women of all month are looking for new and creative ways to support themselves and their families and we are seeing a surge in the number of sexuality entrepreneurs post-COVID. According to some early indicators, women are starting three-quarters of new businesses. I undeniability this “The COVID Catapult.”
I spoke with Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch, founder and CEO of Privilège Management in Zurich, and she well-set that one of the main concerns for her sexuality clients has been potentially losing their jobs. “In general, this pandemic increased the level of fear and uncertainty,” she said. “So women have had a need to talk more, understand more, and be listened to more. My job is to listen to women and try and understand their needs.”
Wouldn’t a woman be largest suited to listen to flipside woman well-nigh her deep fears and uncertainty and the implications on her financial life?
Blair duQuesnay, CFA: I believe women finger increasingly well-appointed sharing personal information with other women. Many times a client, or a potential client, remarked they never expected to discuss nonfinancial troubles with their financial adviser. Money often intersects with important career, relationship, and health superintendency decisions. I have had countless, hour-long conversations with clients where we never plane discussed the portfolio.
The COVID recession has famously been tabbed a SHE-cession considering of its disparate impact on women. The initial shutdowns involved sectors of the global economy where a higher percentage of the jobs were held by women, such as leisure, hospitality, and education. As school closures persisted, and many schools remained virtual into the pursuit wonk year, many women made the difficult visualization to leave the workforce to imbricate unmet childcare needs. In the United States, as many as 1.8 million fewer women are participating in the workforce today than surpassing the pandemic.
Women who were worldly-wise to maintain their jobs throughout the pandemic began to question their future careers. Remote work has made living near a physical office obsolete in many cases, and I’ve seen moves to new cities, states, and plane countries. These are major financial decisions that a good financial planner can help quantify. It may be easier to share your dreams of launching a spa out of an Airstream trailer in Albuquerque with a woman than with the stereotypical male adviser.
2. Relationship Changes
As I suggested in “Suddenly Single: How to Plan with Sexuality Clients,” planning to be single might not be a fun conversation, but it is arguably a very important one given that 90% of married women will end up needing to manage their own finances at some point due to divorce or widowhood. This trend has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
A recent CBC News vendible “Broken Marriages Becoming Pandemic’s Other Toll” quoted financial literacy and credit counsellor Pamela George: “Pre-COVID, I would work with couples to help them icon out their finances together,” said George. “Now, 80 per cent of my clientele are women who are looking to leave a troubled marriage, or women who have just left and need help to icon out their finances.”
Wouldn’t a woman prefer to have this type of discussion with a sexuality adviser?
Blair duQuesnay, CFA: I was surprised to read that the divorce rate declined in the United States during COVID, but I later found out it was considering the courts were closed. Forced quarantine shone a light on the problems in many relationships, and we are witnessing a wave of post-pandemic divorces. I have unchangingly tamed the pulsate on the importance of women understanding their money situation and ultimatum independence. The statistic that 90% of women will at some point end up making financial decisions vacated is incredible. There is no largest time than today for women to focus on their finances.
We know that 80% of widows search for a variegated tipster without the death of a spouse. The husband’s tipster often does not listen to their concerns, is high-and-mighty in his answers, and uses troublemaking jargon. How many times have I heard the story of the male tipster who never makes eye contact with the woman during a meeting with both spouses? It is a cringe-worthy story but one that is too often repeated.
I imagine that women who find themselves suddenly single would prefer working with a sexuality adviser. Women are shown to be largest listeners, to have increasingly empathy, and to be largest at explaining financial concepts in simple, plain language.
3. Rise in Online Investing for Women
One of the questions I get asked most often is “Where can I find a polity of like-minded women investors?” I’ve come wideness lots of variegated investing platforms virtually the world and they’ve been an incredible inspiration to many. I’m excited that women are signing up to investment platforms at faster rates than men. According to the Financial Times, “The lockdown period has reduced spending, increased savings and expanded the value of time women have to think well-nigh financial planning.”
Some women find that doing their own online investing is a unconfined way to modernize their dialogue with their adviser. Susan Knowling is a retiree in Canada who was curious well-nigh how stock markets work. Her sexuality professional tipster suggested that she unshut a small online trading account. Knowling explained how this has helped her:
“Being a cautious person, I started with a modest sum during a market slump and for months hung on every fluctuation of the economy and the stock market, often selling what I should have kept. I’m increasingly relaxed now and I have learned to trust my initial judgment. Panic is not an emotion that will make money or safeguard future income. The knowledge necessary to build a financial portfolio is considerable. I now have a greater understanding and respect for the job washed-up by my adviser. My new knowledge hasn’t reverted my tideway to investing but I am clearer on some of the issues.”
If you are trading online or if you vest to an online woman’s investment community, wouldn’t you rather share your learnings with a sexuality adviser? Or does belonging to an online polity of women replace the need for a sexuality adviser? Blair, how do you think those possibly-contrary effects work?
Blair duQuesnay, CFA: I am very excited well-nigh the rise of online investing advice. There is a shortage of financial advisers, and many tutors have set minimums to engage their services. I’ve spoken to several local investment clubs for women throughout my career, so these online communities are merely extensions of what women are once doing offline.
And why not seek translating from other women? Study without study suggests that women are largest investors than men. The latest study from MIT found that men are increasingly likely than women to panic sell during steep market declines.
I do not view online translating as a competitor to in-person advice. The same investor will likely use both at variegated points of her life. I applaud online translating and polity forums created specifically for women. Women deserve translating tailored to their needs. Without all, we earn less and live longer than men, making investing success plane increasingly hair-trigger to a woman’s financial plan.
4. Legacy: What Is Meaningful?
A survey of 1,000 US adults conducted by Parade magazine and Cleveland Clinic in June 2020 found that as a result of the pandemic most people have gained new perspective on what really matters. Sixty-five percent said the pandemic has made them re-evaluate how they spend their time and 58% said it’s made them re-evaluate their life goals. This idea of “what is meaningful?” comes up a lot in my conversations with women — young and old.
Maria Pia Leon, director of Forbes Family Trust in Miami, shares her perspective:
“The pandemic has reminded us of our human condition. The dialogues I am having with families are increasingly philosophical, well-nigh their mortality and their legacy. They are thinking well-nigh what they are going to leave to their loved ones, not only money but moreover what their contribution will be to their family and society. This is far increasingly ramified than discussing investments, this is an emotional and energy-consuming challenge. My wordplay is that a real legacy is a yoke through generations based on a shared purpose, which must be worked out by the family. I remind them that the lack of a legacy plan, shared purpose, and wealth education, combined with disputes among generations is a dynamic that blocks the success of a family and the family business.”
According to wide-stretching 2016 research by Korn Ferry, women score higher than men on nearly all emotional intelligence competencies. Wouldn’t it make sense that a sexuality tipster would be largest equipped to have these increasingly emotional types of discussions that involve defining shared purpose and legacy?
Blair duQuesnay, CFA: The pandemic was a dramatic pause to life as we knew it. I attended a virtual women’s summit hosted by JP Morgan Asset Management last spring, and the keynote speaker was Oprah Winfrey. Oprah referenced the writings of Eckhart Tolle who said, “Life will requite you whatever wits is most helpful for the incubation of your consciousness. How do you know this is the wits you need? Considering this is the wits you are having at the moment.”
Oprah suggested that the unshortened planet was experiencing a forced moment of self-reflection, and that it was the one we all needed. This concept touched me and helped me to understand the dramatic changes I saw women — friends, family, clients, and colleagues — make during the pandemic.
There is a unrepealable level of wealth at which the conversation with an tipster becomes less well-nigh having unbearable and increasingly well-nigh what it’s all for. This is not an easy question to ask, nor is it simple to answer. But in that uncomfortable space lies the most important speciality of how I can bring value to clients. Can a male tipster do this? Of course. But women seem to be naturally suited with unrepealable skills to have these deep and meaningful conversations.
5. Impact and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing
As pointed out in “Corporate Sustainability: Three Reasons Why It’s Plane Largest Than You Think,” investors are doing well by doing good: “As of 2020, ESG bilateral funds hit $1.7 trillion, up 50% year over year, while firms committing to integrate ESG into their investing managed a joint $100 trillion.”
My global research has unceasingly shown that women were increasingly likely to invest in causes and concerns that matter to them, with issues virtually sustainability and diversity and inclusion ranking upper on the list. Women are increasingly likely than men to invest with an ESG lens, female tutors are increasingly likely to recommend ESG investing, and ESG portfolio managers and subject matter experts are increasingly likely to be women, to the extent that many recent ESG panels are all women.
It feels to me that impact investing (ESG) will only wilt increasingly prevalent moving forward as it becomes increasingly mainstream and aligned with world progress. Won’t this prompt a rise in demand for sexuality advisers, who seem to “get” ESG investing increasingly than many male advisers?
Blair duQuesnay, CFA: Women have been interested in aligning their investments with their values for decades, but ESG was a tiny sliver of the industry’s resources under management. When I began my career, we tabbed it socially responsible investing (SRI), and the expectation was lower returns as a sacrifice for having strong values. Today that conversation is well-nigh risk management and lamister not only unsustainable products and services but unsustainable merchantry models.
I am thrilled that sexuality portfolio managers have dominated the ESG space. As increasingly dollars spritz to ESG strategies, total industry resources managed by women will finally rise with them. I am just as tired of reading the depressing statistics on sexuality fund managers as I am of the stagnant number of sexuality advisers. It’s time to get the word out, the future of finance should be female.
The marrow line? We’re having variegated vendee conversations in 2021 . . . and sexuality tutors are a largest fit than ever. “Consider firing your male broker” is plane increasingly relevant today!
If you liked this post, don’t forget to subscribe to the Enterprising Investor.
All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
Image credit: ©Getty Images / Greg Pease
Professional Learning for CFA Institute Members
CFA Institute members are empowered to self-determine and self-report professional learning (PL) credits earned, including content on Enterprising Investor. Members can record credits hands using their online PL tracker.