New Guidebook, Whitepaper Series and Workshops Designed to Help Advisors Better Attract, Engage and Retain This Critical SegmentBOSTON - Fidelity Investments® today unveiled new tools to help advisors more effectively attract, engage and retain female investors. The latest installment of the “Engaging Female Clients” program offers actionable tools -- including guidebooks, whitepapers, and workshops -- to help advisors understand how they might reduce the risk of losing female clients, as well as capitalize on a significant growth opportunity. According to Fidelity research, a focus on client segments is one key characteristic of high performing firms.1
“There’s a wealth shift occurring in the U.S. which will change the client bases of advisors and challenge the conventional methods of client engagement. Women control 51 percent of wealth in the U.S. today, and are projected to control two-thirds by 20202,” said Jylanne Dunne, senior vice president, practice management and consulting, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services®. “We know advisors want to create greater balance among their male and female clients but for many, the question is ‘how do I get started?’ Our comprehensive program gives advisors tools to help create and commit to their own individual action plans.”
According to a recent Fidelity study3, women are more willing to receive financial advice than men and are more interested in holistic financial guidance and planning to meet a specific lifestyle or goal. However, the long-held notion of males as the primary decision makers has shaped the way financial advisors market their services, talk with clients, and deliver solutions.
“While most women do not have a gender preference in working with a financial advisor, research shows that many women have a strong preference in the way they receive financial advice,” said Alexandra Taussig, senior vice president, National Financial®, a Fidelity Investments company. “Advisors who recognize this and hone their engagement strategies with both their male and female clients may have a significant opportunity to grow their businesses.”
The new tools provide specific strategies to help advisors strengthen and grow relationships with this historically underserved segment. The key takeaways include:
• Consider the differences between how men and women think and communicate: Men and women communicate in different ways, so advisors may want to adjust their approach with female clients, especially during their first meeting. Women typically want an advisor who is a good listener, who understands her unique financial concerns, and who is willing to coach her over time. They also want someone who has expertise, but is a team player and collaborates.
• Take the time to determine your at-risk assets: Women tend to outlive men and it is estimated that 70 percent of women change their financial advisor within a year of their spouse’s death.4 Evaluating their relationships with their female clients can help advisors ensure that they fully involve women in the client relationship.
• Consider developing a plan for client education: Offering ongoing education can help empower female clients with the essential skills to manage their future and provides an opportunity for advisors to demonstrate a true understanding of their needs. Some strategies advisors may want to consider implementing include: establishing a client reading list; creating a library of books and periodicals in the waiting area that can serve as a resource center for clients; and hosting educational events focused on teaching kids about money or teaching parents what’s appropriate for children to know about money at each stage of their lives.
In addition to providing insights and strategies for working with female clients, the program can also help advisors design written, detailed plans to engage this important segment. The new tools in the “Engaging Female Clients” program include:
• Maximizing a Major Opportunity: Engaging Female Clients – A comprehensive guidebook to help advisors create action plans for attracting, engaging and retaining female clients.
• Sudden Decision Makers: Empowering Women in Transition – Building on the first white paper in this series that Fidelity released in November, “Engaging Wives: How to Drive Greater Growth with Married Clients,” this whitepaper focuses on women who are recently divorced or widowed and how advisors can help these clients achieve a financial plan with the least amount of anxiety.
• A High-Net-Worth Juggling Act: Meeting the Needs of Executive Women – A whitepaper focusing on women who are senior executives that reveals how women executives may require a different set of services than their male counterparts.
• Today’s Business Opportunity: Engaging Female Clients – A workshop at Fidelity’s regional advisor conferences led by Laura Kogen, Fidelity vice president of practice management, which will explore how women typically approach investing and advisor relationships, and share best practices and strategies.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.0 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of February 28, 2013. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
2) Sasha Galbraith, “Financial Services: The Industry Women Love to Hate,” Forbes.com, March 18, 2011.
3) Fidelity Millionaire Outlook Study, respondents had investable assets of at least $250,000 or $100,000 if they had an annual household income of $150,000 or more, while the millionaire group had investable assets of at least $1 million; both groups’ investable assets were excluding workplace retirement accounts and any real estate holdings. The results reflect responses from 1,520 financial decision makers with 1,020 of those being millionaire investors. Fidelity Broker and Advisor Sentiment Index 2012, participants included 1,207 advisors from across multiple firm types who work primarily with individual investors and manage a minimum of $10 million in assets under management.
4) Kristan Wojnar and Chuck Meek, "Women's Views of Wealth and the Planning Process: It's Their Values That Matter, Not Just Their Value," Advisor Perspectives, March 2011.
The content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider. Fidelity Investments does not provide advice of any kind. You should conduct your own due diligence and analysis based on your specific needs.
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