Why we need more women financial advisors now

By: Robyn Thompson

Between now and 2026, it’s estimated that $1 trillion will shift from Canadian baby boomers to their heirs. I am not among those expecting to inherit. My mother was a homemaker and, when my Dad lost his business, our family’s finances went downhill. Like the quote from Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, we went bankrupt “gradually and then suddenly”. We were middle class—until we landed on welfare.  

The experience of being poor and bullied at school for it has never left me completely. I wanted a different life, and I knew it was on me to create it. I took on neighbourhood jobs which included babysitting, dog walking, delivering newspapers, and even working the midnight shift waiting tables in a diner. 

I also worked on my mindset, knowing that feeling financially secure was not just about a number. 

The decision to become a financial advisor came while I was working as the co-anchor and co-producer of a TV program on investing. I wondered, were viewers acting on the advice? Starting my own advisory firm felt like the natural next step: I wanted to make money and I also wanted to help other people make money. Afterall, I had had a front-row seat on what not to do to become wealthy and could help others avoid unnecessary financial pain. 

Despite my professional success, it took me years to finally share my personal story with clients. I assumed that if people knew I had once been poor, they wouldn’t want to invest with me. Once I did open up, I discovered people trusted me even more. My approach to growing and protecting wealth over the long term based on tax-efficient investing and a diversified all-weather portfolio resonates with clients. They know my heart is in what I do because of my own financial challenges. I’m also proof that anyone can become well-off if they develop the right mindset and consistently take the right action

By 2028, it is estimated that Canadian women will control almost half of all accumulated financial wealth of nearly $4 trillion from inheritances and earnings. Studies show women prefer working with female financial advisors, yet only 15% of financial advisors in Canada are women. Not only is a missed opportunity for the industry but it’s also disservice to women who are often the sole financial decision-makers. 

In my experience, women make great clients. They tend to do their research to find the right advisor and are often focused on the big picture over the long term versus big gains over the short term. Once they find the right advisor, female clients are loyal and patient stewards of capital. 

To attract more female clients, firms first need to recruit more female financial advisors! A good place to start is to create a culture where female advisors can thrive. Firms that wrap themselves in a pink bow or perpetuate outdated stereotypes about women and money that are not backed by academic research, will not serve anyone well. 

Female clients want to work with collaborative business partners who can support their financial journeys. Advisors need to understand their clients’ goals beyond simply the financial ones. Offering financial planning services, including how investment decisions enable each stage of life, helps build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. 

In my experience, working with clients in a collaborative way and taking a holistic view of compounding wealth over the long term is like that Hemingway quote—only in reverse! 

“How did you become rich?” 

“Gradually and then suddenly.”

Notes and Disclaimer

The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. Securities mentioned are illustrative only and carry risk of loss. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.

Content copyright © 2023 by Robyn K. Thompson. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint articles by Robyn K. Thompson, is hereby given to all print, broadcast and electronic media provided that the contact information at the end of each article is included in your publication. Organizations publishing articles electronically, a live, clickable link to robynthompson.money must also be included with the body of the article.

Any questions, please email to robyn@robynthompson.money. Thank you.

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