Affluent Women – What You Must Know About Working With Affluent Women
Their are numerous opportunities available to financial adviosrs who choose a niche market made up of affluent women. When I began working with this niche market 20+ years ago, it was definitely under the radar. But today, women control 51 percent of all private wealth in the U.S.(1) and make up 43 percent of the North American affluent market with more than $500,000 in average assets.(2)
Affluent women are also decision-makers. Our studies show that up to 90% of women will change financials advisors at the death of their husbands. This is important because the average age of women at widowhood is just 56 — leaving women in charge of the family finances for decades.
Understanding the needs and habits of affluent women can give you great insights in regard to tapping into the potential of this valuable niche market.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America recently released a study on women, money and power. The study revealed that women are interested in learning about:
* Planning for retirement/maintaining lifestyle (54 percent)
* Saving and investing with limited income (53 percent)
* The basics of buying smart (46 percent)
* Buying/selecting the right insurance products (41 percent)
* Defining basic financial terms (40 percent)
The study participants also shared that they’ve had trouble understanding all of the financial information they receive and feel overwhelmed by it. This can open the door for a sympathetic advisor who’ll take the time to explain the different elements of a sound financial plan.
You want to offer courses because affluent women value education. Women prefer learning in a non-threatening environment with their peers and they want to feel knowledgeable prior to hiring a financial advisor.
A Russ Allen Prince study of affluent women found that slightly more than 41 percent are afraid when they make financial decisions. Most of the study participants had more than one advisor and 43.5 percent had four advisors. This confirmed my own findings that affluent women will employ numerous advisors until they have a plan they understand and an advisor with whom they feel comfortable.
According to this study, the following factors were critical in a woman’s advisor selection process:
* A financial advisor’s approach to financial planning (75.0 percent)
* A financial advisor’s ability to listen (70.4 percent)
* A financial advisor’s focus on personal financial goals (70.0 percent)
* A financial advisor’s ability to explain financial information (65.5 percent)
The same study also revealed that the biggest fear of 47.4 percent of all respondents was losing their money. My own research supports this finding and goes even further to identify the underlying issue: nine out of 10 women don’t want to be a burden on their kids and want a financial advisor who can give them the peace of mind that comes from financial security and independence.
Choosing which affluent women to work with
Now that you know a little bit about the mindset of the affluent women niche market, it’s time to find some clients.
Over the years, I’ve heard peers say, “I don’t like to work with women.” Before I understood that there are four basic personality types and three types of affluent women, I felt this way, too.
Let’s take a moment to review the four basic personality types of all people, regardless of gender:
* Doers are short on patience and need to get to the bottom line quickly.
* Expressives love to talk and are rarely without words.
* Amiables avoid conflict and just want to be your friend.
* Analyticals like to analyze data and can find it difficult to make decisions.
Add to this the three types of affluent women:
* Traditionals are wives and/or moms who are generally dominant Amiables and non-dominant Expressives or Analyticals. They’re often married to Doers.
* Non-Traditionals are executives and entrepreneurs who are generally dominant Doers or Analytics and non-dominant Expressives or Analyticals.
* Combinations are women who possess elements of both Traditionals and Non-Traditionals and generally combine all the personality traits and most often Doers, Expressives and Amiables.
Use this information to your advantage to create an ideal client profile and find the kinds of affluent women you’ll most enjoy working with. If you’re a Doer, for example, you may want to avoid working with Traditional, Analytical women because they don’t like to make decisions and generally have very little need for completing tasks in a timely manner.
Think about the clients you really like working with today, and try to determine their personality types. This will help you decide which types of affluent women will be most compatible with you, so you can start attracting them through targeted marketing and referral efforts.
1 Source: PBS Online, “Women and Philanthropy, Sharing the Wealth.”
2 Source: World Health Report 2002, Merrill Lynch/Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young.