Client Affairs

Still Little Industry Differentiation Across Products, Platforms Targeting Female Investors - Cerulli

Eliane Chavagnon, Editor, August 19, 2016

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The Q3 2016 issue of The Cerulli Edge - US Retail Investor Edition explored how women can successfully plan for retirement and the unique challenges the wage gap presents for women, among other areas.

There is still relatively little industry differentiation across firm products and platforms to target female investors, according to a new report by Cerulli Associates.

“There is opportunity for providers willing to commit resources to target this unique demographic,” said Shaun Quirk, a senior analyst at Cerulli. This is particularly true as females take more prominent roles in the financial planning process, he said.

“There is a popular belief that men tend to be more involved in the investment process than women,” Quirk added. “According to our data, almost 60 per cent of male investors surveyed indicate a desire to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their portfolio, versus just 42 per cent of women.”

He continued: “Some industry professionals suggest that women are more likely to implement long-term, goal-oriented investment strategies that do not require day-to-day trading. With this in mind, providers can position planning tools and holistic wealth management solutions that align with their female clients' views on portfolio management.”

Younger and more diverse - including female - client assets are expected to play an increasingly prominent role in talent strategy and client offerings among RIAs, according to Schwab's latest Independent Advisor Outlook Study. Asked “when managing your firm’s talent/people strategy, what types of clients are you aiming to attract and serve?” around a third (35 per cent) of those recently polled by Schwab said they are targeting younger clients, while 29 per cent are thinking harder about how to leverage business opportunities with female investors and 10 per cent are intensifying their focus on ethnically-diverse investors.

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