Husbands stifle wife-adviser relationships

Men worry about leaving their spouse unprepared when they die, but still may be part of the problem

Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:03 am

By Liz Skinner

Why aren't wives more involved in interactions around their family's finances with their adviser? Turns out the husband is partly culpable — and part of the solution.

For about 58% of couples, men are the primary contact with the financial adviser, according to a Fidelity Investments survey of 808 couples in May. About 42% said they interact jointly with the adviser.

Of the women who essentially ceded financial control to their husbands, 53% said they did so because they trust their partner, and 33% said it was because their partner had a personal relationship with the adviser, the survey found.

“The men have a strong relationship with the adviser today, and therefore the women are not getting involved,” said Jylanne Dunne, senior vice president of practice management and consulting for Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “Husbands have an opportunity to open up that relationship and include their wives more.”

Men do worry about how their partner would handle the finances if the husband died first.

In the survey, only 43% of men said they were confident in their spouse's ability to assume full responsibility for retirement finances. Women, in fact, appear to be concerned about it themselves.

About 45% of women said they were confident in their own ability to take over full financial responsibility, the Fidelity survey found.

Advisers should require joint participation of both spouses in planning meetings and should specifically explain to men that leaving a wife out of the process will only make it more difficult for her to make financial decisions in the future, particularly if she has to do so alone, Ms. Dunne said.

If advisers have a more equal relationship with both spouses, they also will be more likely to hold onto the assets when either of the partners dies, she said.

In conjunction with the study, Fidelity also created a nine-question financial compatibility quiz that advisers can send to couples and have them fill out before coming in for a meeting. It's designed to help advisers identify differences between the spouses in terms of financial confidence, as well as spending disparities, according to Ms. Dunne.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

How to explain risk to a client

Most investors know investing involves risks as well as rewards and that the higher the risk, the greater the potential reward. But there are different types of risk and some are easier to understand than others, says Kendrick Wakeman of FinMason.

Latest news & opinion

Nontraded BDC sales in worst year since 2010

The illiquid product's three-year decline is partially due to new regulations and poor performance.

Tax reform debate sparks fresh interest in donor-advised funds

Schwab reports new accounts up 50% from last year, assets up 33%.

Nontraded REITs to post worst sales since 2002

The industry is on track to raise just $4.4 billion, well off the $19.6 billion it raised just four years ago, as new regulations hinder sales.

Broker protocol for recruiting a boon for clients

New research finds advisers whose firms have joined the agreement take better care of customers.

Meet our 2017 Women to Watch

Introducing 20 female financial advisers and industry executives who are distinguished leaders, advancing the business of providing advice through their creativity and hard work.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print