Krawcheck says advisory business still coming up short in reaching out to women

Advisers need to understand distinctions between women and men investors

Jan 27, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Sallie Krawcheck's bottom line is getting the advice industry to reach out to more women, both as advisers and clients.

“Women don't say they need a woman adviser, but I don't think it will hurt if we got beyond 17% of the industry being women,” the former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America said Monday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., at the Inside ETFs conference.

In making her point of how men and women clients act and think differently, she pointed out that when she worked at Smith Barney, the company knew that 86% of the firm's client didn't know what a managed account was. And while most clients never asked for an explanation, men invested in them, while women avoided them.

Distinctions between men and women investors often begin with the way the genders think about money, she said.

“Men think of money as a stream where money comes in and money goes out,” she said. “Women think of money as a pond, and a majority of women have the bag lady syndrome where they are afraid of becoming bag ladies.”

Ms. Krawcheck also stressed building a social-media presence to reach the next generation of investors.

“Values-based investing is important to women and it is more important to Millennial investors, and that gets us to social media,” she said. “If you're not on social media, it can be a real negative.”

According to Ms. Krawcheck, a third of advisers reported getting business through social media last year and half expect to get new business through social media this year. She said social media can level the playing field between smaller firms and larger ones, but added that most financial services companies are not using social media correctly.

“Those who do it best recognize that social media is as intimate as a one-on-one conversation,” she said.

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