The highest priorities for female investors

Jul 15, 2013 @ 12:00 am

Runtime: 4:08

Jewelle Bickford and Ami Forte discuss the differences between women's investment goals and requirements and the more traditional wealth management approaches.

Video Transcript

[time:00:00:02] -This week on WealthTrack, the right path to a sure retirement. Why women's financial needs and priorities call for a different route than men's? Two knowledgeable financial advisers, GenSpring's Jewelle Bickford and Morgan Stanley's Ami Forte, show us the way next on Consuelo Mack WealthTrack. I begun the interview by asking Bickford and Forte why these traditional wealth management [time:00:00:30] approach doesn't work for women. -The research shows that women are, in general, dissatisfied with their financial advisors. And GenSpring has had a history for the last 12 years of having an annual women's conference. And the women themselves said they wanted to learn more, that they needed more knowledge. And I realize that if you give women the knowledge they'll turn it into personal wisdom for themselves. -So Ami, in your business, it used to be, [time:00:01:00] I think you told me, that 80% of your clients were men and 20% were women and now it's 60% are men and 40% are women and the number of women are growing? -Yes. -So, you know, how are their needs different? When women come to you versus a male client, how are their needs different? -First of all I think it's very interesting, women really do their homework before they come to you, so they've read a lot of background and so that, I think that's an interesting distinction. Women are dealing with a lot of issues that men aren't dealing with. I think the second family, multigenerational dynamic [time:00:01:30] is very much on their mind. They like to work with another woman because they feel we, perhaps will empathize with some of these situations that they're going through. Also, I know you know the numbers on, the number of growing women in business. We have some pretty prominent CEOs now. We have members at Augusta now. So women are growing in their positions of authority and so I think they're reaching out to other women that can really empathize with some of the issues they deal with. -So Jewelle, what are women's top [time:00:02:00] financial priorities? -The females think of money as a way to maintain their lifestyle and financial and emotional security. The guys often think of it as a score card, not always, generalizations are hard, but often it's a score card. And you know, the first question they'll ask in their monthly meeting or their quarterly meeting is how well has my portfolio done? Whereas the women tend to think, will I have enough? I'm fond of saying to the women, you have to match up your [time:00:02:30] values with your spending. Okay, after-- I can give you a personal anecdote. I planned, as you know, very carefully, for retirement in 2009. I didn't plan for the market crash of 2008. And I lost 13 to 15% of my portfolio. Now, all my friends said to me, "Jewelle, you did a wonderful job." Well, that doesn't help you when you're in a double bind or no longer getting an income, of course, from your salary, and you're down 15% [time:00:03:00] in your portfolio that has to generate income for you. So I had to match up my spending with my values. I no longer had disposable income the way I did before, and I had to decide, what are my priorities? -I don't think one hears that word too many times from guys when they're talking about their finances, they're not thinking about their values. So when women come to you, what do you think their top financial priorities are? [time:00:03:30] -I would agree their top financial priorities are I'm going to live longer, will I have enough? How can I provide for my children? How can I provide for my grandchildren? How can we weather-- currently, people are very concerned about what effect is downturn in the market going to have on their ability to live our lifestyle? And we found it very, very helpful to really quantify these things.

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