Women More Likely to Consult a Professional Advisor

Women More Likely To Consult A Professional Advisor
Women investors are more likely to consult a professional financial advisor than men, according to a new study of wealthy women investors released by the Spectrem Group on Tuesday.According to the Lake Forest, Ill.-based consulting firm, around 46 percent of those with a net worth of between $100,000 and $1 million rely primarily on a financial advisor for their information. Women's use of financial advice increases with wealth levels, according to the survey. Roughly 64 percent of female millionaire investors and 82 percent of female ultra-high-net-worth investors -- with assets of $5 million and up -- seek financial information from a professional advisor.

Conducted in late 2010, the survey is based upon answers provided by approximately 3,000 respondents, with roughly 40 percent of that group consisting of women, said Tom Wynn, director of affluent research for the Spectrem Group.

One reason why more women than men seek out financial advice is that they are more cautious or conservative in making financial decisions, the survey said.

"When we talked about the aggressiveness in taking risks, we find that women are more conservative and much less risky than men, who are much more willing to take (financial investment) risks," Wynn said. "Because women are more cautious, they're going to get more advice and rely more on an advisor, where a man might be more inclined to do just things on his own."

Women are also more likely than men to rate themselves as "less" or "not at all knowledgeable" about financial products or investing. Women are also more likely than men to feel the need for financial advice to meet their financial goals. This is especially true of ultra-high-net-worth women surveyed: 46 percent said they could profit from professional advice compared with 34 percent of men queried.

Based upon the survey, personal and family concerns generally drive women's financial decisions more so than they do for men. The survey also showed that women across all wealth levels are more concerned than men about a prolonged economic downturn and increased taxes.

"I think because of their maternal instincts, women are much more cautious and protective and less willing to take risks," Wynn said. "Across all the concerns we listed, women showed a more caring approach and showed more concerns than the men did."

Besides seeking out professional advisors, women are also self-educating themselves about handling their wealth. Roughly 30 percent of women mass affluent investors consult with family and friends, followed by women millionaires at 29 percent and UHNW investors at nearly 33 percent, according to the study.

"Women are more social and less afraid to ask for financial guidance or advice, whereas a man, because of their egos or whatever, will be more reluctant to do that," Wynn said.

Women millionaires and UHNW investors are more likely to get financial information from daily financial press than they are from cable television, but women mass affluent investors tend to prefer to watch financial news than read about it in print.

Approximately 38 percent of millionaire women investors and roughly 36 percent of UHNW investors compared with 24 percent for mass affluent women investors seek financial information on the Internet from websites other than their professional provider or advisor.