Affluent Single Women: A Growing Market in Search of Female Advisors

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK ( MainStreet)--Nine million single women in the U.S. have investable assets over $100,000 and while more and more are seeking wealth management advice - many preferring guidance from another woman -- they are finding a female advisor hard to find. Just one-fifth of all advisors are women and few markets offer an advisor pool that reflects the prospective client base, according to a study by marketing research firm Information Asset Partners and AIQ, a cloud-based directory of advisors.

"When you look at where the women financial advisors are located within the broker dealers, wirehouses, and RIAs across 50 states it's clear that the industry is not mirroring its clients," says Cecile Munoz, President of U.S. Executive Search. "Now that we have hard numbers this data should compel the industry to not only take action, but specifically where it is most needed."

California represents 12.3% of the total single women market and 17% of the country's registered investment advisors, yet the state ranks 41st in presence of women in these firms. New York is the second largest market for the affluent segment, and ranks in the lower half for presence of women advisors.

The market of affluent single-women households has "a high affinity to use financial advisors" according to IAP, and the market is growing. The firm projects a 60% national increase of the unique segment of investors through 2015.

"The data driving the report's state rankings make it imperative that marketers use relevant, localized market intelligence to their advantage," says Raisa Suhir, IAP's Managing Director of Analytics. "Florida and Texas are projected to experience advisor-favorable increases over 80%; Nevada over 170%, New York only 43%."

Other highlights from state rankings include:
  • Ten states represent 55% of the nation's wealthy single women and about 60% of women financial advisors.
  • Among large retail markets, Florida is the only large state where advisors most closely "mirror" their wealthy single women clientele.
  • Despite their growth potential, both Georgia and Ohio rank low in the presence of women advisors.

"The findings demonstrate the value of using marketing analytics to develop an integrated view across the industry and its clients," Suhir says. "Here, we are assessing only one aspect of the total market. Whenever you assess specific market segments, or firms' markets and clientele a different picture develops. Some firms "mirror" their clients and prospects more closely than others."

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