By Maria Cornelius
NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) — Anyone familiar with John Gray's Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus knows the premise that men and women communicate very differently. Perhaps this explains why most female investors prefer to work with a female adviser and most married women leave a male adviser after the husband dies. Starting with the first conversation, women want, need and deserve distinct treatment in financial advice.
Old-fashioned gender roles designate the man of the house as responsible for personal finances. That changed over the past few decades but, if you're a woman, your adviser must understand the role money played in your early life. Another concern: Women constitute more than half of financial planning or investment clients, yet less than a quarter of certified financial planners are women.
As a wealth manager with a large female client base, I notice four differences in how men and women approach financial decisions:
Communication and learning styles. Eleanor Blayney's Women's Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence points out that women and men absorb and process information differently. Fundamentally, women learn through interaction with others, neurologically wired to be social and seek out relationships.
Read More: You Should Invest Like a Girl
Especially if you're a woman, find an adviser you connect with on a personal level. Talking openly about what matters most to you helps your adviser create a plan to prioritize and achieve your financial goals.
I also find that even highly accomplished and intelligent women (with expertise outside finance) can feel uneasy amid complex projections and financial jargon. Most prefer an adviser who can find a way to communicate in plain English.