For an industry that prides itself on its planning approach, the financial advisory profession is finding itself in a bit of a pickle of late.
Here's what I'm talking about. The population of financial advisors is not representative of the overall U.S. population from a demographic or a gender standpoint.
- The overall population is 51 percent female, yet the percentage of financial advisors who are women hovers around 30 percent. Moreover, this percentage has barely moved over the past ten years.
- Additionally, the median age of the U.S. population is 37 years old. The median advisor age is closer to 55 years old.
- In terms of ethnicity, whites constitute about 72 percent of the population of the United States. According to this 2012 repor from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 85 percent of financial advisors are white.
So as a group, financial advisors are significantly whiter, older, and "maler" than the population as a whole.
A Path Forward?
A perspective that counteracts this historical imbalance is voiced in this article, Five Tips to Recruit Women, written by Susan Konig of WealthManagment.com. In short, the author presents an interesting case that women offer one pathway out of the financial advisory industry’s current state of demographic incongruity. The author posits that because female financial advisors tend to possess skills that are desirable from a client’s vantage point, e.g. being more client-centric, high-touch, empathetic and relationship oriented, they represent a future that is very compatible with client wants and needs.
Are female financial advisor’s truly the key to the industry’s current “talent shortage” and a possible driver of the industry’s growth? One factor that would support this conjecture is the fact that women currently control a majority of the nation’s wealth, as evidenced by this Allianz Life study that shows that women are better educated than men, enjoy more successful careers than ever, and now oversee approximately 60 percent of the nation’s wealth.
Top 100 Women Financial Advisors
Speaking of female financial advisors, cheers and kudos to all of you who have been acknowledged as America’s leading 100 women financial advisors, as recognized by Barron’s.
Congratulations to all!