Women: Get to know your Financial Advisor
Many people consider it an important life goal to have a long, happy and healthy marriage. The building blocks of such a relationship should include sharing of responsibilities, delegation, working together, and supporting each other through both good times and bad times.
In many cases, couples split the responsibilities to ‘divide and conquer,’ which can be a great strategy. Sometimes this leads women to let their spouses handle the finances. However, when it comes to the relationship with your financial advisor and making major decisions, it’s critical that both partners be involved.
Women are sometimes left out of financial decisions
According to a study listed by the American Psychological Association, only 33% of respondents said both partners share an equal role in financial decision-making. In addition, an even smaller number, 23 percent, said they shared financial decision making equally. These numbers are troubling for a financial advisor, and more times than not, it is women who are left out of these decisions.
On the other side, while 45% of couples reported that they make financial decisions jointly, men are significantly more likely to see their role as “primary” than women. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, or CFP® for short, our goal is to get to know your family, so we can guide you in making informed decisions about your future. This means meeting, and knowing, both spouses.
Why is it important for women to be involved in the financial advisor relationship?
As we mentioned earlier, a financial advisor needs to know the details of your personal situation as well as your goals for the future. If the financial advisor relationship is one-sided, you run the risk of ignoring important goals. A great marriage requires agreement on many critical issues, but where there is a difference of opinion or ambition, it’s important for your advisor to know both sides of the story to make sure everyone’s priorities are considered.
Second, it’s an uncomfortable fact, but women generally live longer than men. When the unthinkable occurs, many women feel they don’t have a connection with their financial advisor due to a lack of a personal relationship. This can make a bad situation much worse. Most widows wouldn’t be excited about the prospect of finding a new financial advisor while they are mourning, but this is all too common of a situation. It’s best to be prepared by having a good, mutual relationship with your advisor.
What should I do if I don’t have a relationship with my financial advisor?
The first step would be to discuss the situation with your spouse. Let them know you want to attend the next meeting with your financial advisor. If there is push back from your spouse, which we hope is not the case, don’t take no for an answer. Meeting your current financial advisor is the first step to determining if they are the right fit for you. And let’s face it, you may have all this responsibility dropped in your lap one day, so it’s best to be prepared.
Next, be sure your financial advisor is a good fit. The world of financial advice has historically been dominated by men. After meeting jointly with their financial advisor, the couple should discuss their comfort level with their current advisor and make sure they both would be happy with them in the event of one of their passing. Your financial advisor should respect both of your opinions equally. If you feel that your advisor is managing a one-sided relationship, talk to your spouse about finding someone that is a good fit for both of you.
Finally, if you don’t have a financial advisor, get one. Planning your financial life is complex, and a CFP® has the training needed to help you develop a plan.
Should I look for a new financial advisor after my spouse has passed?
If you’ve taken our advice, we hope the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ But, if you find yourself in the position where you need a new advisor, don’t hesitate to make a switch. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with the person who is helping you manage your finances. They should know and respect you and your wishes.
If you are looking for an advisor for the first time, or if you are in the unfortunate situation of finding a new one, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Brookstone Wealth Management, we are a women led financial advisor firm based in Columbus, Georgia, and we are all too familiar with these type of issues. And, most importantly, we have the training and compassion necessary to guide you on your journey to financial independence.
Why Brookstone Wealth Management?
Our approach to wealth management is rooted in the belief that every client is unique. That’s why our services don’t come out of a box. Our Certified Financial Planners (CFP®) work one-on-one, side-by-side with each and every client to craft a custom financial strategy that will help make their financial goals a reality.
Financial Planning is a journey, not a destination, and we are your trusted advisor every step of the way. Let us help you navigate your True North.