At Carlson Capital Management (CCM), we are very intentional about involving our clients in the integrated planning process. We want all clients to engage with us in a way that fosters trust and understanding about the work we do on their behalf to help them with their financial future.
CCM has nearly 800 client relationships of which more than ninety percent involve a female. Whether they are married, single, divorced, or widowed, just about every relationship at CCM includes a woman who is integral to the partnership. Given this, we want to make sure we are addressing the needs and concerns of our female clients. This doesn’t mean our male clients aren’t important to us, but rather, all clients are important and may have different needs solely based on gender.
While we know that there are always exceptions, the following points are based on industry research as well as my own observations having advised clients for many years.
- Research shows that in general, women feel less confident than men about financial matters and investing.1 That means it is important to educate and inform our clients about how and why we recommend the solutions offered to them.We do this by meeting regularly and ensuring our clients know we are available to address any issue that arises.
- Collaboration is often more enjoyable for women than for men and therefore may be more highly valued. In this regard, advisory relationships may be more important for women, especially those where there is comfort in knowing any question can be asked and will be answered. At CCM, we strive to advise all clients in a comprehensive, collaborative manner.
- Another important consideration is that in general, women tend to be more conservative investors.2 While greater risk aversion can help investors avoid unnecessary losses, the potential downside is that it can lead to falling short of long term financial goals. CCM’s philosophy about risk is to help our clients understand the relationship between risk and reward so that they take the appropriate amount of investment risk to meet their goals.
- One of the practical realities for women is that according to current statistics, on average, American women live five years longer than men.3 This means that most women will likely be managing their own finances at some point in their lives. For this reason, it is important for women who have traditionally deferred to their husband’s financial interest and knowledge to engage in the planning experience. Our intent is to make this as comfortable, valuable and enjoyable as possible.
When it comes right down to it, many men might say they have the exact same wishes as women with regard to their financial advisor. They want to be confident about financial issues and decisions, understand and be educated, take the appropriate amount of risk and collaborate with us. From our perspective, this is a good thing. At CCM, we pledge to work with all clients, male or female, to earn their trust by understanding their goals and desires for their financial future and then help them meet those goals.
1 Fidelity Investments, Money Fit Women Study, 2015.
2 Spectrem Group, High-Net-Worth Men Versus Women White Paper, 2016.
3 U.S. DHHS, Health, United States, 2015.