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Women Investors: One Size Does Not Fit All

Women investors are an enormous opportunity for the financial-advice industry, but not all women share the same financial situations and needs.

All clients have different financial needs depending on their stage of life and their individual situation, but women are often unfairly stereotyped into one group with common needs. Women often do face a set of specific challenges, but they’re not necessarily true for every individual. Here are six situations where you can provide specific advice for women:


Women Approaching Retirement

One of the biggest fears for many women is running out of money and becoming a burden to others.1 Women tend to live longer than men, so they need a bigger nest egg to support themselves. Yet women are often paid less or leave the workforce to serve as a caregiver. To overcome these setbacks, encourage women to put themselves first to make sure they are devoting savings to their own retirement accounts. They may also need to put a higher percentage of earnings away than spouses.



Longevity often creates another problem for women investors: Inheriting control of finances they may have never managed prior to their husband’s death. When working with couples, make sure you build a relationship with both individuals and not just one “spokesperson” for the relationship. Be sure to remain patient and organized as your client familiarizes herself with accounts. Don’t be shy about following up because your client is distracted and mourning, and try to manage what you can to help out and be proactive. If accounts are held with multiple venues, try to serve as a coordinator whenever possible to help them sort things out without putting too much pressure on a grieving client.


Mature Professionals

Women are increasingly landing higher visibility and higher stress roles in business. But if they’re busy managing their career as well as their family, saving for retirement can easily fall to the back burner. To keep these multitasking clients on track, be as proactive as possible. If you can fill out generic information on a form or set appointments in advance, that’s one less step that can delay the process or accidentally be overlooked.


Sandwich Moms

Typically women in their 40s and 50s, sandwich moms are caregivers for their own children as well as their aging parents.2 This is a stressful situation from a personal standpoint, but also can have financial impacts. Emphasize the importance of putting these clients’ needs first; like oxygen masks on a plane, make sure yours is secure before helping others. Encourage these clients to go through estate planning, such as creating a living will or determining who will have power of attorney, to reduce future stress.



Divorce itself is an expensive process, and there can be significant, often hidden tax implications to consider. Help recently divorced clients get on their financial feet by first by helping them survey and organize their financial landscape to understand what assets they have to work with. Once they’re in control of their individual finances and have a plan from an immediate tax side, help them reevaluate and rebuild a financial plan for their future.



Many of today’s young professional women are graduating from college with student debt, which can be a hindrance to hitting typical financial milestones. Whether their goals are to travel, buy a home, get married, or start a family in the next few years, this cohort may benefit the most from professional financial advice yet might be the least proactive in seeking it. If possible, begin building relationships with adult children of existing clients and show them how you can help plan for all stages of their future.

To better understand women investors and how you can help this underserved market, contact your Hartford Funds AC to get started, or view the replay of our webinar “Women Investors: A $22 Trillion Opportunity.” While you’re there, enter your email address to automatically receive updates on this topic.




1 Women and Aging: 5 Things Women Fear Most About Aging,, retrieved 5/13/16

2 The Sandwich Generation: Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans, 1/30/2013, most recent data available used