Financial Advice Strong Enough For A Man But PH Balanced For A Woman

Men and women, on average, earn money differently. In fact, according to the latest data from PayScale, they experience “a real disparity in pay, and one that can’t be explained away by choice of occupation or the experience lost due to time out to care for children.”

Women also save and handle money differently. So perhaps they need different financial advice. The Times reports, with some skepticism:

two new online investment firms — known as robo-advisers — are introducing products that suggest women need extra hand-holding with their money. They are offering financial and investment advice tailored just for females.

Despite that intro, these firms make clear that they aren’t approaching women as dizzy socialites who don’t know how to balance their checkbooks, but rather as consumers whose specific needs are not yet being met.

“I know they don’t like what is out there,” Ms. Steinberg, a programmer, said of her subscribers, who, on average, are 38 years old and earn $78,000. “My mission from the beginning was about empowering women to build net worth. Not to get better at budgeting, not to save $10 when buying flowers for their dinner party. It was to give them control over their futures.” …

Women surely face their own set of challenges. They generally earn less than men, are more likely to take breaks from the work force, and live longer, all intractable issues that demand societal and policy changes, like less male-focused workplaces and policies.

Shouldn’t, you know, regular financial advisors be able to talk women through those challenges? Sure. But a 2015 Thrivent Money Mindset report found that women aren’t giving them the chance: they aren’t planning for their futures in the same way men are and, simultaneously, they’re only half as likely to consult with a financial planner. From the summary results:

Only 28 percent of women have a retirement fund compared to 51 percent of men. Additionally, only 15 percent of women have a long-term financial plan compared to 29 percent of men.

Stocks and bonds are an afterthought. 40 percent of men invest in stocks and bonds, but only 18 percent of women do the same.

Many women are struggling to achieve financial security. 32 percent of women admit to struggling with their finances, compared to only 21 percent of men. Furthermore, 26 percent of women live above their financial means and 54 percent admit to frequently buying things they want but don’t need.

Maybe financial services that seek out and serve women specifically are the answer — or at least one answer, considering that even these robo-advisers are interested in a thin-slice of women with assets to invest. As the Times puts it, “here is hoping Ms. Krawcheck will veer far from her Wall Street roots and use her stature to provide the kind of low-cost, comprehensive advice that is still more difficult for nonwealthy people to come by.”

What do you think, ladies? Let’s make it a poll!

If you identify as female and don’t yet have any kind of financial advice, what’s your reaction to the idea of Financial Advice For Women?

A) Sign me up! As long as they don’t send me bright pink, perfumed materials wrapped in bows with little coupons inside for free Cosmos.

B) Sign me up! Though only if they send me bright pink, perfumed materials wrapped in bows with little coupons inside for free Cosmos.

C) Ew.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.