Female investors in the US have expressed less interest in both managing their own accounts and paying advisers to act on their behalf, than male counterparts, according to the latest Cerulli report.

In the Cerulli Edge - US Retail Investor Edition, the report suggests that to better serve women investors in the US the providers must seek alternative opportunities to "alter this dynamic.  

One of the most notable differences between investors on a gender basis is the desire to be actively involved in day-to-day management of their portfolios. Only 41% of female respondents voice an interest in this depth of engagement in their financial affairs, compared with 57% of males.

 This result  is  even more pronounced at each end of the spectrum, with 25% of males surveyed selecting "Strongly Agree" to wanting day-to-day involvement compared with just 15% of females, Cerulli said.


Females are also more reluctant to pay for advice to guide them through these topics. Barely half (51%) of female respondents agree that they are willing to pay for financial advice, compared with 58% among males.

 "This provides both a challenge and an opportunity to providers in the advice segment," said Scott Smith, director of advice relationships at Cerulli.

 "As regulators are consistently elevating the role of transparency and disclosure in client relationships, investors are more likely to ask questions about advice fees and commission charges." 

With such a relatively high percentage of advisor-reliant female investors already concerned with their fee relationships, it will be crucial for providers to clearly and concisely express the value of their services. As the industry edges toward a greater emphasis on planning-based fiduciary relationships, the benefits of employing trusted advisors are becoming more material.

Process-based planning

Instead of simply recommending the "best" stocks or funds, advisers are increasingly adopting process-based planning, which creates an implementation timeline. By dividing this timeline into tangible milestones, advisers are better poised to communicate the value of each step, rather than trying to assess an ambiguous "wealth management" fee. 

"When connecting their remuneration to specific responsibilities and outcomes, advisers could reduce the potential  skepticism among female  investors  and create millions of mutually beneficial client relationships,"  Smith concluded.