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How the Financial Services Industry Can Truly Serve Women

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One thing I know for sure from my many years as a retirement planner, sitting at the table with women, is that the majority of women feel overwhelmed or clueless about the topic of money.

Yet women are being underserved by financial institutions because those institutions typically cater to men.

Traditionally speaking, the topics of money, investments and retirement are the domain of men. As such, the financial services industry has let women down.

According to a study entitled, Women, Money & Power, commissioned by Allianz, a financial conglomerate, “fifty-four percent of women believe the financial industry is geared to men.”

Additionally, financial advisors are not trained on the emotional aspects of money and the unique emotional challenges women face around it. So most advisors will not know how to help women recognize and overcome these challenges, which leaves women feeling undervalued and misunderstood by most financial representatives they encounter.

Only recently has the financial industry begun to take notice of the emotional issues women face financially. But that’s only because financial forecasts now indicate that women will be the beneficiaries of unprecedented levels of wealth in the coming decades.

Consequently, we are finally starting to see financial companies taking notice and commissioning studies about women and money in hopes of understanding and capitalizing on this forthcoming shift in wealth ownership for fear that they will miss out on the opportunity to manage these sizable assets.

For me, retirement planning meetings with my female clients were a frustrating experience, because as a financial advisor, I was not professionally trained to help them overcome their inner emotional blocks around finances.

Clearly they were experiencing inner barriers and limiting beliefs around money that needed to be transformed, perhaps through coaching. Yet I constantly had to remind myself that the purpose of these meetings was not to provide extensive coaching because I was not getting paid to coach people.

I was getting paid to sell financial products.

I eventually came to realize that I was feeling out of alignment with my passion for helping women, because I was not truly serving them by selling them financial products when what they really needed was a personal breakthrough around the emotional side of money, as well as a basic level of financial literacy.

As a result, I decided to follow my heart and become a life and money coach so that I could truly empower women in their confidence with money.

In my years of working with women and their money, I have found that a woman’s net worth is impacted by her self-worth and vice versa.

By combining coaching with financial planning, my work is now truly aligned with my higher purpose of empowering women.

When women feel more confident about the topic of money, they can have the inner trust they need to then go on and work with a financial advisor, because they will be coming from an empowered, healed and more wholesome place with money.

Women don’t need to be sold more financial products.

They need to be provided with basic financial literacy; the opportunity to explore and transform their own money stories; and educational resources to learn about basic investment strategies in a non-threatening environment (i.e. a community where they feel safe and respected).

To the powers that be in the financial services industry, are you listening?

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