financial services

Study: Female Investors Need Personal Interaction


Financial advisors can benefit by reaching out to women, according to market research firm Mintel.

According to Mintel's data, 39% of female investors say their primary source of investment ideas are their investment advisors, compared to only about a quarter (27%) of males. Women are also slightly more likely to solicit ideas from friends and family members (29% of females vs. 22% of males).

Basically, women are much more likely to rely on personal interaction to get ideas, while men are more likely to look to published or televised sources of information, such as Web sites, newspapers or television programs, says Susan Menke, vice president and behavioral economist at Chicago-based Mintel. "What this means is that because quite often both men and women are involved in the household investment decision making, financial services companies need to use a variety of channels, including advisors, to appeal to all of the members of the household," Menke says.

Men on the other hand are most likely to look to financial Web sites and blogs (38%), or the investment companies' Web site (31%). They are also much more likely than women to look to newspapers or magazines for inspiration. For instance, 27% of males like to read financial newspapers (either print or online), while only 17% of females claim the same.

American Express and Citi are two investment companies already clued into the gender differences among their clients.

American Express has a number of programs specifically targeting women. The company is hosting a series of events for employees and customers, including a networking breakfast geared toward female business owners as part of its second annual International Women's Day celebration. Financial author Jean Chatzky is offering advice tailored to women on financial empowerment on the American Express PASS Web site this month.

Among its female-oriented programs. Citi has a Web site geared specifically toward female investors called "Women & Co.: Where Wisdom, Wealth and Women Meet." The financial services company conducts seminars nationwide geared toward women in its "Master Class" series. Upcoming events in May are scheduled in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

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