Sarka Photography

Kathryn Morrison, CEO, founder of SunStar Strategic participated as a panelist addressing “How Demographics Drive Change – Women and Millennials” at the Tiburon CEO Summit XXXV.

The panel of high-powered women from the investment industry included Laura Varas, Founder and CEO of Hearts and Wallets, Heather Holmes of Genivity, and Stephanie Luedke, Global Head of Citi Investment Management, and was moderated by Bill Capuzzi, Apex Clearing.

The panelists shared a host of demographic and psychographic data about women, their aspirations and the ways advisors should tailor their approaches when servicing them. Highlights included:


Mutual funds Tiburon Morrison 2

“How Demographics Drive Change – Women and Millennials” at the Tiburon CEO Summit XXXV.
Left to right: Bill Capuzzi, Heather Holmes, Kathryn Morrison, Stephanie Luedke, and Laura Varas.

Photo credit: Sarka Photography


 What Women Investors Want:

As more women continue to take control of their financial futures, their shares of the total amount of private wealth will also grow. According to some studies, that number is expected to be around $72 trillion dollars or 32% of the total private wealth by 2020.  For financial advisors looking to either attract or retain female clients after obtaining said wealth, they should consider some of the most defining characteristics that separate the women from the men.


Younger women are more likely to seek a healthy work-wealth balance

Younger women are more ambitious than ever. They won’t take “no” for an answer in achieving their goals. They see themselves as time poor; they want to be rich but not at the expense of wellness and travel. Like most millennials, younger women place more on experiences and see cash as an agent to achieving their lifestyles.   


Women are often more conservative investors

Investing isn’t a game to women. Unlike men who typically invest trying to beat the market, women often are more goal oriented and tend to be more risk aware. Before making an investment, they tend to do more research, with a higher percentage of women spending time analyzing investment options.


Women investors on average outperform their male counterparts

Not only do women drive the consumer markets, but they also drive the financial ones as well. An investment study comparing female and male investors found that women tended to outperform the market more than men by about 1% annually. Why is that? Because men are more likely to be overconfident and take risks that end up costing them. That’s not the only difference either; due to their more consistent investing strategies, women are more likely to perform better in economic downturns than men.


Women are more likely to seek a financial advisor

As mentioned earlier, women tend to invest differently than men. Maybe it’s wanting to take on less risk, or maybe it’s the tendency for women to seek support, but women are more likely to seek help in their investments. In many cases, this is via a financial advisor.  According to a 2015 article in Open Forum by American Express, women are more willing to ask for help, seek training, assess risk, and set goals for themselves. 

Although women are more likely to seek help, that doesn’t mean they will retain the same financial advisor after inheriting wealth. Women often have their own financial goals, and more often than not, those goals are different from whom they inherited that wealth. For advisors, that means that those goals and characteristics need to be understood in context.

Tiburon’s recap of the Summit can be found here.


All photo credit: Sarka Photography