6 Questions a Woman Should Ask a Financial Advisor


Women tend to approach money management differently than men. In general, studies have shown women have different priorities and considerations for how they spend their money, and they are less willing to take risks. As such, women should look for financial advisors who understand their specific concerns and life goals and who will make recommendations in their best interest.

Here are a few questions to ask if you are looking for a new financial advisor.

Are you a fiduciary?

The answer to this question should always be yes. Financial advisors who work for a registered investment adviser, such as Kaufman Rossin Wealth, are required to act as fiduciaries, meaning they have to act in the client’s best interest and minimize any conflicts of interest.

Financial advisors who act as fiduciaries are required to disclose how they are paid, whether on a fee or commission basis.

Can you describe your typical client?

Women should look for advisors who have experience working with other clients in a similar situation to yours. Finding an advisor who understands your values and priorities is a must. An experienced advisor will inquire about your personal and financial goals to understand your full situation, so be prepared to openly discuss details of your personal finances and circumstances with them.

What is your investment philosophy?

Look for an advisor who will help you understand the investment plan they recommend. Does the advisor document an investment policy statement unique to your needs? Is this plan reviewed with you in detail and does this plan change when there are market cycles? You should expect to meet in person (or virtually) at least once a year to review the strategy, goals and performance of your account.

If you become my financial advisor, what will my portfolio look like?

Different people and different plans call for different types of investments. There is no single, perfect portfolio that works for everyone so be sure you understand how your portfolio will be constructed.

Experienced advisors will diversify your assets to avoid putting all your money in one sector of the market. A diversified portfolio may include a mix of small-cap and large-cap stocks, companies in various industries and geographies, and different types of assets. Your investment adviser should adjust your holdings to match your unique goals and risk tolerance.

How can I balance risk and returns with my investments?

Statistically, women may need to save more money for the future because of their higher longevity, however, they also could struggle to amass wealth due to a general tendency toward a lower risk tolerance. What can you do? Confirm that your investing strategy balances risk with the stronger potential portfolio growth needed to sustain your financial future. Your financial advisor should provide guidance to determine the appropriate amount of risk based on your age, comfort level, and how much income you’ll likely need.

How can I protect my retirement while also caring for my loved ones?

Women often shoulder the majority of caregiving services for family members, which means your financial plan may need to incorporate additional expenses associated with caregiving services. How these expenses often reduce income is an important matter to discuss with your financial advisor. He or she can be a resource to help you navigate expenses and income sources as well as determine how much financial support you can provide to others without jeopardizing your own financial future.

Mayelin Alvarez is a Wealth Advisor at Kaufman Rossin Wealth, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Maria Socarras is a Director of Client Experience at Kaufman Rossin Wealth, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

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