Women, Money, Power
My dog had puppies. Eight cute adorable little Goldendoodle puppies and as we are finding homes for them often people are asking about their personalities.
Are they playful? Are they laid back? Are they good listeners right? Everybody has some different things that they’re looking for in the personality of the dog.
They will best fit them in their situation in their homes. Then you might think what does this have to do with anything financial. The fact is each of us has a financial personality, a way that we approach financial planning matters.
Whether we are intimidated or overwhelmed by it, whether we’re intrigued by it or pursue it, each one of us has a different financial personality. And with each financial personality, there’s also a different way that you need to be able to interact with an advisor.
Women and Retirement
Alianz conducted a study about Women, Money, and Power entitled Financially Smart, Financially Strong.
We all intuitively know it’s not the same financial world as it was in the Leave it to Beaver shows, right? Most women are working outside of the home at this point in time, and many of them are in charge of the family financial matters.
I would save all the clients we meet with, it’s about half the time the husband handles more of the financial and investing side and half the time the wife does.
So it is not how it used to be. It’s not that the man would go to work and handle all financial matters while the woman would stay home and handle all the other household matters. We all have changed over time. However, we still tend to live in a male-driven financial world.
This same survey talked about the fact that almost half of the women surveyed felt either very insecure or somewhat financially insecure. This is sad and needs to change.
This study also talked about the five different investment/financial personalities which were very interesting.
The Financial Dreamer
The first type of financial personality was the financial dreamer. OK, this is someone that it really when you think about money and investing it, it intimidates you.
You’d rather let somebody else take care of it. So if you’re married, you still want to just push that off on to your husband. Even having a talk with a financial advisor seems intimidating to you because it’s just all these things that you feel like you don’t understand.
If this is you, whether you have a spouse that is handling it or not, it is important to be able to talk to an advisor. But here’s the key, you need an advisor who’s DOESN’T talk financial jargon about all these terms that you don’t understand and make you leave feeling even more overwhelmed and confused.
You really need to talk to someone who can answer in plain English and make it simple.
No matter what industry you are in, there is language and terms used that are specific to that industry that someone outside of it might not understand. The same is true in the financial world so don’t feel bad if you don’t understand all the financial jargon, I don’t understand all the medical talk or construction code or…!
A good communicator, a good advisor knows how to make it simple and put it into terms that you can relate with.
You don’t need Ph.D. in finances to be able to understand! If you’re a financial dreamer and you’re overwhelmed and don’t even want to think about it, you need to find someone who can really relate to you who can listen to your concerns and communicate with you in a way that you understand so you don’t feel talked down to or overwhelmed.
The Financial Avoider
The next financial personality is the financial avoider. You have questions but you are overwhelmed with the information available.
You go to Google something and you get thousands of answers that are often conflicting and you just don’t even know where to start and where to begin. You’re overwhelmed by it all and because of that you just avoid it.
I think we struggle a little with status quo bias, which means we’d rather stay with what we have (even if it’s bad) than make a change because we don’t like change. However, the financial avoider feels this all the time.
If you are a financial avoider, you know avoidance isn’t the answer and you might be thinking that there are probably things that you’re missing, things that you should be doing.
For you, the important thing when you’re talking to an advisor is that you do not go to someone and they want to change everything all the time all at once, that completely overwhelms you!
So if you’re a financial avoider, you need an advisor who’s not going to push to change everything but to walk with you at your pace and help you understand what you have and what you need in a way that doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
If you’re a financial initiator then you’re probably self-insured. You’re empowered, you’ve done a lot of this on your own. You’re quite confident in your financial goals and your ability to achieve them. You’ve probably worked with a financial advisor and/or other professions.
The key for you is knowing when you might have outgrown your current advisors or need to add to your team. For example, the 401K Rep might be great at helping you while you’re working with how you’re allocating your accounts, but as you inch closer to retirement, there is a shift that needs to happen.
There’s a shift in how you’re investing and what you are going to be needing to think about and look at differently as you switch from saving for retirement to living in retirement. We’ve talked about this in our retirement Shift blog, go back and look at it for more information.
The other really important part here is that your plan is coordinated, meaning taxes, cash flow (retirement income), investment positioning, and estate preservation that it’s all working together.
You don’t want an advisor here and an advisor there where everybody is working on their own and not coordinated together. Find that one person that will help make sure all these things are coordinated for you and working together.
Next, we have the financial collaborator. If you’re married, this is probably something where you and your partner always talk about everything together. You make decisions together.
You work as a team and you know intuitively that when you work with an advisor, you need and want a team approach. You’ve probably had a few different ones because you understand that team approach.
One of the keys here is that the advisor you’re working with understands both you and your spouse. Oftentimes men and women just handle things differently, and again, there’s that shift as you’re getting closer to retirement, where it becomes a bigger deal.
Often women become more conservative while men are still a little bit more aggressive. Women are more holistic in their thinking about how it all works together in the plan, not just the numbers on the paper, where men tend to just black and white. So you need to make sure that your advisor understands both you and your spouse.
It is also important that you’re collaborating with a team so there is a coordinated approach with taxes, your retirement income or cash flow, your investment positioning, and your estate plan.
The Financial Analyzer
The last personality is the financial analyzer. If you’re a financial analyzer you have a really good understanding of all the household finances. You’re an avid saver, and always compare prices. You’re always looking and researching for opportunities.
The challenge that I want to put out there for you this. When you’re looking at working with an advisor, you might get caught focusing on one thing, cost or price but there are other things that you need to look at too.
It’s not always the cheapest is best, we don’t always want to have the cheapest. For example, I could pay somebody $10 to mow the yard, they might be the cheapest, but I might end up with a yard that’s completely botched. (That happened to me once!)
What you need to be asking is what’s the value. If you’re paying somebody, I don’t care if you’re paying him a cheap amount or what you think is a higher amount, whatever you’re paying, you need to go beyond that and analyze the value. What are they doing for you? What are they doing for the fee they are charging?
It would also be important for you to have an advisor that can help you analyze and give you all the facts and the information you need to know what is the best thing for you.
You have to take a step back. What do you need OK and what investment vehicle, what product or strategy is going to help you get to where you want to go. Not what does it cost, but what is the value.
Sometimes you could be paying what is considered low fees, but you’re actually paying high fees for the value you’re getting.
How To Choose A Financial Advisor
I hope that helps as you go through it all. It also helps I know, as an advisor, it sure helps us when we are talking to someone to know, kind of. Which one of these personalities you’re most identifying with because it helps us to communicate better as you saw through this. Each one needs an advisor to communicate a little bit differently.
So what I’d love you to do, just say, is I like to gather thoughts to send me an email and let me know what one of these personalities do you most connect with.
And if you want to see the whole study, I’m happy to send that to you as well, so.
Just send us an email, we’ll get it to you. Let me know what personality you most identify with, and hopefully, this gives you some great tips for talking to an advisor, whether that be us or any of the other advisors in your life!
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