While women have been flooding into the wealth management world, they still account for less than 25% of all advisors. Equally rare are events that pull them together to share their experiences and build networks.
Once again, female planners will have a chance to gather, learn and connect at SourceMedia's next Women Advisors Forum, set for March 13 in Florida at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This year's focus is on how advisors can build their books of business as well as on retirement planning issues.
Sandra Field, a fee-only planner in Cypress, Calif., was inspired by the last November's WAF, held in Huntington Beach, Calif. "When I started as a stockbroker 27 years ago, there would be regional conferences for the company with only two women among 500 attendees," Field recalls. "I'm so glad to see more all-woman conferences and gatherings to share more insight into how to approach and succeed in our business."
At the November WAF, TD Ameritrade's Jennifer Gitto told attendees: "You have a huge opportunity in the next 40 years." Gitto, a strategic relationship consultant and transition specialist, used, by way of example, a hypothetical female investor, who cannot be served by the cookie-cutter financial planning strategies common at larger firms.
This investor, she explains, is bringing in $1 million a year and hoping to retire with $20 million in savings. However, before she does, she's too small a client for the most prominent firms, even though she's on the road to a very high net worth. That means she needs a customized approach, Gitto said - and that's the opportunity for many advisors seeking new clients.
Six Women Advisor Forums are set for 2012. In addition to this month's event in Florida, the year's lineup includes April 26 in New York at the Metropolitan Club; May 22 at the Marriott Dallas City Center; and June 12 at the InterContinental Chicago. A WAF event is also in the works for October in Boston and November in Southern California.
"Women advisors should attend the conferences because WAF is all about empowering the new breed of female financial advisor who is focused on success," says Frances McMorris, WAF founder and host, and editor-in-chief of SourceMedia's OnWallStreet magazine.
Go to womenadvisorforum.ning.com for more information.