As women increasingly find themselves as the heads of households, advisors find retaining and expanding their female client base is imperative. “The No. 1 thing women say about financial advisors -- most of whom are male -- is that they talk through them, and minimize their concerns,” says Kimberly Foss, now founder and president of Empyrion Wealth Management in Roseville, Calif.

Foss herself was a single mother for 10 years, without child support -- and while she has since remarried, she says the experience helps her connect with some of her female clients. “In truth, I wasn't comfortable being the sole supporter of my family," she explains. "It was daunting. Women need to feel comfortable being the sole provider.”

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