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The Power of Women: How Female Advisors Can Make a Difference

The Power of Women: How Female Advisors Can Make a Difference

Female advisors are in a unique position to positively impact the financial future of other women. In Vestwell’s recent webinar, “The Power of Women,” panelists Tali Vaughn, Regional Vice President, Sales & Consulting at EGPS, Tina Sanchez, Managing Director, Head of DC National Accounts at BlackRock, and Bonnie Treichel, Founder and Chief Solutions Officer of Endeavor Retirement, shared personal stories and advice around supporting women in pursuit of financial wellness.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the top insights regarding how female financial advisors can grow their businesses while educating and advocating for women. We’ll also highlight some of the key takeaways from the webinar and explore the impact of recent legislative changes (SECURE Act 2.0) on women and their finances. Let’s jump in.

Strategies for Success

During our “The Power of Women” webinar, Vaughn, Sanchez, and Treichel shared unique industry insights and personal stories of growth relating to women and savings. Here are the essential takeaways for female financial advisors.

Lead With Empathy and Authenticity

One of the keys to a successful practice is earning and keeping the trust of your clients. Trust grows from authenticity, and long-lasting client relationships are built with deep connections and a shared understanding of what’s important. Women are generally strong communicators with high levels of empathy, so leverage those skills to foster great relationships with your clients. It’s the personal connections and experiences between you and your clients that are remembered and that build ongoing trust.

Authenticity always resonates, and women tend to gravitate towards other women when seeking advice. Women advisors can advocate for their female clients, encouraging more conversations around finances and the importance of vocalizing your priorities in life.

It's not only about understanding the industry but also knowing where people are coming from…I always start with, ‘Tell me about your business. What's your culture? What's your structure? What's important to you?
Tali Vaughn, Regional Vice President, Sales & Consulting, EGPS

Identify Your Superpower

What are you passionate about, or have special expertise in? Is there a particular demographic you feel connected to? Maybe it’s women-owned businesses, retirees, or underserved communities. Creating a niche or specialized focus can help you gain clients who need your expertise. Think of this as your “personal superpower.”

The biggest thing that's helped me along the way—my superpower—is my network…Nurturing your network is really about taking care of your people.
Bonnie Treichel, Founder and Chief Solutions Officer, Endeavor Retirement

Serving on committees and boards is another great way to expand your network and your reach to potential clients who share your interests and values. I am a big fan of the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. “Essentialism is the art of doing less, but better.” The book talks about doing more of what you are uniquely qualified to do, and less of everything else. It isn’t just about success; it’s about living a life of meaning and purpose. Hone in on what you are uniquely qualified to do, and leverage that strength and passion in growing your practice.

Let Your Personal Brand Tell a Story Worth Remembering

We live in a highly digital world with an abundance of information at our fingertips. How do you make yourself memorable, so you stand out from others in your field?

Forbes did an article last year about the different types of “attention,” and how some activities hold our attention better. Science tells us one of the most reliable ways of sustaining attention is through storytelling. When a story fully captivates our attention, it releases the empathy-related chemical oxytocin in our brains.

Vaughn explained, “I've branded myself as a nerd…If you want to talk about Secure 2.0, I'm game for it. As part of my brand and who I am, what people turn to me for is to be that nerd...As soon as regulations are released, I know everything to do with the regulations and how they're going to apply. TPAs are not something that a lot of people even know exists...I have to set myself apart and be able to be that resource for my referral partners and my friends in the industry.”

Let your personal brand tell a story that engages clients and prospects, and reminds them why they should do business with you.

Understand How SECURE 2.0 Benefits Women

In addition to employing empathy, identifying your superpower, and leaning into your personal brand, there's another area where female financial advisors can support women: understanding the implications of recent legislative changes.

The SECURE Act 2.0, representing the most significant change to retirement legislation in 50 years, offers specific provisions that can benefit women immensely. The Act includes enhanced benefits for long-term, part-time workers, the majority of whom are women.

It also includes tax credits for small companies offering retirement benefits to military spouses. With frequent relocations, military spouses often struggle to maintain consistent employment, affecting their eligibility for retirement plans. Given that over 90% of military spouses are women, SECURE 2.0's focus on making retirement plan participation more accessible for them is particularly impactful.

Additionally, SECURE 2.0 waives the 10% IRS tax penalty (up to $10,000 or 50% of vested account value) for victims of domestic abuse, 85% of whom are women.

Advisors need to ensure women are a part of the conversation, particularly as household wealth starts to shift, in part due to women outliving men on average by almost 6 years.

Conclusion: Supporting Women's Financial Wellness

Empowering women's financial wellness begins with the shared understanding of the “triple whammy,” as Sanchez calls it, referring to the gender pay gap, the employment gap, and the longevity gap. Recognizing and addressing these interconnected challenges is the first step in crafting financial strategies that truly serve women's unique needs.

We need to talk about our finances more…It's fine and ladylike in 2024 to talk about the need to save and to have a trusted advisor around your finances.
Tina Sanchez, Managing Director, Head of DC National Accounts, BlackRock

In closing, continue to lift up one another. Celebrate your success, as well as the success of your colleagues and clients, and you will attract a community of like-minded women seeking and celebrating success as well.

Click here to watch a full recording of Vestwell’s “The Power of Women” webinar.