Women set for massive wealth transfer

The advice industry will change with technology and demographics, says National Bank VP.

Jess Morgan 8 March, 2017 | 6:00PM
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Because of longer life expectancies and advances in the workplace, women in North America are controlling an ever-growing share of wealth. According to a report by the BMO Wealth Institute, women in the United States currently control US$14 trillion – more than half the country's personal wealth -- and that figure is expected to grow to US$22 trillion by 2020. In Canada, women already control $1.1 trillion of the financial wealth and make up 43% of Canadians with $500,000 or more in investable assets.

These trends are due to continue, with women employed at a rate of 62% and one-third of wives outearning their husbands. Yet according to a 2015 report from Strategy Marketing, a financial services consultancy, 73% of women feel dissatisfied with the service they receive from the advice industry.

In studies exploring women's relationships with the financial industry, a typical scenario shows a married couple meeting with their advisor, who directs most of his answers to the husband and focuses largely on how specific products in the couple's portfolio are performing. The wife, who would prefer to frame the discussion in terms of achieving milestones, such as retirement or the cost of their children's education, ends up feeling disrespected and ignored.

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About Author

Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan  Jess Morgan is the associate editor of Morningstar Canada’s website. She began her career as a television producer and freelance writer, often making appearances on TV and radio as a commentator on politics and culture. She holds a BA in communications from the University of Winnipeg and a diploma in Creative Communications from Red River College.

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