Research highlights opportunities to enhance investment knowledge and advisor relationships with a growing, yet underserved segment of women investors
New York, August 25, 2020 – New York Life Investments today released the findings of its broad-based proprietary study on “Married Women Breadwinners (‘Married Breadwinners’)” building on the firm’s Women & Investing Program, an in-depth analysis of women investors in the U.S. and their attitudes towards investing and the role financial advisors play in helping them realize their full financial potential.
New York Life Investments – Women & Investing
New York Life Investments’ Women & Investing Program, a practice management initiative launched in 2019 to help financial advisors better engage with women investors, is part of the firm’s broader effort to build a better financial future for its clients and communities. Married Breadwinners, a core segment of women identified in the original research, exhibit distinctive characteristics as they accumulate a greater share of wealth. These findings prompted further research and programming to help financial advisors equip themselves to work effectively with a growing cohort of women who have meaningful wealth yet feel insufficiently educated and supported.
“Education is at the heart of our commitment to be about ‘More than Investing’ for our clients. With immersive educational and experiential tools that reflect insights from our research, the Women & Investing Program helps financial advisors engage women in a way that truly meets their needs,” said Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of New York Life Investment Management. “Our goal is to support Married Breadwinners by developing value add programming that helps financial advisors strengthen their relationships with this high-value, growing contingent of investors, while empowering these powerful women to accomplish their financial and investment goals in the process.”
Building on previous research, New York Life Investments conducted an extensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of Married Breadwinners to understand the unique and challenging professional, relational, and interpersonal dynamics they encounter in seeking to achieve their financial objectives. Armed with these insights and the practice management material built around them, financial advisors will now be better positioned to build and sustain long-term relationships with Married Breadwinners.
The research identified three key insights – a) despite their role as familial breadwinners, Married Breadwinners express low confidence in their financial literacy; b) working with an advisor who understands them is critical; and c) spousal disharmony over financial roles and responsibilities can often be a significant impediment.
Married Breadwinners lack confidence in their financial acumen: Nearly two-thirds (59%) of Married Breadwinners believe they lack sufficient financial and investment literacy, and more than one in eight (13%) believe that they are not very or not at all knowledgeable about finance and investing.
The lack of confidence creates anxiety about financial planning: Less than a third (31%) of Married Breadwinners feel confident that they are financially well-prepared for the future, and less than half (44%) feel that they and their spouse are aligned on their financial goals.
Time is the primary roadblock to improved financial literacy: A majority (56%) of Married Breadwinners wish they better understood finance and investing, but nearly a third (31%) said that they simply do not have enough time to devote to learning more
Married Breadwinners feel more prepared when working with an advisor: Though only half (52%) of Married Breadwinners who work with a financial advisor have financial goals for the future, those who do not work with an advisor are nearly two-times less likely to have them in place (28%).
Married Breadwinners feel unprepared for the future – but advisors help: Only a third (36%) of Married Breadwinners with a financial advisor feel that they are financially well-prepared for the future, but that drops to a mere 16% among those without an advisor.
Retirement planning is top-of-mind, but desire for education spans investment areas: More than half (54%) of Married Breadwinners are seeking greater education on how to save for retirement, close to half (44%) are also seeking to better understand stocks and bonds (44%), with about a quarter (22%) seeking education for improved basic financial literacy (22%).
Disagreement over who is in charge of investing: 52% of Married Breadwinners believe they are in charge of investing, but only 8% of their spouses had the same view.
Debates persist over with whom advisors primarily communicate: 54% of Married Breadwinners see themselves as the primary point of contact for financial advisors, only 14% of their spouses have the same view. In contrast, 33% of their spouses view themselves as the primary point of contact, while 14% of Married Breadwinners believe that to be the case.
“Married Breadwinners are accomplished and hard-working women, and a growing segment of the population – yet they do not receive commensurate attention and focus on their idiosyncratic needs, preferences, and goals,” added Jennifer Tarsney, Director of Practice Management at New York Life Investments. “With insight from both these women and their spouses, our research and value-add program helps provide a roadmap for advisors seeking to develop and maintain long-term partnerships with their women clients.
Research findings are from a survey conducted by New York Life Investments and RTi Research in mid-2020, using qualitative and quantitative methods to study 500 Married Women Breadwinners over the age of 25 along with 165 of their spouses.
About New York Life Investments
With $600 billion in Assets Under Management* as of June 30, 2020, New York Life Investments is comprised of the affiliated global asset management businesses of its parent company, New York Life Insurance Company (New York Life). New York Life Investments offers clients access to specialized, independent investment teams through its family of affiliated boutiques and remains committed to its clients through a combination of the diverse perspectives of its boutiques and a long-lasting focus on sustainable relationships.
New York Life Insurance Company (www.newyorklife.com), a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States** and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life Insurance Company's family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Insurance Company has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies***.
*AUM includes assets of Investment Advisors affiliated with New York Life Insurance Company as of 6/30/20. AUM for Candriam and Ausbil is reported at the spot rate.
**Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/1/19. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/.
***Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 9/12/19: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+). The financial strength of New York Life Insurance Company applies only to its insurance products and not to investment products which are subject to market risk and fluctuation in value.
“New York Life Investments” is both a service mark, and the common trade name, of the investment advisors affiliated with New York Life Insurance Company.