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Mind the gap: High earning females prefer face-to-face rather than robo advice

 

A recent report by global business services giant EY has identified that high-earning females are much more inclined towards face-to-face financial advice than their male counterparts.

 

Its survey of 250 investors with more than £100,000 identified that just under half of female high earners (49%) prefer face-to-face over online advice on their investments compared to just 28% of men.

It showed that male investors were more likely to check their investments online, with 68% saying they preferred this method; 45% of men said they would check their investments either daily or weekly, whereas only 27% of women said they checked their investments as frequently.

In delivering its report Gill Lofts, head of wealth and asset management at EY, said that the responsibility to close the gender gap lays with the financial services firms. She said: ‘There is a real opportunity for financial services firms to do more to engage with female investors, and tailor new products and propositions that better suit their needs and ways of investing.’

a real opportunity for financial services firms to do more to engage with female investors

Some think that financial jargon is to blame for the gender gap and a report published by HSBC in February 2018 called Talking Everyone’s Language found the financial advice sector has an over reliance on financial jargon that can deter women from investing.

This view was supported by a survey of personal investors by The Share Centre which found that one in three women (31%) believe that a lack of information and too much jargon are core reasons why fewer women invest in the stock market.

As a result, HSBC now holds colleague coaching sessions to mitigate the use of unnecessary jargon while dealing with clients.

Generally, there is increasing support for face-to-face advice to be available alongside online wealth management, regardless of gender.

Robo advisor Scalable Capital, a European automated investment platform backed by BlackRock, has launched over-the-phone and face-to-face consultations this year to satisfy this demand and UK robo advice pioneer Nutmeg is believed to have plans of its own.

According to the EY, when it comes to meeting with advisors, women expect them to be knowledgeable and timely: ‘Not explaining risk levels clearly, slow response times and exerting undue pressure were also found to be big issues with both genders.’ Said Ms Lofts

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