Report Finds CFP® Certification More Valuable than Ever to Female Advisors

Report Finds CFP® Certification More Valuable than Ever to Female Advisors

In the post-COVID world, with more women outliving the men in their lives and women bearing the brunt of COVID unemployment, financial literacy and planning is more relevant than ever. It is important now to attract new talent and retain female CFP® professionals as women take charge of their financial futures.

This April, the CFP® Board commissioned a report focusing on the impact of female advisors on clients and wealth management practices. The research is based on a survey of 400 financial advisors in the United States during Q3 of 2019. Wealth management firms and financial advisors can apply these three key pre-pandemic findings to focus on post-pandemic goals:

#1 Women are more comfortable with female advisors

The research found that women are more comfortable discussing financial topics with a female advisor than with a male counterpart, according to research from Merrill Lynch. The gender difference in client comfort may be because women prefer a personal connection with their advisor.

WLA Vice President Margaret Starner, CFP® says, “I definitely think that from our experience, every client benefits from the fact that we have a man and a woman on the team, because you just hear things differently.” Increasing female representation in client-facing roles is critical to client retention as baby boomers live longer and millennial women begin planning their futures.

#2 Female CFP professionals have more career confidence and satisfaction

For Millennials who are choosy with their job prospects and value job satisfaction, emphasis on career satisfaction among CFP® professionals could be a big draw. Female CFP® professionals are more confident and more satisfied in their careers than their male counterparts. Creating a workplace that emphasizes and fosters these attitudes serves both talent retention and attraction.

#3 The benefits of holistic planning with a female advisor

Female CFPs® have a unique emphasis on holistic planning processes, according to the report. Female CFP® professionals provide more long-term, multigoal financial plans compared to their male co-workers. Multi-step plans that incorporate retirement and estate planning are as relevant to young early-career women as they are to women with complex financial goals. The broad appeal of holistic planning and the prospect of its long-term implementation should motivate firms to increase female representation.

Diverse teams benefit the clients, the employees, and the company. Female CFP® professionals combine increased comfort in discussing emotional issues with a holistic view of planning to cover a broad spectrum of client concerns. It’s vital for firms focused on growth to attract and retain female CFP® professionals, especially now, in the wake of pandemic job loss and financial struggle.






Michelle Danielson
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Michelle brings nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to the role of executive director of the WLA. She began her career at Northwestern Mutual Insurance, then joined Raymond James as a branch operations manager where she spent seven years overseeing the branch’s operations and compliance activity.