Many Widows, Divorcees Feel Patronized by Financial Advisers

If they feel this way, they are inclined to shun advisers altogether, New York Life Investments learned in a survey.

Thirty-one percent of women who have recently separated from their husband or partner, or who have divorced or become a widow, feel that their financial adviser patronizes them, according to a survey by New York Life Investments. Of this group, 51% said they might not work with an adviser again.

Among women who provide the primary source of their household’s income, 44% believe that advisers treat women differently. Among professional and non-professional women whose primary contributions to the household are non-financial, 32% feel unwittingly excluded in conversations with financial advisers. Twenty-seven percent of women who live alone or as a single family unit expressed a desire for greater financial education.

The survey also found that 70% of women with household investable assets greater than $250,000 are working with an adviser, but 38% are not completely satisfied with that adviser. Sixty-seven percent of women say they have changed advisers due to poor service or a lack of a personal connection, while only 33% have made a change due to poor performance.

Sixty-two percent of women think they have unique investment needs and challenges. Fifty-five percent tell their friends and family about their interactions with their adviser, 40% think advisers treat women differently than men, and 26% think they have less access to financial education.

Sub Rosa conducted the survey of 800 women for New York Life Investments in 2018.