Financial advisers seek to close gender gap

  • Article by: Jennifer Bjorhus , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 30, 2013 - 9:36 PM

In a male-dominated industry, Edward Jones expanded its Twin Cities office, adding several women.

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martin68Aug. 31, 13 8:16 AM

It is a tough industry in general and especially for females as they are often the caregivers. There are often early morning or evening appointments with clients. If there are kids in the picture, there are calls from daycare that kids are sick. Whether male or female,there needs to be someone who can pick up the slack at home.

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riverrat76Aug. 31, 13 8:47 AM

I majored in finance in college. Men outnumbered women 10-1 in my classes. In order to make progress they need to find a way to encourage women to study finance. If they aren't interested you can't hire them.

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allhailfsmAug. 31, 1310:36 AM

What qualifies a person who sells advertising to sit across the desk from me after six months training and tell me how to invest? Seriously, they teach them how to interview clients and how to knock on doors? These companies are not "investment advisers". They are salespeople who focus on getting you to buy something so that they can make a commission.

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plizzoAug. 31, 1311:48 AM

Don't be fooled by this gender discrimination in the investment industry nonsense. First off, investment advisors are not advisors, they are sales people. Their job is to bring client assets in the door to generate revenue and for the most part they are largely independent in doing so as long as they comply with laws, regulations, and suitability standards. Often they spend their own money on promotional materials, they cold call, they network, they join associations, they do whatever they need to do to make connections to potential clients. The vast majority of their time is spent mining for new clients, not on analyzing the market or economy. The industry has moved away from a transaction-oriented commission-per-transaction system to an annual fee system the past 15 years because siphoning off a small fee (1% to 1.5% of possibly more on smaller accounts) produces more consistent revenue than charging large commissions per trade as someone may buy securities and not do any more transactions for years. With a fee charged every quarter, clients pay no matter what. As money has no gender, no ethnicity, no creed, and no orientation of any kind, there is no way any investment firm or branch manager is going to turn away a large revenue producer because the producer is female. Money is what it is about. A woman who brings in $1 million in annual revenue will be welcomed with open arms just as much as a male would be. Management's compensation is determined in part by the revenue produced. And there are some female producers in the industry who are quite successful just as there are successful female real estate agents, restaurant owners, etcetera. An "advisor" who cannot produce sufficient revenue will be terminated regardless of gender. Not mentioned in this article is that while most if the people getting into the "advisory" industry are male, they also comprise the largest portion of terminations due to insufficient production.

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GaviotaAug. 31, 13 1:15 PM

Six months training for Edward Jones' salespeople is not surprising. It's more than enough to sell American Funds' mutual funds, which is all they seem to sell (saves them from having to learn how to pick better mutual funds and personally spend $1,000 on the software to do it). The American family of mutual funds, which earn a whopping 5.75% up-front commission, are bloated, perform no better than mediocre mutual funds and, most important, lack the asset classes needed to lower risk through diversification. It's impossible to be well diversified by owning several different AF mutual funds because most have to own the same stocks. From the investor's point of view, there isn't anything AF has or does better than other mutual fund families, including no-load funds. Save your money, save your future--seek out a fee-only financial advisor.

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rayk1800Aug. 31, 13 4:44 PM

Gaviota, I spoke with an EJ rep last year and the no American Funds were in the suggested portfolio. It was a mix of Invesco, Franklin, and several others. I would say someone should invest for income and not plan to take 4% withdrawal annually. That usually would mean to invest in the top dividend stocks that have a history of growing dividends. Let the stock pay you to own it.

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sunstarmoonAug. 31, 13 5:56 PM

I have a female friend who recently left the financial advisor field. She was very successful, but said that it is a totally male-dominated business that treats women, mostly, as second-class citizens. Some of the tales of sexism and blatant good old boys club activities, certainly made it more understandable why she left, however, it is down right criminal what is happening out there. I thought this story captured the changing nature of the business, especially no longer being considered "my broker" only. Indeed, since most of the financial decisions in a family are made by women, it is unconscionable why only 8% of Financial Advisors are women. These gentleman, at the top of the financial companies sounded clueless totally clueless in your story. If they opened their eyes, they would realize that good analytics would show that their best salespeople would be women. How sad, it kind of reminds me of the series Madmen. Congrats to Edward Jones for taking a giant step forward. I hope they start to have their competitors for lunch!

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