Study on Women and Wealth Finds One Size Does Not Fit All

Family Wealth Advisors Council (FWAC), a national network of independent, fee-only wealth management firms, today announced the first round of results of its inaugural study of high net worth women across the country entitled “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them?”

The study examines the beliefs and perspectives of 551 women with net worths of $1 million and higher, tracking the statistical differences across four criteria: marital status, employment status, age and net worth. The study encompasses viewpoints from single, divorced, married, partnered and widowed women across the United States and is one of the largest studies of affluent women on record.

Highlights include:

  • 86% of working women consider obsolete careers and eroding earning power as risks to their financial success. The majority of successful female executives surveyed anticipate a major career change within the next year.
  • Married women believe health challenges present a greater risk to their financial security than the death of a spouse.
  • 96% of surveyed women want their unique circumstances and entire life picture understood by their financial advisor.
  • 80% of women (married or divorced) believe that they will be called on at some point to help one or more of their children in crisis.
  • 81% of surveyed female retirees see a potential decline in the economy as a major risk, versus 45% of women working full-time.
  • 57% of married women feel that divorce poses a significant risk to their financial future.

“In the financial services industry, there has been a lot of talk for years about ‘women’s services,’ but there has been little meaningful change in the way most of the financial services industry works with women,” noted Heather Ettinger, FWAC member and co-author of the study. “Most of the industry continues to lump women together without taking the care to understand individual women and their personal financial journeys, and this is the primary reason for women’s overall dissatisfaction with our industry.”

FWAC member and study co-author Eileen O’Connor added: “FWAC is deeply committed to serving the needs of women as they continue to control increasingly large amounts of this nation’s wealth. Our creation of the study demonstrates our commitment to changing the way women feel about the financial services industry. We also believe it can help open a dialogue regarding how the industry can better serve women as they become their own financial advocates.”

The study was conducted from March through August of 2011. It is available for purchase by visiting

About Family Wealth Advisors Council

Founded in 1981, the Family Wealth Advisors Council (FWAC) is a national network of carefully vetted, independent, fee-only wealth management firms that collectively manage more than $3 billion in client assets. FWAC members commit a significant amount of time and energy each year to meet and share best practices that meet a higher fiduciary standard.

FWAC members hold advanced designations and are uniquely experienced in providing true wealth management services to the affluent client. Many are leaders in the financial planning industry and regularly speak and write about best practices in planning and investment management. FWAC members have won numerous awards, and FWAC’s research has been covered by leading think tanks, media publications and corporations.

For more information, visit


Brenda Patterson, 440-623-9581

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