Insights Into Action

Women on the Financial Industry

To attract and retain the population of increasingly wealthy women investors, the industry will need to proactively understand their realities, adapt to their needs and reflect their values.

Insights into Action

Here are some specific insights on how women view the financial industry and actions advisors can take to improve the relationship and attract, retain and grow women investors.

Attract Women Investors


Women believe in the power of investing and are interested in working with a professional advisor. 84% of women see investing as a tool to reach their goals and 23% said they would seek advice from a financial advisor even if they had less than $10,000 in their accounts.

Unfortunately, women do not feel welcomed by the financial industry. 72% believe the system is set up to be confusing and more than half say the system doesn’t reflect their lifestyles or realities.


CHANGE THE TONE – The top three values women are looking for from a financial advisor are honesty (70%), knowledgeable (69%) and transparency (47%). In addition, 32% of women are looking for advisors to use less financial jargon. These findings make a compelling case for advisors to adopt a more straightforward, personal approach to conversation with women investors – be approachable, be educational, be balanced.

Retain Women Investors


When asked what they want from an advisor, women focused on ways advisors could connect on a personal level, including better understanding the realities of their lives, adapting portfolios to meet real-time needs working around their schedules and lifestyle and aligning with their personal values. These issues are so important, that 71% of women said they would switch to a different financial advisor who could make managing their finances easier.


CHANGE THE SETTING – Women are looking for advisors to show an understanding of their time-constrained lives. In addition, 80% agree women need more non-judgmental safe spaces for open and honest conversations about investing. Advisors can address these needs by:

  • Meeting women at less traditional locations or times, working around their schedules.
  • Hosting financial forums that are unique to women and the financial pressures they face.
women shaking hands women shaking hands
71% say they would switch advisors for someone who can make investing easier.

Grow Your Female Client Base


51% of women agree that they almost need to become a financial expert to talk to a financial advisor – and that number climbs to 63% among millennial women. These impressions may be due to past experiences, with women characterizing encounters are “complicated” (30%) or “challenging” (30%). Only 2% of women said investing was “simple.”


Advisors seeking to have a better connection with women investors will want to put aside the traditional presentation and instead engage in conversation. Start by listening and asking these relevant questions:

  • Ask about dependents that demand her emotional, physical and financial support (children, parents and partners).
  • Ask about current and long-term goals beyond financial (92% of women say that health and wellness practices are as important to them as their financial longevity).
  • Ask about performance expectations (41% of women are more concerned with advancing towards their lifestyle goals than beating the benchmark).
women sitting on sofa working with laptop women sitting on sofa working with laptop
51% of women agree that they almost need to become a financial expert to talk to a financial advisor.

Women, Investing & the Pursuit of Wealth-Life Balance

View our full research findings.

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Expert Salon

In March and April 2018, we conducted expert salons in Newport Beach and New York City to capture ideas from thought leaders in women’s perspectives on investing, lifestyle and goals across media, finance and communications.

Financial Decision Maker Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of PIMCO from May 3-May 16, 2018, among 1,500 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including 748 women. All respondents had over $10,000 in investable household assets and at least some financial decision-making responsibility within the household. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. In March 2018, we also hosted 2 salon sessions to explore issues around women and investing with thought leaders, influencers and experts.

Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  All investments contain risk and may lose value.  This report is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product, nor construed as a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction.

The survey results contain the opinions of the respondents and not necessarily those of PIMCO. The data contained within the report may not be related to any PIMCO product or strategy and should not be relied upon for any investment decision.

Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world. ©2019, PIMCO.