Girl Power

New research tells us that women have about half as much confidence as men when it comes to dealing with their finances.

But with gender equality so high on the agenda, and in an age where “we are all feminists” – how can this be the case?

As a young female Financial Planner, I am reminded of my own profession, which has itself been so dominated by men “of a certain age” in the past.

At Acumen Financial Planning we are proud to break the mould in this respect. We also hope that our clients will continue to buck the trends identified by research such as this.

It is important to us that our clients feel comfortable and confident about their interactions with us. In fact, it is our motto to be approachable, collaborative and - importantly - straight forward. Financial planning as a concept has you, the client, at the very heart of it. After all, how can you have any faith in a financial plan when you haven’t the first clue what any of it means.

To work with a Financial Planner at Acumen, we do not expect you to be a financial whiz kid. Nor would we expect you to ever become one. Far from it. By even making the decision to connect with a Financial Planner, let alone anything else, you are taking the first step to feeling in control of your finances – something which research suggests a huge 62% of women will never experience.

By engaging with a Planner, you are removing that burden from yourself, not adding to it. It is our job to communicate what you need to know, in a way that you “get”. Being patronising is in nobody’s interest, but neither is your Financial Planner using a language full of statistics and legislation that hold no interest or relevance for you. After all, you don’t pay your mechanic to give you a lecture in engineering every time you go for your MOT.

We are there to be your trusted guide for the long term, helping you to make well-informed financial decisions that are right for you, both in the moment and in the future. Of course, we want you to engage with the process and we love questions, but only on a level that is comfortable for you.

As a millennial woman, I’m troubled to learn that only 4.4% of my peers hold any sort of investment product; compared with over 7% of men my age. When I think of my group of girlfriends, everyone is working just as hard, and earning just as much, if not more, than many of their partners. And we have just as long, if not longer, to live!

With my Financial Planner hat on, I wonder where things have gone wrong along the way to make women feel this way? Is it society? Education? The workplace? Perhaps it is all of the above.

As an established independent financial planning firm, we know that Financial Planning is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. In fact, we passionately believe this not to be the case. Women, men, young, old, families, divorcees, career professionals, retirees, single parents, not parents at all – all deserve to feel confident about their finances, have a sound financial plan and a trusted adviser to help them get there.

Jenny Madhoo is a Chartered Financial Planner at Acumen Financial Planning and can be contacted at the Aberdeen office.

*Research from Kantar TNS

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