youíre a woman who has resented the size of your
paycheck compared to those going to men, Sallie
Krawcheck presents a solution.
a speech to almost 2,000 financial advisers at the
annual Morningstar Conference in Chicago last week, she
urged advisers to help women close the gap. On average
women earn 77 cents for every dollar men make. Thatís
called the gender gap.
advisers, of course, arenít going to give salary
negotiation, career counseling or job search help to
women clients. But Krawcheck used the prominent national
stage to make two points to professionals from her
industry: Financial advisers are losing women clients
because they are ignoring womenís needs, and the U.S.
economy isnít living up to its potential because women
arenít maximizing their potential wealth.
who has built celebrity status in the financial business
since getting fired from a Wall Street executive-level
job, heads a womenís group called Ellevate Network.
She claims businesses short-change themselves by missing
womenís perspectives in the executive suite and that
the financial services industry has cut itself off from
trillions of dollars in womenís wealth.
the years ahead, the impact of poor financial management
will be evident in the economy as large numbers of women
end up alone in retirement without the money they will
need, she said. A $14 trillion retirement savings gap is
likely to weigh more heavily on women than men because
women live on average six years longer than men and
consequently exhaust household savings.
of the problem can be seen by taking a trip to a nursing
home. Most are filled with women, often widows, who live
on medicaid after their savings have run out.
percent of men die married," said Krawcheck.
"Eighty percent of women die unmarried."
savings gap ó or the money Americans wonít have to
cover their retirement necessities ó "is so big
and so scary that weíve actually stopped talking about
it, stopped debating about it," said Krawcheck.
the outcome could be improved, she said, through better
pay for women; plus better advice on maximizing wealth
and making it last.
hard to find anything negative that happens when you
increase the economic engagement of women," she
said. For example, she noted that while the Social
Security system is on its way to running low on money by
2034, the gap would be closed by a third if women were
paid comparable to men.
goes beyond pay, however. Itís turning the pay women
receive into wealth and making it last. Most women donít
receive quality financial advice because they often
havenít amassed the $250,000 financial advisers
typically require of new clients.
didnít deal with that issue, but emphasized that
financial advisers are missing out on the lucrative
business that would easily be available to them if they
tapped into the womenís market. With more women
earning good money and expected to inherit trillions,
advisers should be looking at them as ideal clients, she
admonished male financial advisers for saying in effect:
"Iíll focus on guys who have money." She
warned them: "There are very few wealthy
60-year-old white guys without financial advisers."
result, she said, is that 90 percent of men are happy
with their financial advisers while only 30 percent of
women are satisfied. And 86 percent of affluent women
say the financial services business does not serve them
male clients die, she added, 70 percent of widows leave
the adviser their husband had used.
you are among this dissatisfied crew of women, you
should know that Krawchek and other outspoken people in
the adviser business are telling the profession to shape
up. So there is no need to stay with an adviser who fits
the common complaints Krawcheck outlined.
them: Talking at women rather than with them and failing
to realize women focus on preserving their wealth more
than chalking up market-beating returns.
want assurances that they will be able to send their
children to college and retire with the money they will
need to live the way they are expecting, said Krawcheck.
And they want to increase their biggest asset, their
earnings power. Instead of showing women their investing
prowess, Krawcheck noted women would prefer: "Coach
me on how to get a raise."