The following content originally appeared in an article by Margaret Price in Investor's Business Daily on September 25, 2017.
Here Is How Wealthy Women Are Getting Smarter Pitches From Financial Advisors
Last year, tennis great Venus Williams made news by becoming one of the financial backers of Ellevest, a new robo-advisor aimed at women. And more good news for the digital company followed: An SEC filing in August showed that Ellevest, which became fully operational last year, had raised a hefty $32.5 million in its latest round of funding.
Impressive? Most certainly. But evidently, no cause for alarm among traditional financial advisors who court women clients. To many of them, the new women-focused digital advisors, including Ellevest and WorthFM (SheCapital folded last year), still aren't a threat to their target market of typically upscale women, 50 or older, who prefer the human touch.
Barbara Friedberg, a freelance writer who publishes the website, Robo-Advisor Pros, points out that "women are a huge market. There's room for women-focused robo-advisors in the marketplace."
Among the pluses of women-focused robos: Besides lower cost vs. fees charged by traditional advisors, experts cite ease-of-use and systems that factor in women's financial situations. Among the fortes of Ellevest, co-founded by Sallie Krawcheck, are broadly its goals-based investing and algorithms that take into account women's typically longer life spans than men's and earnings that on average peak earlier than men's.
In turn, WorthFM's digital investing platform includes such features as an integrated Money Type (personality) assessment tool and financial education. Indeed, "a core part of us is education," says Amanda Steinberg, founder and CEO of Worth Financial, the parent of WorthFM and Daily Worth.
But Lauren Klein, of Klein Financial Advisors, evidently isn't awed. "Women-focused or not, robos are not sufficient," holds Klein, of Newport Beach, Calif. "At their kernel, robos focus particularly on the tech side of money. But that is not where decisions are made, comfort levels achieved and knowledge owned. The essence of a robo is what can be mapped. But a map," she says, "doesn't always describe the territory."