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The investment advice business is trying to hire more women, but it’s not going well.

Women account for just 23 per cent of advisers in Canada, according to a new white paper from a StrategyMarketing.ca, a consulting firm that works with advice and investing firms to better connect with women clients.

A lot of work is being done to recruit women to become advisers, but problems remain. According to StrategyMarketing.ca, women don’t see financial advice as a desirable job, they don’t see enough female role models and they find their strengths are dismissed by those doing the hiring at advice firms.

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Prefer a female adviser over a man? StrategyMarketing.ca’s Paulette Filion suggests calling a few local advice offices and asking to speak to the branch manager, the industry term for boss.

“Let the branch manager know what you need (an educator or a specialist in estate planning, or whatever) and tell them you want a female adviser,” Ms. Filion said by e-mail. “That’s a good place to start.”

Call a few branch managers, compile a few names of female advisers, interview them and then make a choice, Ms. Filion suggested. Of course, you’ll want to apply the usual criteria in selecting an adviser – credentials, experience, services provided, fees and compatibility with your personal style and level of wealth.

Ms. Filion said a U.S. study has found that while an adviser’s gender isn’t a big deal for older women, millennial women strongly prefer working with a female. There are practical reasons for women to consider a female adviser. A U.S. study quoted in the StrategyMarketing.ca white paper found that women are 2.5 times more likely to say they are comfortable with investing risk when their adviser is a woman as opposed to a man.

Female advisers interviewed by StrategyMarketing.ca said the No. 1 reason for their success was an ability to connect with people and build relationships. However, they found that these skills were too often dismissed by managers who measured success in sales terms, specifically assets under management.

Help improve the gender balance in the advice industry by asking to work with a female adviser. Just because three of four advisers are men doesn’t mean you have to work with one.

-- Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist

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This is the Globe Investor newsletter, published three times each week. If someone has forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you or you’re reading this on the web, you can sign up for the newsletter and others on our newsletter signup page.

Stocks to ponder

Leon’s Furniture Ltd. (LNF-T) The pandemic is pummelling much of Canada’s retail sector, but Leon’s Furniture Ltd. is one of the rare companies thriving in this harrowing landscape – and investors who stood by the company through the early carnage are now getting a special treat for their support. The retailer announced this week it will pay a special dividend and will also increase its regular quarterly, restoring it to prepandemic levels after a cut in May. The quarterly dividend hike - and a new record high for the stock this week - suggests management is quite comfortable with the company’s standing, despite all that’s going on in the world. Tim Kiladze tells us more. (for subscribers)

The Rundown

Robo-advisers laid bare – how they compare on fees, returns and investing approach

Weathering a stock market crash was the last item on the checklist of milestones that robo-advisers had to reach before they’re considered a 100-per-cent legitimate way to invest. Robos passed their stress test in 2020. In a pandemic where stocks were buried and then resurrected, new clients flocked to robos and robo portfolios held up reasonably well. The 2020-21 Globe and Mail Robo-Adviser Guide shows you how it all went down at 11 different firms. (for everyone)

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Short sales on the TSX: What bearish investors are betting against

Larry MacDonald surveys the latest shorts activity in Canada and finds out that preferred shares, energy companies, REITs and European blue chips are among sectors being targeted by bearish investors. Meanwhile, investors should keep their eyes on Chesswood Group and Ballard Power Systems. (for subscribers)

Why it’s time to get bullish on Canadian and U.S. banks

Economists David Rosenberg and Marius Jongstra believe that banks in both Canada and the United States will be among the stocks that will benefit the most from a COVID-19 vaccine. From a macroeconomic perspective, a vaccine should reduce the uncertainty surrounding loan losses with more clarity on the future. While there is the potential for more short-term pain if no new stimulus is provided out of Washington, a clearer end to the pandemic will allow banks to reduce credit loss provisions and that flows into future profits. Here’s their bullish case. (for subscribers)

History points to post-election gains for Wall Street

Wall Street is moving past the uncertainty of election season and, if history is a guide, investors can indeed breathe a sigh of relief. Stocks typically post solid gains following an election, no matter which party controls the White House or Congress. On average the S&P 500 gains 8.1 per cent in the year after the election, according to data from the research firm CFRA. Damian J. Troise of The Associated Press tells us more about the outlook for markets for the rest of this year. (for subscribers)

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Others (for subscribers)

The week’s most oversold and overbought stocks on the TSX

Battered value bulls wary as vaccine news fuels cheap stock surge

Friday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Thursday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Thursday’s Insider Report: C-suite executives are topping up positions in these three energy stocks

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Number Cruncher: Six renewable energy stocks poised to move higher

Number Cruncher: Eleven balanced funds for bargain-hunting

Globe Advisor

Expert advisors focus on finding opportunities, managing risks amid the chaos

Are you a financial advisor? Register for Globe Advisor (www.globeadvisor.com) for free daily and weekly newsletters, in-depth industry coverage and analysis, and access to ProStation - a powerful tool to help you manage your clients’’ portfolios.

Ask Globe Investor

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Question: I own Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and I gather its dividends are paid in U.S. dollars, which are converted to Canadian dollars in my account. However, I never see U.S. taxes being deducted from the dividends. Why is that?

Answer: Algonquin is a Canadian company and its dividend is therefore not subject to U.S. withholding tax. The dividend also qualifies for the Canadian dividend tax credit. In 2014, Algonquin switched to declaring dividends in U.S. dollars to reflect the growing contribution of its U.S. utility operations. However, the change in currency had no bearing on how its dividends are taxed.

--John Heinzl

What’s up in the days ahead

Rob Carrick has a Q&A on retirement investing in the post-pandemic world with actuary Fred Vettese, author of the just-published 2nd edition of Retirement Income For Life.

Click here to see the Globe Investor earnings and economic news calendar.

More Globe Investor coverage

For more Globe Investor stories, follow us on Twitter @globeinvestor

You may also be interested in our Market Update or Carrick on Money newsletters. Explore them on our newsletter signup page.

Compiled by Globe Investor Staff

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