Women are expected to be the recipients of the biggest wealth transfer, with nearly two-thirds of all wealth moving to them within the next decade. That's billions of dollars switching hands in the next 10 years, so a little help from an investment adviser might be useful. The problem is, the first visit to an adviser can feel a little like going to a doctor, according to Alice Ambrosie, vice-president of regional sales for Franklin Templeton Investments.
"Finance is a very jargon-based industry," she says. "It can be intimidating, and women are looking for an investment adviser who will speak to them directly. And that's rarer than you think."
That's not the only reason. "This applies to women in finance in general, but women tend to think they don't have enough money to have an investment adviser," says Ms. Ambrosie. "Maybe they feel they're not sophisticated enough for one. Some women just find the process in general intimidating."
It can also feel very personal to discuss your finances with someone who is still a stranger. There are very private questions about money, and it can feel very invasive, especially if you're not comfortable talking about money. "You can feel judged for your choices," says Ms. Ambrosie.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to find an adviser. You can start by looking up advisers in your area or someone in your community. "There's the phenomenon called the 'Rule of 52,'" says Ms. Ambrosie. "It says in everyone's personal network, there are 52 people similar to them, and at least one of them is working with an adviser. The best way is ask your friends and family who they work with and why they work with them."
Once you've got a few names, Ms. Ambrosie suggests preparing for your first appointment with a list of questions for the adviser about their background, certifications, referrals and their process. "Some advisers are very numbers-based, some are more financial planning-focused and some are focused on the bigger picture (like estate planning and cash flow). Identify what fits best for you and come prepared with questions to help you become more familiar with that adviser."
Sometimes the first or second adviser you choose might not be a good fit, so how do you end the relationship without resentment on either side? This is common, explains Ms. Ambrosie. "It's okay to get a second opinion if you don't feel like you're getting the best value out of your relationship with your adviser." If you do decide to end the relationship, the best way is to be direct. If you prefer the non-confrontational route, Ms. Ambrosie says you can move your files to another adviser. "It may feel deceptive, but it happens all time."
Finding an adviser who works well with you can take time, but it's worth the effort. "The reason why you go to an investment adviser is because you want to achieve a goal when it comes to your finances," says Ms. Ambrosie. "Everyone has different goals, and finding an investment adviser is a process. You want one who fits well with your personality, your communication style and someone who is going to help you deliver on those goals over time."
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's Globe Edge Content Studio. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.