The not so sexy story of Australian women's retirement savings
Some estimates (ASFA) are that 40% of women have no superannuation at all.
A survey of more than 3,000 women running and owning their own small to medium sized business shows 53% of those women are not contributing to their own super.
Women are twice as likely to want advice but only 40% rate their investment knowledge as good.
Take those facts together and you can see one of two pictures:
a) women's super is a lost cause for advisers because there's no commercial opportunity
b) there is a huge opportunity to target women as investors because they're an underserved community - and need to grow assets quickly.
At today's Self-managed Superannuation Professionals Association (SPAA) session on targeting women Patricia Curtin and Olivia Maragna gave one of the best researched presentations I've seen in the last year.
Some other sobering insights from their presentation:
- Women are more likely to divorce than die. Men are more likely to die than divorce.
- Three out of four are not on track to achieve your retirement plan
- Taking time off for family sees mothers left with a "super baby debt" of around 50k versus those who don't take time off
- The gender pay gap sees Australian women earning 83 cents to every male dollar
So while these facts could be depressing, the speakers argue for a huge commercial opportunity here for SMSF advisers - to educate women about self managed super, and to help them on their financial way with better knowledge. And in doing so grow their revenue, gain far more referrals (women are typically more likely to refer) and experience higher client retention rates.
The speakers' research shows women are more likely, in a high trust relationship, to trust their adviser with a greater proportion of their assets, and to be less pice sensitive on advice fees.
And of course we live longer, and are less likely to die young!
So there's the commercial reason for SMSF advisers to think about the market "segment" that women represent.
But really I'm voting "b" in my opening question to you - not just because it's good business sense but because we in the financial services industry have a duty of care to all investors. Especially those who need us most.
I am speaking at the Self-managed Superannuation Professionals Association (SPAA) conference today with Aaron Dunn from the SMSF Academy about social media for SMSFs.