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For the past 50 years, the power and consistency of the feminist movement has created ideal conditions for the emergence of women in the advice channel who truly understand the importance of financial independence and value its attainment.

And, no surprise, these women clients seek both like and like-minded financial professionals to guide them toward that independence. They want advisors who possess qualities associated with their gender—the ability to listen, plan long-term, reduce risk, and create a stable future.

But, in addition to those who grew up knowing they’d manage their own money, emerging social trends have spawned a new category of female client for the 21st century: Newly divorced women who are 50 or older. This phenomenon, combined with natural female longevity, means more widows and older ex-wives will be in the market for advice. Regardless of how they get there, they’ll be attaining fi nancial independence late in life. For some, it will be freeing; for others, scary. And, if statistics are accurate, most will ask female advisors to teach them what they must know to manage money effectively for the rest of their lives.

Firms and senior male advisors are also driving change—by actively seeking women successors. The business has changed since the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. A larger percentage of clients come in as couples, and neither party takes a backseat. Female partners expect equal time getting concepts and planning directions explained, and advisors looking to hand off practices know they need successors capable of communicating effectively with this new client demographic. For advisors keen on ensuring the legacy of the fi rms they’ve built, the choice is clear: Women are an integral part of the advice side of their operations.

For our part, Advisor’s Edge will continue to help enhance skills and make women advisors as successful as possible. We’ve dedicated this issue to the emerging trends for women in the advice channel and have captured a number of female voices that will help lead the way forward.

As part of that commitment, the Advisor Group is proud to launch its inaugural “Investing In You” conference to address the needs of women in the advice channel and provide the networking opportunities for building foundations for tomorrow’s clients.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge