Nicola Beswick
Nicola Beswick

Senior Financial Adviser


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More women taking charge of their finances

Everyone can benefit from financial planning at key life stages, but women often have different career and lifestyle goals and circumstances from men, and different triggers for seeking advice.

In this article, Senior Adviser, Nicola Beswick, shares her thoughts about the common planning challenges and opportunities women face when it comes to taking charge of their finances.

How do women’s financial advice needs typically differ from men’s?

Although parenting roles and responsibilities are slowly changing and there is a shift towards more paid leave for all parents, women still experience more frequent career interruption due to both parenting and caring for elders. They are also more likely to have "portfolio careers" that see them change jobs more often, consult, freelance or explore entrepreneurial endeavours. From a financial perspective, this impacts everything from income variability; to financial security, to slower accumulation of superannuation. These are all factors a good financial adviser will help mitigate by ensuring optimal strategies are in place to maximise super. Solutions may include salary sacrificing to make additional super contributions to take advantage of the government co-contributions and/or using spouse contributions along with actively managing super investments for better performance.

Insurances, such as Trauma, Total and Permanent Disability and Income Protection can help ensure illness or injury doesn’t sabotage a woman’s wealth building success in her peak earning years. Later, as women transition to retirement, it’s important to have a plan in place to carefully manage assets to achieve the financial security and lifestyle goals that are most important to them

Do you see any common themes in what women look for in a financial adviser?

I do meet a lot of new clients who are specifically seeking a relationship with a female adviser. I think it’s really about finding someone likeminded who they feel they can click with and who will be more likely to relate to, and empathise with, their situation and challenges. Typically, women who come to me for financial planning advice are looking for a coach and mentor to guide their decision-making. They don’t want to be told what to do, but to learn about good financial management and investment strategies and build confidence in their own capabilities. In that way I’m like a personal trainer or life coach; I’m helping my female clients get money fit.

What are some of the key triggers for women to seek advice?

Family change is one of the biggest triggers for women to seek financial advice – divorce and separation, the sudden loss of a partner or the need to care for elderly parents. These are highly stressful life events, but they’re also big financial turning points where it’s crucial to have good legal and financial advice, because the decisions you make can have far reaching implications.

As well as these kinds of reasons for seeking financial advice, I’m also meeting a growing number of professional, young women who want to set up their own financial plan to remain independent and in control of their future, regardless of their relationship status.

This gels with recent ASX reports that the number of women investing in shares is on the rise. Women have been early adopters of online investing platforms, which have made it easier to get started with investing through access to ETFs - or electronically traded funds.

We’re often approached by women in their late 20’s or early 30’s who want to get started with investing and building wealth but are not necessarily at a stage where they need our full financial advice service. That’s why FMD has launched our own online investment platform called Rev Invest. ETFs are a great opportunity for smart, young investors, but not all ETFs are equal. Rev Invest is all about giving younger investors access to our Investment Committee expertise garnered over 21 years in the business, in an easy and affordable way. In the future, the lives of those RevI nvest clients will become more complex and then they’ll know where to turn for advice, but right now, for those young women, it’s about starting to grow their money through diversified investments in portfolios that match their aspirations, risk appetite and values.

Any final thoughts?

While there are common themes among the women I advise, each of them has unique goals and things that are important to them in life. I work with women from all walks of life, from 30 to 40-year old’s who have been through traumatic life events, to those undergoing divorce and even caring for elderly parents. My job is to understand what matters most to them as individuals and help them achieve it. That’s why FMD's focus on building Health, Wealth and Happiness through financial planning resonates so strongly with my clients. I want more women to experience the confidence that comes from having a plan and knowing they’ll be OK financially, whatever life throws their way. That’s why I love my job.

General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. Rev Invest Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.