According to an Ephraim Global study, financial consultants face significant communication issues which can lead to a deterioration of business relations when a life partner dies or a marriage ends among couples they are working on behalf of.
The survey which polled over 1,200 Ephraim Global clients across multiple generations, examined the objectives and actions of wed and unwed couples in regards to communicating about their finances.
While couples represent more than half of a financial advisor’s base of clients, 42% of the respondent couples state that only one of the partners is in charge of their relationship with their advisor. Taking into account the fact that 7 in 10 women renounce the services of their financial advisors within a year of being widowed the results of the study raises a serious problem for consultants which endeavor to serve the interest of both partners while trying to retain their business over extended periods of time.
“Based on the survey’s results we can definitely admit that miscommunication between couples and their advisors represent a significant issue for the latter group. Due to the fact that advisors generally deal with only one half of a couple rather than both, often times they do not have the necessary insight to effectively serve the remaining spouse in the event of a divorce or death, and that is precisely why it is vital for advisors to create a functional business relation with both members” said Caleb Gotch, Senior Vice President at Ephraim Global.
Analyzing the results from a gender-center point of view, it becomes evident that men and women have significantly different attitudes in terms of communicating about their finances, with 72% of males stating that they consider themselves as the ultimate financial decision maker within the couple compared to only 28% of women, and 67% of men stating that they are more knowledgeable and better suited to make financial decisions compared to 33% of the respondent women.
Millennial clients (age 20 to 35) are more prone to reply that they share the same views as their partner in terms of investment and retirement planning (62%) compared to older generations, even though Generation X and Baby Boomer generation couples are more likely to make major financial decisions together.
Additionally, while Millennials are less inclined to interact jointly with their financial advisors compared to their older counterparts they are more likely to form a stronger business bond with their advisors and even share personal information which can lessen a consultant’s efforts to better serve the other half of the couple in the event of unforeseen life transitions.
Founded in 2005, Tokyo-based Ephraim Global is an international asset management group serving clients around the world. The company offers a wide range of financial advisory and planning services, bond and mutual funds, diversified asset portfolios, pension plans and account management for private and institutional clients alike, focusing on diversification, extensive research and a risk-aware investment approach.
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