Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Affluent Alpha Ladies Unite!

We held our second meeting last night for a group of women who are engaging in a conversation about investing their assets to align with their values. We are also focused on how the finance world could better engage women. Maybe, it's just the Bay Area, but all of these women are interested in the private markets, including angel investing and putting money into venture, private equity and hedge funds. The group discussed banding together to buy into funds with seven digit minimums. First things first: women want to feel more secure with the logistical aspects of their financial picture, like estate planning and life insurance. Then, they'd be ready to move on to "high-class" problems, such as identifying the right private equity fund to invest in. Reminders for financial advisers: women grow weary of feeling that their adviser uses too much jargon, that they have to push to get clarity on fees or more cooperation on values based investing. From our survey (currently, we have 64 respondents. I'll write more about the survey after we get 100 responses), affluent women want to see a vastly improved financial services landscape. Over 50% responded that financial institutions "give me a headache" or worse. Some of the features they'd like to see: clear, simple language (81%), greater transparency on fees (80%), to invest my assets to align with my values (91%), more competence and/or confidence with money and investing (90.0%) and many more eye-popping findings. Note that this is a biased sample. Over 1/3 of respondents have more than $1 million in liquid assets.