SOURCE: BMO Private Bank

BMO Private Bank

May 09, 2013 18:09 ET

BMO Private Bank Mother's Day Study: Many Arizona Women Act as CFO or Co-CFO of Their Household Yet Forgo Advice on Managing the Family's Hard-Earned Money

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) -

  • One-in-three Arizona women make the call on savings, investments and retirement
  • Ninety-four percent own/co-own day-to-day budgeting and spending decisions
  • Despite this financial clout, an overwhelming two-thirds of Arizona women do not have a financial advisor
  • Trustworthiness and honesty among top traits sought in financial advisor

Women in Arizona play an important role in household financial decisions, with 94 percent taking charge or sharing decisions equally regarding groceries, children's clothing and other everyday necessities, a Mother's Day Study by BMO Private Bank has revealed. However, only three-quarters (76 percent) are either the primary decision-makers or share ownership of decisions related to savings, investments and retirement compared to 84 percent of women nationally.

According to the study:

  • More than half (52 percent) of Arizona women work with their spouse or partner to decide which banks and financial institutions they will use, compared to just 46 percent of women nationally
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of Arizona women do not use the services of a financial advisor compared to 58 percent nationally
  • 80 percent of women nationally find friendliness an important trait in a financial advisor while only 66 percent of Arizona women share that sentiment

"Women currently control about one-third of the wealth in the United States, earning them the role of 'Chief Financial Officer' or 'Co-CFO' within their household," said April Ward, a wealth advisor and regional director with BMO Financial Group. "Women in Arizona are no exception, with many sharing equal billing on decisions regarding the family's daily spending and long-term goals."

The study also noted that women in Arizona are more likely to be managing their investments without the help of an advisor, because they are confident in their own abilities to manage investments (22 percent vs. 17 percent). However:

  • More than half (53 percent) of those without a financial advisor do not believe they have enough money to justify hiring one
  • Only 15 percent of Arizona women turn to a financial advisor for long-term financial planning compared to 21 percent of women nationally

"How much money you have should not be the determining factor in hiring a financial advisor," noted Ward. "Rather, it is critical to seek help in building up your savings so you can develop sound strategies to achieve your financial goals."

The study also identified the top attributes that women seek in a financial advisor:

  • Arizona women, much like their counterparts across the country, consider being trustworthy and honest as the most important trait in a financial advisor (45 percent in Arizona vs. 47 percent nationally)
  • They are less concerned than women nationally about fees charged (73 vs. 81 percent), or regular communication (68 vs. 81 percent)
  • Only 77 percent of Arizona women rank level of experience as an important trait compared to 87 percent of women nationally.
  • When it comes to other attributes, men are more likely to consider accessible hours (men: 46 percent, women 39 percent) or gender (men: 13 percent, women: 7 percent) as very important traits, while women are more likely to place a high level of importance on having an advisor who listens (men: 74 percent, women: 80 percent) and communicates (men: 61 percent, women: 68 percent).

"Women in Arizona should be seeking financial advisors who can help identify their financial goals, develop a solid financial plan and manage their investments," said Ward. "With women taking on this new CFO role at home, the industry must listen to them and work harder to respond to their needs." 

About BMO Private Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group:
BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.

BMO and BMO Financial Group are trade names used by Bank of Montreal.

All results come from a Pollara survey fielded online with 1,500 Americans between April 26th and May 1st, 2013. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size would be +/- 2.5 percent, 19 times out of 20. This includes a sample of 200 Arizona residents.

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