By Robin C. Catlin, CFP ®, MBA
Managing Director, Matter Family Office
We are on the cusp of an unprecedented shift in the US financial landscape.
By the numbers: From 2010 to 2015, private wealth held by women grew from $34 trillion to $51 trillion. By 2021, women are expected to hold $72 trillion.
Source: <Economist Intelligence Unit (2018) study>
Some of this change is due to the fact that women are earning more than we ever have. We’re running companies, launching startups, and helping to drive innovation and evolution across the global marketplace. Another major factor is wealth transfer. Over the next three decades, women will be inheriting significant wealth from their aging parents and spouses, which, historically speaking, is a recent evolution. Gender shifts toward female property ownership and inheritance, more equitable divorce laws, and women’s longer lifespans are all contributing to this paradigm shift and helping to shape a new financial future.
At Matter Family Office, we want women everywhere to be ready for this change. Whether you are inheriting money or earning more than you ever have before, we want you to feel confident, informed, and empowered to make good decisions around your wealth. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the financial space, whether you’re new to it or looking for a new perspective.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Finances can be intimidating, even for people immersed in the business world every day. If you don’t understand something—whether it’s an estate term, a financial strategy, or an investment option—speak up. Being curious and asking questions will spark the kind of dialogue that helps you gain a clearer understanding of your financial world and give you the foundational knowledge to make good decisions.
Find a great support team.
Managing wealth can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s a whole industry of people who can support you on your journey. When seeking help, we recommend focusing on a few key criteria:
- Keep it together. Choosing a team that takes an integrated approach to managing wealth (rather than individuals who specialize in specific areas) will help you see the complete picture of your financial world more clearly, so you can strategize and plan more effectively.
- Honor your learning and communication styles. Align with financial advisors who have the skills to meet you where you are and communicate with you clearly and effectively. The right team will take time to help you learn and equip you with the tools and knowledge to feel confident and proactive when it comes to your wealth.
- Don’t forget your values. Managing wealth shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. Look for a team that will help you articulate your values and establish a purpose for your wealth, so your strategies for spending, building, and sharing your wealth are grounded in what matters most to you and your family.
- Ask how they get paid. When it comes to managing wealth, trust is paramount. If advisors are getting compensated when you buy certain products—from investments to insurance to a mortgage—they may not have your best interests in mind. Be sure you are working with a team that will build your financial strategy based on what’s best for you, not for them.
Talk about money in your relationships.
Talking about money can feel awkward. But avoiding discussions about money and wealth can be detrimental to relationships and families. In order for partnerships and families to flourish, money needs to be part of the conversation. Building the skills to communicate successfully about money and finances—whether it’s having conversations with aging parents, discussing wealth goals with your partner, or talking to your children about money—will help you all align on a greater purpose for your wealth and thrive as a family.
Matter is thrilled that more women are becoming financial decision-makers and power players. We believe that diverse viewpoints and values around wealth will encourage industry innovation, inspire new conversations, and challenge the financial sector to communicate and collaborate with a broader audience. As a woman-founded firm with a strong bench of female leaders, we’re here for you—and we can’t wait to see the change you will bring.
This report is the confidential work product of Matter Family Office. Unauthorized distribution of this material is strictly prohibited. The information in this report is deemed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. Some of the conclusions in this report are intended to be generalizations. The specific circumstances of an individual’s situation may require advice that is different from that reflected in this report. Furthermore, the advice reflected in this report is based on our opinion, and our opinion may change as new information becomes available. Nothing in this presentation should be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. You should read the prospectus or offering memo before making any investment. You are solely responsible for any decision to invest in a private offering. The investment recommendations contained in this document may not prove to be profitable, and the actual performance of any investment may not be as favorable as the expectations that are expressed in this document. There is no guarantee that the past performance of any investment will continue in the future.