While the number of professionals in our Quebec society has increased exponentially1, the presence of women in the professional workforce has also grown rapidly. Women are now strongly represented in professions where they were a minority just a few decades ago.
Via a survey conducted by Ipsos2, the Financial wanted to better understand the needs and expectations of today’s professionals, both men and women. The results show that female professionals have different concerns than their male counterparts and that their financial priorities are much more eclectic. The importance that women place on family will not surprise anyone: whether it’s the education and wellbeing of their children, or caring for an elderly or autonomy-challenged parent, women remain on the front lines.
Savings, budget, investments…
Invested in their practice, professional women often have little time to plan their financial future. Although they are generally excellent managers of their daily finances, investment and tax strategies remain unfamiliar territory for most of them. In the Ipsos survey, women indicated that:
- They have less assets (4 out of 10 have less than $250,000).
- They have a much lower risk tolerance (91% have a low to moderate tolerance).
- They have less investment knowledge than their male counterparts (63% say they have little or no investment knowledge).
While 9 out of 10 professionals have a financial advisor, men are much more involved in seeking information and are more willing to speak with their advisor than their female counterparts. With their busy schedules, professional women tend to rely more on the advice and expertise of their advisor, although this attitude seems to be changing with young professionals.
When retirement comes
Although professionals often have longer careers than the average worker, the time to retire inevitably comes. And it is in this regard that
women are at a disadvantage, since they have less savings than men and are therefore less able to live off these savings. Their involvement in the well-being of their family is such that they often forget to prepare for the day when they will eventually retire and to build a sufficient nest egg. Although behaviours are changing among 19-35-year-old professionals, financial considerations and medium- and long-term planning are still rarely discussed.
The value of advice
Women have made great strides in terms of personal fulfilment and financial independence. Now these gains must be translated into greater financial security to cope with life events and the ability to achieve long-cherished dreams and to plan for a comfortable retirement free from financial worry.
At the Financial, we are acutely aware of the challenges facing professional women. Our proximity to our professional association shareholders enables us to monitor their progress and to adjust to the new expectations of women, be they doctors, dentists, notaries, pharmacists or architects.
In 2017, the financial issues of interest to professional women include investments, incorporation, income splitting, retirement planning, and estate planning. As professionals, they deserve the services of competent experts not only to manage their wealth, but also to listen to their concerns and to find effective, event-specific solutions at each stage of their lives.
Our team of advisors, supported by our team of tax specialists, notaries, financial planners and investment experts, has the experience, the expertise and, especially, the understanding of your professional reality to provide you with the assistance you need. Upcoming articles will tell you more about our approach.
Christine Le Jeune, Regional Vice-President, Montréal and Western Quebec, Wealth Management
Ginette Paquin, Vice-President, Communications and Marketing
2 Ipsos, Market Study – Final Report, April 2016.
3 P. Keroack, Une relève à l’image de la profession, Le Spécialiste, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2017.