15th April 1996 is the date on the Chartered Insurance Institutes Financial Planning Certificate. That’s 25 years ago this week when the Certificate was awarded to Christina after three months intensive training at the National and Provincial Building Society on Parker Lane in Burnley.
The rest is history as they say and if you’re interested we have written in detail about Christina’s journey on the website. But safe to say, training to become an adviser was the best decision Christina ever made.
Interestingly to coincide International Women’s Day last month there has been analysis in the financial press about the increasing number of women looking after the family finances. Currently the numbers are skewed 60% to 40% in favour of men making the financial decisions, but this rapidly changing. By 2025 the Centre for Business and Economic Research estimates that the numbers will have completely turned around with women controlling the decision making in 60% of households.
This is a real change. Back in the 90’s when Christina started things were very different. There was lots of evidence, albeit anecdotal, that companies would not even let their advisers speak to women about financial planning because their assumption was that they would only have to go home and ask their husbands opinion!
How times have changed.
These days diversity in the workplace is a key priority for all organisations and is even being driven into regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Recent data has shown that almost 75% of women felt that their adviser (male) didn’t fully understand their goals and spirations. Some of the complaints against male advisers included their use of jargon, unwelcoming approach and worst all patronising tone.
Christina has always had an advantage in this respect being completely the opposite with all her clients – both male and female. She’s never tried to appeal only to women. But of course, being a female financial adviser can be an advantage when you consider that twice as many women would prefer a female advisor, as opposed to men who are unconcerned according to the research.
In our firm it has always been an equal mix of advice to both men and women and most commonly to husband and wife together.