Women, investing & female entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan

Focusing on the unique requirements of the female entrepreneur

May 19, 2017

Recently, we came across a startling statistic. Among high net worth women, 80% switch wealth advisors after the death of their husband. (Source: The Globe and Mail, Rob Carrick, June 15, 2015). Why on earth would they do that? We started digging.

Money is not gender-neutral

While we were already aware that money is not a gender-neutral topic, we wanted to discover – precisely – how and in what way women:

  1. Think and talk about managing and investing money.
  2. Think and talk about managing and investing money compared with men.
  3. Are succeeding as entrepreneurs and founders of new businesses in Saskatchewan.

We found the following quote, from Sarah Widmeyer, managing director and head of wealth strategies for CIBC:

‘Women think about money in terms of safety and security and once we’ve got that in place we think about translating money into the achievement of goals.’ Ms. Widmeyer added: ‘We don’t really think about alpha-beta investment returns.’

Published in an article in the May 8, 2017 edition of The Globe and Mail (Women view money differently – planners should get that by Kathy Kerr), the piece also referenced the following:

‘An online poll conducted by Angus Reid in February 2017 found women investors were focused on savings, with 48% saying their retirement portfolio investments primarily contained GICs, savings accounts or other guaranteed investments. Only 37% said their retirement portfolio was primarily invested in stocks, including mutual funds. And 70% said volatility in the stock market makes them nervous investors’.

Are women more risk averse than men?

So are women more risk averse than men? Not if the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (W.E.) is anything to go by. Headed by Prabha Mitchell (Hon.) CPA, CGA, MSW, this 900-member organization is over 20 years old and forging ahead dramatically.

Their website (www.womenentrepreneurs.sk.ca) states that they have worked with hundreds of women, helping them start, purchase and expand businesses. W.E. provides business advisory and support services, start-up, purchase and expansion lending, mentoring and networking, and many learning opportunities from seminars and webinars to events. Since 1995, women have received over $30 million in loans through W.E. along with professional advice.

Conclusion? Female entrepreneurship is clearly alive and well in Saskatchewan and it is continuing to shape and enhance our provincial economy.

Gearing up for a tidal wave of change

The larger question is whether the Saskatchewan wealth advisory profession as a whole is keeping pace with the distinctive and rapidly expanding personal, professional and business financial needs of our female entrepreneurs?

At Cooper Schneider financial we are focusing on the unique requirements of the female entrepreneur. We have a high percentage of female clients, including professionals, executives and business owners.

We think about it this way.

Our research confirms that women already control roughly one-third of the financial assets in North America, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group. That’s about $3.3 trillion in total assets in Canadian terms, based on figures from the research group Investor Economics. And these numbers have nowhere to go but up.

That’s a tidal wave of change. We welcome it.

Daryl Cooper, Portfolio Manager, Scotia Wealth Management, 306-343-3255.
Colleen Schneider, Wealth Advisor, Scotia Wealth Management, 306-664-1860.