Embracing change: How affluent women stay focused and plan for the future

woman and child playing on the beach

Affluent women share how they manage through change and unpredictability

The one certainty about life is that it’s always changing — in all directions. And while we can’t predict what will happen, we can manage the ways change impacts us. Wells Fargo recently conducted research with affluent women across a spectrum of wealth — from emerging affluent to ultra-high-net-worth — to better understand how women prepare for and manage the unpredictability of life.

Through our research, four distinct areas emerged in which women play a particularly active and engaged role:

They are great managers of uncertainty

Infographic of 9 out of ten women see themselves as resilient in times of uncertainty


9 out of 10 see themselves as resilient in times of uncertainty

They are active in varied forms of financial decision-making

Role in household financial decision-making

Infographic of Primary and Shared decision-making percentages

Role in household financial decision-making

Primary 43%
Shared 53%

The approach to financial decisions often changes with:

Wealth growth: Affects spending, risk tolerance, philanthropy, and inheritance.

Spousal role changes: Life events can add new responsibilities.

Parenting: Women take the lead in educating children financially.

Infographic of behaviors listed in the transcript below.

Research respondents indicated that:

73%  Take the lead in instilling financial values in children
72%  Would value help from an advisor in educating children financially
27%  Advisor currently helps educate children financially

They are leaders in several areas, including financial education

Areas in which women see themselves as leaders:

Infographic of participation levels described in transcript below.

Research respondents indicated their level of involvement in these areas:

68%   Family
60%   Finances
55%   Health

They are communicators and respond to open and honest dialogue

Open communicators, engaged learners

Research insights also indicated women want advisors to explain things simply, with open and informative conversations. The message we heard from the research is clear: “Teach, don’t tell. Guide me, but don’t condescend.” It’s important for all women to stay engaged and involved, even at times when they’re not solely responsible for financial decision-making. Staying engaged helps women feel more empowered.

Topics women want to discuss with advisors:

Infographic of the percentages and phrases listed in the transcript below.

1 Insurance products are offered through nonbank insurance agency affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. Not available in all states.

Topics women want to discuss with advisors:

Wealth transfer 57%
Asset protection 1 53%
Financial acumen 53%
Family & financial dynamics 37%


1 Insurance products are offered through nonbank insurance agency affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. Not available in all states.

 

These insights are meant to spark conversations between clients and advisors that are relevant, inspiring, and actionable — to help women make informed decisions with confidence and plan for what matters most.