Personal Finance Industry Patronizes Women, Says Book


Updated on Tue Jan 29, 2013

Hold on to those dollars, ladies. The personal finance industry can be an immensely helpful one, but sometimes professionals seriously underestimate women’s intellect when it comes to money, even when those women are financially independent or are in charge of the household’s finances.

That’s the argument proposed by Helaine Olen in an excerpt from her new book “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.” Olen writes:

When the Boston Consulting Group surveyed women in 2009, they found an astonishing 70 percent complained about subpar treatment from financial professionals, citing everything from “being talked to like an infant” to credentialed experts repeatedly making the assumption that the male half of a couple was the financial decision maker. A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research last year discovered would-be advisers were less likely to ask women about their work and financial situations than men, but were more likely to insist those same women transfer funds over to their care before discussing specific investments with them. “This behavior might be based on the perception that women or more docile or gullible,” the paper’s authors dryly concluded.

Click here to the rest of the excerpt.


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