Why we need more women financial advisors now

Female Financial Advisor

(From the March 2024 Edition of eFORUM)

By Robyn K. Thompson


Between now and 2026, it’s estimated that $1 trillion will shift from Canadian baby boomers to their heirs. I am not among those expecting to inherit. My mother was a homemaker, and when my Dad lost his business, our family’s finances went downhill. Like the quote from Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, we went bankrupt “gradually and then suddenly”. We were middle class—until we landed on welfare.

The experience of being poor and bullied at school has never left me completely. I wanted a different life, and I knew it was on me to create it. I took on neighborhood jobs which included babysitting, dog walking, delivering newspapers, and even working the midnight shift waiting tables in a diner.

I also worked on my mindset, knowing that feeling financially secure was not just about a number.

The decision to become a financial advisor came while I was working as the co-anchor and co-producer of a TV program on investing. I wondered, were viewers acting on the advice? It felt like the natural next step: I wanted to make money and I also wanted to help other people make money. Afterall, I had had a front-row seat on what not to do to become wealthy, and could help others avoid unnecessary financial pain.

Despite my professional success, it took me years to finally share my personal story with clients. I assumed that if people knew I had once been poor, they wouldn’t want to invest with me. Once I did open up, I discovered people trusted me even more. My approach to growing and protecting wealth over the long term based on tax-efficient investing and a diversified all-weather portfolio resonates with clients. They know my heart is in what I do because of my own financial challenges. I’m also proof that anyone can become well-off if they develop the right mindset and consistently take the right actions.

By 2028, it is estimated that Canadian women will control almost half of all accumulated financial wealth of nearly $4 trillion from inheritances and earnings. Studies show women prefer working with female financial advisors, yet only 15% of financial advisors in Canada are women. Not only is it a missed opportunity for the industry, but it’s also a disservice to women who are often the sole financial decision-makers.

In my experience, women make great clients. They tend to do their research to find the right advisor, and are often focused on the  long term picture,  opposed to  big gains over short periods of time. Once they find the right advisor, female clients are loyal and patient stewards of capital.

To attract more female clients, firms first need to recruit more female financial advisors! A good place to start is to create a culture where female advisors can thrive. Firms that wrap themselves in a pink bow or perpetuate outdated stereotypes about women and money that are not backed by academic research, will not serve anyone well.

Female clients want to work with collaborative business partners who can support their financial journeys. Advisors need to understand their clients’ goals beyond simply the financial ones. Offering financial planning services, including how investment decisions enable each stage of life, helps build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

In my experience, working with clients in a collaborative way, who take a holistic view of compounding wealth over the long term is a lot like that Hemingway quote—only in reverse!

“How did you become rich?”

“Gradually and then suddenly.”


Robyn K. Thompson

In a career that spans nearly two decades, Robyn’s experience ranges from respected financial journalist, financial advisor, and founder of Castlemark Wealth Management, an award-winning female-focused financial advisory business to an in-demand keynote speaker.

As an accomplished financial journalist, speaker, and communicator, Robyn has appeared regularly as a financial expert in a variety of venues and media channels, including CTV’s popular talk shows Your Morning and The Social, BNN Bloomberg, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, and many others.

Robyn holds both the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation. She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) and a member of the Financial Planners Standards Council. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Wealth Professional 5-Star Women in Wealth Award, the 5-Star Top Teams Award, and Financial Literacy Champion Financial Literacy Excellence Award.

Robyn also puts her financial expertise to use promoting financial literacy, especially for young people through her association with Junior Achievement.