Voices of experience – Farida Hassanali supports #AdviseHer

Farida Photo
For financial professionals only

For Women’s History Month, we spoke to Farida Hassanali, Senior Financial Planner at Paradigm Norton, about her personal experience in the world of financial advice, her advice for anyone thinking of joining the profession and her views on how we can build more confidence amongst women when it comes to investing. Here’s what she had to say...

Being a financial adviser is a great profession, and for many women the flexibility to organise your day around other commitments is a huge advantage. But it’s definitely not a one size fits all career.

I’d recommend that anyone interested in joining a financial advice business starts by thinking about what they enjoy. If you’re not sure, a smaller advice firm might allow you to try a bit of everything.

Looking back, I think the fact I’m a woman drove me to get more qualifications than I probably needed to try and ‘prove myself’. I’m glad I pushed myself, and always encourage others to study through their workplaces. Yes, do the exams, but don’t forget the soft skills you can learn by observing different advisers too. You can then use this to form your own style.

Becoming an adviser can be daunting, especially in a male dominated environment. However, if you’re already in a supporting role, ask to join meetings by offering to take notes or lead a specific section of the agenda. Most advisers will be grateful for the help – and there is a lot of evidence that gender balance is good for business.

Could more women advisers mean more women investors?

Women have traditionally been less likely to invest but there are signs that this is changing. According to research, 67% of women invested outside of retirement plans in 2021, up from 44% in 2018.

I believe female advisers can make a real difference here, and one of my personal objectives is to help women manage their finances for the long term. The Wisdom Council’s ‘Break the Bias’ campaign showed that women’s intention to invest increased across the board after watching female-curated digital stories.

Once women know they are investors, they are just as confident as men, and once encouraged, they are significantly more likely to invest. And they are likely to be successful. Again, research shows that women get better investing returns than men, with studies finding differences of anything from 0.4% to nearly 1% a year.

It’s easy to get confused and shy away from anything that feels risky. While risk is involved, investing is calculated risk and there are different levels of risk to choose from. It can also be easy to forget that holding all your money in cash has the risk of not keeping up with inflation.

Of course, you need some cash for short-term security. After that you can dedicate money to your 'long-term pot'. With the risk of investing, comes the potential to grow your money beyond the interest rate received from cash savings. Think of investing as money for your future self to enjoy, for example having money in your pension available to provide an income so you can step away from work when you are ready to.

Women often fulfil the ‘CEO of the household’ role, making day-to-day decisions about the money involved in the running of the house such as bills and food shopping. Advisers can help build more confidence in decision-making about their future wealth too. For example, we always default to speaking with couples together, but setting up separate meetings with both parties early in the relationship can really make a difference in helping both partners feel more engaged and comfortable in the process that follows.




This article is for financial professionals only. Any information contained within is of a general nature and should not be construed as a form of personal recommendation or financial advice. Nor is the information to be considered an offer or solicitation to deal in any financial instrument or to engage in any investment service or activity.

Parmenion accepts no duty of care or liability for loss arising from any person acting, or refraining from acting, as a result of any information contained within this article. All investment carries risk. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and investors may get back less than they put in. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.  

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