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Women’s guide to finding the right advisor

Six questions to help you identify a trusted professional you’ll feel comfortable working with as you pursue your financial goals

WHAT DO WOMEN WANT when they search for a financial advisor? “Obviously, I want to make money,” one woman told us. But she also wanted someone who would listen carefully and understand her financial priorities. Another woman shared that she sought an advisor who could help her invest according to her values.


“Women are looking for reliable sources of information to help them on their financial journeys, and they’re finding that a go-to, trusted advisor can help make their financial lives easier,” says Jen Auerbach-Rodriguez, managing director of Strategic Growth Markets and client development executive at Merrill Wealth Management. Yet while most women surveyed for the Merrill study, “Women, money, confidence: A lifelong relationship,” said they’d be comfortable talking to an advisor about their finances, more than half said they haven’t yet worked with one.1

One of the main hurdles may simply be not knowing how to find the right match, says Auerbach-Rodriguez. “It’s such an important relationship, involving trust and expertise. You want someone you’ll feel comfortable sharing personal information and aspirations with,” she adds. Talk to your friends and do a little research online. Once you’ve identified a handful of potential candidates, you can use the following six questions to get to know each of them better. Finding someone who will understand your unique financial needs is important. But don’t forget to also consider: Is this someone I’ll look forward to speaking with regularly about my finances and my progress toward my goals?

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1. How many women clients do you work with and how have you helped them?

2. How often will we connect to discuss financial strategies and investment ideas?

3. What mobile and digital resources do you have to help me save time?

4. How can you help me be better prepared for retirement?

5. What resources can you offer to help me pursue other important financial goals?

6. What haven’t I asked you that I should ask now?

These questions are a good start. But you’ll also want to ask potential advisors practical questions about their track records and the costs involved.


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1Merrill and Ipsos, “Women, money, confidence: A lifelong relationship,” February 2022.

2Gusto, “Survey: Entrepreneurs Seizing New Business Opportunities Amid the Great Resignation,” June 23, 2022.

3National Association of Realtors Research Group, “2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report,” March 28, 2023.


Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.


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