These days, if you want to get to the top of your career, hard work will not do; you need to plan well and strategize. For busy young women professionals or those who do not know much about financial management and planning, hiring a financial advisor or representative might seem like a good option.

However, some financial advice may not turn out the same way to women of different demographics. It is for this reason that research is done on this exactly, and Fidelity, who provides employer-based retirement accounts, took part in this project by liberating financial advice from the traditional ones tailored to fit everyone to more specific advice, this time depending on each woman client’s demographic.

According to the consulting firm’s representative, a significant number of companies and organizations offering financial advisor and planning services are beginning to see that financial advice is not “one-size-fits-all”; the number continues to grow up steadily as well.

They have started changing the format of the planning and information they provide to their clients based on several factors — for example, women’s nationality, income groups, career direction, and amount of credit/debt.

The challenges women face

The customized way of advising and planning also takes into consideration the challenges faced not by men but by women alone.

This includes the tendency of lower income (even for the same job), more leaves and vacation periods (due to events and responsibilities like pregnancy and taking care of children), and the fact that women tend to live longer than men. Hence, they also have a shorter time to save and prepare for their future retirement.


Are women behind financially?

While revising the ways financial advisors cater to their clients is a massive improvement, this is not to say that women are way behind than men in today’s markets. They are far from being dominant, but from where they were a couple of centuries ago, progress has made the future brighter for young women professionals of today. Women are finally given the chances and opportunities to chase after their aspirations in life, something our women ancestors from decades ago were deprived of.

However, we also cannot deny that ghosts of patriarchy and male dominance of the past remain today, and it is reflected by how the wage gap remains to be a problem today. It is for this reason that Fidelity is giving some special treatment to women in their financial advice and plans.

Considering the challenges that are faced by women alone, there is a great need to adjust their financial and retirement plans accordingly. They need to make up for the extra funds they did not earn due to the wage gap, the income they did not get because of pregnancy leaves, and the additional years they have to live off after they retire.

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Financial and retirement plans specifically for women

It is for this reason that women are the primary target clients of financial institutions such as Fidelity. The numbers and data would show that there is a greater need for women to have access to financial and retirement plans. It is not anymore surprising that women who do not have such end up financially unprepared for retirement.

A perspective from the opposition

While the likes of Fidelity may think that this new approach is the key to more successful financial management and planning for women, it is to be expected that there will be some financial companies who would be uncomfortable with the idea of customizing their financial services according to factors like sex/gender and race.

Such reactions of uncertainty are backed up by reasonable appeals as well. We have to take into consideration that this tactic of customizing services based on demographics may sometimes come off or even encourage discrimination.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva



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