6 Smart Takeaways From Women Advisors Forum California

Networking, marketing and educating female clients were popular topics at the Women Advisors Forum in Newport Beach, Calif., on Nov. 14. Here are some of the things we heard from top female advisors and other professionals during the one-day event. -- Margarida Correia

Images: Southbay Studio

1. Donít assume all women are the same. 1. Donít assume all women are the same.

Just because theyíre all women doesnít mean theyíre sharing the same life experience, said Laura Kogen, vice president of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. Kogen provided tips for advisors working with married women, widows and divorcees and female executives. Advisors who work with married women, for example, may have trouble engaging them in the financial planning and decision-making process. Kogen suggested that advisors recruit husbands to be part of the solution by pulling them aside and asking them for their cooperation.

Read more about Kogenís talk here.

2. Recruit & mentor others. 2. Recruit & mentor others.

The greatest responsibility advisors have is to mentor the next generation, said Raymond James advisor Mary Owens (left), president of investments at Owens Estate and Wealth Strategies Group in Grass Valley, Calif. We have to take responsibility for reshaping who is in this industry.Owens urged the audience to help escort the next generation of advisors through the great hall of professional and character development, adding that character was the single most important criteria for letting people through the door.

3. Teach your (clients') children. 3. Teach your (clients') children.

Advisors who want to differentiate themselves, particularly among high-net-worth clients, should revise their offering with an emphasis on education. The biggest opportunity to distinguish yourself from your peers and competitors is how you teach your clients today, said Darla Sipolt, regional director of Institutional Sales at TD Ameritrade. Sipolt urged advisors to teach the children of their high-net-worth clients, saying that matriarchs and patriarchs of wealthy families worry that their children wonít know how to handle the money theyíre going to inherit.

Read more about Sipoltís presentation here.

4. Set up group learning opportunities. 4. Set up group learning opportunities.

Women love to learn in groups, said Candace Bahr (left), founder of Bahr Investment Group in Carlsbad, Calif. She and fellow planner Ginita Wall (right) encouraged female advisors to use education as a platform for networking.. For example, for the past 25 years the two have held a popular monthly networking event for women going through divorce.

Read more about Bahrís networking events here.

5. Check out AIER.org. 5. Check out AIER.org.

The American Institute for Economic Research aims to educate the public about the economy and may be a helpful resource for advisors eager to educate their clients, said Natalia Smirnova, assistant director of research and education at AIER. The independent, nonpartisan organization publishes very digestable research reports, she said, along with a slew of economic metrics, that advisors can share with clients.

6. Consider a new asset class. 6. Consider a new asset class.

Peer-to-peer lending might soon emerge as a new asset class that advisors can suggest to clients. Two exchanges -- lendingclub.com and prosper.com -- allow people with cash to connect directly with people with debt, eliminating the need for a bank. Individual lenders generate monthly interest income, while helping the top 10% of borrowers get out of debt, said Rob Suber, head of global institutional sales at Prosper Marketplace.

Other forums are on tap for 2014, with events slated for Dallas, New York, Chicago and California. For more details, visit womenadvisorforum.ning.com and join the Women Advisors Forum community.

Read more from our previous conference: Smartest Takeaways From Women Advisors Forum Chicago.