SAFE Working Paper No. 309

Gender Differences in Financial Advice

We show that financial advisors recommend more costly products to female clients, based on minutes from about 27,000 real-world advisory meetings and client portfolio data. Funds recom- mended to women have higher expense ratios controlling for risk, and women less often receive rebates on upfront fees for any given fund. We develop a model relating these findings to client stereotyping, and empirically verify an additional prediction: Women (but not men) with higher financial aptitude reject recommendations more frequently. Women state a preference for delegat- ing financial decisions, but appear unaware of associated higher costs. Evidence of stereotyping is stronger for male advisors.