How Men and Women Manage Money

Adri Miller-Heckman is a former financial advisor who now coaches other advisors about how to get—and keep—female clients.

She recently penned a book entitled “The Key’s to the Ladies Room.” We caught up with Miller-Heckman and picked her brain on the differences between how men and women manage finances.

What money management lesson would women be well served to learn from men?

Risk is not a four-letter word. Women’s lack of financial understanding often causes them to play it too safe. Without a growth component, which often requires calculated risk, you increase the chance of falling short of your investment goals and or potentially running out of money—a serious concern for single women.

Where do women excel when it comes to money management? 

All that glitters is not gold. Just because everyone is talking about an investment does not mean it will continue to perform. Men have a greater tendency to get caught up in the hype or decisions promoted by their peers, while women tend to stay more focused on personal long-term goals and objectives. Every investment decision should be driven by your pre-determined philosophy and financial plan rather than the latest hot stock or mutual fund. Women, hold your ground here.

How can couples leverage strengths that tend to come naturally to each sex to put their household in the best possible financial position?  

Women need to step up and men have to back down. Women have a tendency to shy away from getting involved with the big money and investment decisions in the household. Women’s resistance to investing and financial issues has, in a large part, been fueled by the financial services industry, which was built by men to help male advisors attract male clients, incorporating methods that are almost abrasive to women.

What questions should women ask potential financial advisors to avoid hiring someone who takes a male-centric approach? 

Why do you care about me? Be sure the financial advisor can validate why he or she cares about women, what experience in his or her life has motivated him or her to take the time and effort to focus on the needs of women.

How will you make my life easier? Learn how the advisor is committed to enhancing your knowledge and understanding about your financial life.


Miller-Heckman will be in Chicago Thursday, June 13 to lead a workshop for financial professionals who want to learn how to better serve women. For more information, visit her website