NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Women are loyal to their financial advisors and appreciate guidance with investments, and there is one attribute in particular that both younger and older female investors are looking for in a financial advisor.

A survey of Gen X female investors as well as "Silent Generation" senior females contrasts the attitudes of the two generations. But there is a distinct similarity: a large majority of both groups of female investors -- 93% in the Silent Generation (ages 67-80) and 78% of "Generation X" (ages 32-47) -- indicated that they would stay with their current advisor, even after the death of a spouse or partner, according to a new study from Russell Investments.

Not only are both groups loyal to their financial consultant, they are very willing to offer referrals to new clients. More than half (54% Generation X and 64% of the Silent Generation) said they have recommended their advisors to a friend or family member.

"Undoubtedly, women are an attractive target client segment for financial advisors given their growing economic power," says Jaylene Howard, consulting director for Russell's U.S. advisor-sold business. "They can be predisposed to take a longer-term perspective, are assuming greater responsibility for investing decisions and value tailored guidance from an advisor. It's clear that when they feel they are being heard and are on track to their investment goals, women are loyal clients who will often actively refer their advisors to family and friends."

And these female investors are looking for assistance, as 52% of Gen X women and more than a third (35%) of the Silent Generation admit that they know "a little" or "nothing at all" about investing.

"Nine in ten women will manage their financial assets on their own at some point in their lifetimes," Howard said. "For many women, understanding this fact dramatically impacts how they approach financial decision-making and investing."

And there is one attribute both generations are seeking most from a financial advisor: active listening skills. Fully 86% of Generation X and 87% of Silent Generation women said that was the most important factor to a successful and lasting relationship with their advisors.

Additionally, Gen X women are seeking advisors that offer effective recommendations, clear explanations of investments and explanations of how decisions may affect them in the future. Silent Generation women rely on advisors to provide personal service as well as a personal connection outside of the business relationship.

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet