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Looking back, I’d emphasize to never sell yourself short and believe in the value you can add to a client. I never thought my opinions and judgment as a 22-year-old would be valuable to a client (isn’t that what my bosses are for?), but this role elevates you to positions where you will be asked for your thoughts and asked to represent the firm in various client situations.
Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.
“I listen to 20 hours of customer calls every month,” says Murphy. “Young people call and they’re trying to figure out what to do with their the money.” The answer – she says – is basic asset allocation often accomplished by putting with the help of a target date fund. “When things get more complicated they probably will want a financial advisor. But [at the start] let’s demystify it and if there is a simple investment solution focus on that. Betterment Data Scientist Sam Swift agrees. “We encourage people to be as passive as possible,” he says.
The risk/reward tradeoff is also a factor, as taking a greater level of risk tends to result in greater rewards. Here again, few would argue the point. Clearly, investing in stocks is likely to lead to greater long-term returns than investing in bonds, investing in bonds is likely to yield greater returns than putting the money in a bank account, and putting money a bank account is likely to deliver a better result than putting it under your pillow.
You should not have any credit card debt. This means you pay off your credit card balances in full every month. Why credit card debt in particular? Because if you aren’t paying that off every month, you aren’t making enough to support your basic living expenses. Once you get a budget that keeps you out of the red on a monthly basis (excluding debt like student or car loans), then you can start thinking about investing. (If you have credit card debt, try our Get Out of Debt Bootcamp.)
Several studies have shown that companies with women in senior positions perform better than those without. Although this is correlation, not causation, to an investor that distinction should not matter. If diversity in an executive team is a proxy for good management across the company, a gender lens could be a useful way to reduce risk. If a business is tackling gender-related management issues, says Amy Clarke of Tribe Impact Capital, the chances are that it is dealing well with other risks and opportunities.
"Taking just one step can break the inertia holding many women back," said Taussig. "Whether you're just getting started building a plan, looking to become more active in managing you investments, or determining how to make your savings last through retirement, commit to following through with one new step toward that goal. In most cases, you'll find you're off and running. And there is no shortage of resources to help."
He also found that cortisol levels rise during a market crash, increasing risk aversion among traders and exacerbating the decline. Since women have significant lower testosterone levels, Coates argues that they are less prone to the irrational exuberance associated with stock market bubbles. While the study by Coats is focused on biological factors, it is not the only study to draw similar conclusions with regard to the investment behavior differences between men and women.
In some cases, educated, independent, breadwinning women seem to have an aversion to the idea of being an investor. About five years ago the Washington, D.C.-based Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement was running a series of investment seminars to help a group of nurses prepare for retirement. The institute was interested in part for research purposes, because nurses would be highly educated and, presumably, interested in investing.
Many companies in the financial sector are also guilty of perpetuating a male focus, Mr Tsivrikos adds. “The language and visual aspects of investing are still very male-dominated – even things such as bank notes, which have more images of men on them. The more we have female figures on money and as visual components in the world of finance, the more they will be engaged.
MS. NELSON: So, Oulimata, I know that you are a Global Ambassador in this program, but you've also participated as a mentor for another program supported by Bank of America, the Cherie Blair Foundation's work with mentoring, particularly online mentoring. Can you talk a little bit about your experiences with both of those programs, first with the Cherie Blair Foundation?
“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”
MS. NELSON: To move things forward. So, I want to, I want to come to you Christine and the work of Bank of America because you've been long believers, obviously the partnership with Vital Voices is five years old, but you've been working for many years to, you know, really advance the development agenda, particularly women, but really to focus on partnership. Why does Bank of America believe that? I mean you are a huge corporation with lots of resources and entities around the world. Why is it important to partner with NGOs or governments?
“We were then left with a chunk of that cash plus some Unilever share options. That’s the point where Jennie really wasn’t interested,” says Mr Byrne. Initially he invested in a low-cost “tracker” fund that simply mirrored the performance of the FTSE 100 index, but after building up his confidence he put money in funds run by professional managers, which have delivered better returns.
As we say in my country "you weren't crying when you were eating the meatballs". Why is she bringing it up now and not when it actually happened? Because it's a convenient time to come out of the woodwork and get some publicity and possibly financial rewards. Welcome to the pussification of the Western world. Being a professional victim is becoming more and more widespread.
MS. CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS: Here in Haiti many women have to walk an average of five miles just to receive any kind of maternal healthcare. During my last trip here we were bouncing along the road, and I thought "Hey, why don't we run this? Why don't we run or walk this? Let's see what this really feels like." At Every Mother Counts we run as a way of educating the public about how distance is a barrier for women to access quality maternity care.
My dad doesn’t even understand what I do. Within finance there are different departments and what I do is help companies raise money. Companies can raise money by issuing stock. I don’t do stock but I do bonds, which is kind of like a contract, like a mortgage. It’s a contract between the companies and the investors basically helping the company to borrow money from investors.
And I'm thrilled to be joined by some of our past mentees and current mentors for a discussion really about the power of partnership. You know, I think that there's something really profound going on in our world today, and I think that if you look around the world, and it was echoed in all these discussions that we just had, that women are really reaching the highest levels of leadership. And I think they're getting there and they're realizing that, you know, they came a lot further than they anticipated. They have a lot more power, they have a lot more reach than they ever thought would be possible for them in their lives. And the first thing they think is, "How am I going to give back? How am I going to pay this opportunity forward? Engage more people?" And they don't just want to write a check, they really want to give of their time and their resources. They want to open up their networks.
KWHS set out to meet some of this summer’s Girls Who Invest scholars to find out about their interest in the financial industry and some of their most valuable lessons from the four weeks they spent learning about finance at Wharton. As part of the program, all of the girls are now working in a six-week paid finance-related internships. The hope is that they continue to engage with their Girls Who Invest network as they build their careers and ultimately boost the number of women in top finance positions. “To me, the combination of women and finance and education is just one of the most powerful on the globe,” observed Cowell. “We’ve seen study after study. If women can manage their own money, then families are better, violence is reduced, nutrition goes up…if more women manage money at portfolios, you see greater diversity of hiring, more optimization of portfolio returns. It’s a better outcome with so many collateral benefits. There’s certainly an intellectual understanding that diversity of thought in all its forms, including gender, is a good thing for business. Getting to the result is harder.”
Consider the guidance of a professional advisor. If thinking about saving for retirement overwhelms you, consider working with an advisor to help you set goals and make informed investment decisions. Seek recommendations from friends, or gather a group of friends together to interview potential advisors. Meeting with multiple advisors before making a decision will help ensure you find someone who is the right fit for your needs.
You may have heard it said that “women have to do more with less,” but what does that really mean? Well, given that the gender pay gap leaves the average woman earning just 80 percent of what a man earns, this means that women will have to save a higher percentage of their salary just to achieve parity with men when it comes to retirement savings. Look at it this way: If a man making a $50,000 salary puts 9 percent of his annual income away for retirement, he’d have $4,500 saved at the end of the year. But a woman in that same role would only be making $40,000. So even if she put away the same percentage, she’d only have $3,600 saved at the end of the year, a whopping $900 less. To top it off, women live an average of five years longer than men, which means their money has to stretch further — a lot further. Because of their longer lifespans, women are expected to have 39 percent higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs in retirement than men, which means they’re on track to spend an additional $194,000. It’s no wonder the Wealthsimple research found 47 percent of millennial women consider money the most stressful thing in their lives, compared to 34 percent of millennial men.
Become a mentor. The study found that 45% of women report not having a financial role model. Closing the wealth gap could deeply benefit from inter-generational collaboration. While Millennials expressed the least amount of confidence in investing, members of the Boomer and Silent Generation cite higher confidence in investing. That knowledge could be a vital resource for Gen-Xers and Millennial women. Being able to learn from other women's experiences around financial planning and planning time out from the workforce can play a key role in creating effective strategies that keep family obligations from reducing earning potential and investment opportunities. The study found that 77% of women see money in terms of what it can do for themselves and their families. Women in the study stated that understanding their finances is key to greater career flexibility (84%). That flexibility, and sharing the wisdom around how to get smart on investing, can be key to closing the wealth and pay gap permanently.
MS. JILL CALABRESE BAIN: Sure, well first I want to say I'm humbled to share the stage with these two women, and all of their tremendous accomplishments. So, ladies, thank you. You know, the state of the state is actually good. There is about ten million small businesses owned by women in the United States. It's actually the fastest growing segment of the small business population, and it represents about a third of all small business owners nationally. We have the privilege of banking about 1.2 of those, 1.2 million of those women today, so it's about 40% of what it is that we do at the bank. And when we looked at the survey the news is actually pretty good. I mean women are fairly confident in the economy today and where they believe the economy will go in the next 12 months. However, there's still some hesitation around revenue growth and long-term economic growth. And so, when we look at that it's about 44% of the women feel really confident, which is good but that's down from about 54% last year. So, we always look at access to capital. Access to capital is something that plagues both men and women. But they tend to look at sources of capital differently, and we see that women, at least in the survey that we just recently completed, only about 7% actually think that they will pursue financing in 2017, which is a little lower than their male counterparts. And sometimes what we see it's the confidence factor. They feel like they need all of the information before they even ask the question, which we know that that's not the case and we want to be able to support those women.
Kimberly has been writing for ASecureLife.com since 2013. She is passionate about home security and enjoys learning about the advances in home security and the trend of moving toward more of a do-it-yourself method. She is also an advocate for online safety and strongly believes in the power of strong passwords and identity theft protection for living a more secure life. Since purchasing her first home in 2016, Kimberly has been implementing everything she has learned through her writing at ASecureLife.com in her personal life and home.
You’re not supposed to feel sorry for her. But it’s interesting that she’s so wealthy and doesn’t feel that way. She’s in this odd, hyperbarically sealed Wall Street world. You lose perspective on how much is enough. Some people have taken issue with her making so much money. If she were a supermodel or a celebrity, I don’t think people would mention it. People react differently to an ambitious woman.
Women are, however, very confident in other forms of financial wellness. Nearly all (90%) reported ease in activities like paying off bills and creating budgets (84%). While these financial maintenance activities are important, they don't prevent the two big interruptions that exacerbate the looming million dollar gap in wealth. The study found that temporary interruption in employment had a permanent impact on their income, with 21% reporting that they were payed less for the same work after returning to work. The other cost driver was healthcare. Another study from 2013 found that women are now paying $195,000 more, on average, for healthcare and extended care due to living longer than men.
Like Olivia Ott’s, my perception of asset management and finance is not an extremely positive one. Although I really like economics and do consider going into finance, I feel like it is still a male-dominated industry. Sheryl Sandberg says that we women have to “lean in” in the workplace, but that is easier said than done. Even in school, I feel uneasy to speak up in a class dominated by boys, imagine the same scenario, but in the workplace!
In your 40s you’re probably thinking about funding your kid’s higher education. If you think you haven’t saved enough for it, consider an Education Loan. This loan gives you tax benefits under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act. If not, loans against property or Fixed Deposit are a better option. These come at a lower interest rate. Never use your retirement savings to fund your child’s education because it will be difficult to rebuild those savings. Once you have used your savings to fund some of your goals, the money you were using to save for these goals should be redirected to your retirement savings.
MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit--
Maybe you haven’t been getting great signals that your boss would be terribly receptive to the idea of you asking for a promotion. If this sounds more like your reality, then it may be wise to concoct a more long-term plan. Spend the next several months—maybe even the entire next year—anticipating your boss’s needs, doing your job to the absolute best of your ability, and sowing the seeds for popping the big “promotion question” next year. Like we said earlier, sometimes you need a plan, and there’s nothing quite as defeating or draining as asking for a promotion before you’re ready and meeting rejection.
While a nice portfolio of stocks is bliss, having financial independence is way bigger than picking the right stock, fund or financial advisor. It’s about living in a way that supports your financial goals, having the confidence and knowledge to grow your money (alone or with a well chosen financial advisor), and creating income streams using either your highest skills, your money, or both to fund the lifestyle you desire.
MS. CRONSTEDT: It was like that because you've been given, and when you haven't had that, when it's so concrete and it was so almost physical, and I wanted to share. So, that was a big privilege to do that in that community in Russia and we traveled to other cities in Russia to do the— to Chelyabinsk, to Saint Petersburg, to give speeches that could be on digital awareness, it could be strategy planning, the topics that were covered. But since we have relocated to the United States very recently, six months ago, with my family, I have first-hand experienced the challenge of childcare. I have three sons, and I realize that had I given birth to them here I probably wouldn't have been able to build these two companies that I did in Russia because I wouldn't have been able to afford the childcare that I could afford in Russia. So, that is, that just struck me like oh my God, that's, it's unaffordable, it's unreliable, and it's just sometimes not available. So, childcare is something that I've just very recently come across of how big the challenge is. MS. NELSON: So, are you going to solve it for us?
Do what you can to learn about investing now, because estimates show that women control 51 percent of wealth in the U.S. and are projected to control two-thirds by 2020, according to a Fidelity study. Yet women are more likely to say that "lack of investing knowledge or experience" and "too much information, or complexity of investing" are reasons they feel less confident, according to a Capital One investing survey. Consider taking an online investing course, downloading a podcast or wading through a book. (Warren Buffett's favorite is "The Intelligent Investor.")
In a recent survey by Morgan Stanley 84% of women said they were interested in “sustainable” investing, that is, targeting not just financial returns but social or environmental goals. The figure for men was 67%. Matthew Patsky of Trillium Asset Management, a sustainable-investment firm, estimates that two-thirds of the firm’s direct clients who are investing as individuals are women. Among the couples who are joint clients, investing sustainably has typically been the wife’s idea. Julia Balandina Jaquier, an impact-investment adviser in Zurich, says that though women who inherit wealth are often less confident than men about how to invest it, when it comes to investing with a social impact “women are more often prepared to be the risk-takers and trailblazers.”