4. Collaborate on a plan. “The number one piece of advice I give to couples is to make all financial decisions together,” concludes Bast. “Building a financial plan with a partner and/or financial advisor gives you an opportunity to discuss your respective financial goals and helps you identify potential challenges that need to be addressed. It also enables you to sort through any differences and facilitates the creation of a solid roadmap for getting where you want to go. Best of all, joint accountability can be a powerful way to achieve financial success.”
I come from a completely non-traditional background when I was applying but ended up getting in the industry anyways. After you get in, at the junior level, hard work, have a good attitude/personality, motivation, adaptable and being smart at work (like let other ppl know you did the work..) will get you ahead, not if you are a girl or boy or loud mouth or not.
According to a recent Huffington Post blog post by Alexander Kjerulf, founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo inc, “Way too many people hate their jobs. Exactly how many is hard to say, but depending on which study you believe, somewhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of employees are miserable at work.” Kjerulf goes on to say that hating your job can weaken your immune system, make you gain weight, rob you of sleep, ruin your personal relationships, and even increase your risk of serious illness. Not a good way to ring in the New Year!

Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.
Looking beyond investment banking, it is also worth pointing out that two of the most influential positions in the financial world are currently held by women, namely Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and Janet Yellen, who in 2014 succeeded Ben Bernanke at the helm of the US Federal Reserve. These examples only go to prove that when women set their minds to a career in finance, absolutely no heights are unattainable.

MS. NELSON: All right. Katerina, I want to, I want to come back to you and some of what you were talking about about the power of mentoring and partnership, and also bring together a strand that Melanne was talking about earlier, the idea of needing networks, and how valuable networks are. And one of the things that we've found at Vital Voices, because ultimately what we are is a network of 15,000 women leaders around the world, across different sectors, as well as mentors and others, and what we've definitely seen is that there's something about women being part of a non-competitive and non-hierarchical network, that it encourages women leaders to take risks that they wouldn't have normally taken. Can you talk about, I mean did you have that experience? I mean I know you're sort of a risk-taker by design, as an entrepreneur you have to be. But I'm curious, I mean what's next for you and what has, what has been unleashed through gaining more support and mentoring?


The organization maintains that women investment managers in the U.S. in the $15 trillion mutual fund marketplace have fallen from 10% of the industry in 2009 to less than 7% today. In alternative asset classes, women represent 6% in private equity, 4% in real estate and 3% in hedge funds. The pipeline of young women moving into these types of careers is not promising, in part because they don’t understand the industry and they don’t have available role models.
Investing money in the stock market is not a complicated process, but it requires making decisions. Will you buy funds, exchange traded funds or equities? If so, which ones — and in what proportion? And on which platform will you choose to hold your investments? These are the practical barriers, but bigger decisions are needed to guide these choices — namely, what am I saving for, and how can I do so in the most tax-efficient way?
Hey, you may say, all money is green, right? Maybe we just need to ignore the old-boys’ game and go with the most talented “stock picker” we can find — one with, say, a five-year history of success? Well, that’s the thing. Playing “beat the market” and “pick the winner” doesn’t work so well. It just doesn’t. Less than 0.1% of “active” fund managers were able to do it over a five-year period.

Knowledge shortfall. In truth, women do appear to be less knowledgeable about investing than men are. A 2015 study by Financial Finesse found that 67% of women answered yes when asked whether they have “general investment knowledge regarding stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” compared with 84% of men. And the figures don’t just represent women’s lack of confidence, says Kathie Andrade, president of personal advisory services at TIAA. The financial-services firm asked men and women a series of questions about bonds, asset allocation, inflation and interest rates and found that men scored considerably higher overall.


It’s also paramount that you think about which specific skills and competencies your chosen employer is looking for. Teamwork, leadership, a sense of values and citizenship are among those that are typically sought. ‘Then ask yourself, how strong am I in these areas? What are my stand-out strengths?’ advised Lorraine. ‘Think about selling yourself and what makes you special. If you’re strong academically, for instance, it’s okay for that to take up half the page of your CV or covering letter.’
In my experience (MM firm, about 4k in size) there is absolutely no discrimination against women. If you are bright, driven, and add value, you will succeed... regardless of what may or may not be hanging down yunder. There's no question that the C-suites of Wall Street are dominated by men... but look at the generation. Management generally is in their 40-60's, that puts the start of their career in the between the 60's and 80's... during that time, there was definitely a good deal of sexism in the office. I'd argue that's largely gone the way of the wind.
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I think the summer curriculum of this nonprofit organization is very helpful. It mentioned that there are much fewer women professionals than men in the financial market. This may be due to the industry’s prejudice against women. The industry tends to consider women have less advantages than men, or women have more commitments not only to work, but also to their families. Some of these thoughts are true, but some are not. Women need more mentorship and empowerment. As the articles mentioned above, these students brought not much understanding before the camps. After the camps, however, they learned about, and mastered financial knowledge and tools. This learning process will benefit and illuminate their own future.The potential of improving women’s financial knowledge is very big. But the existing problem is that women just are not getting the right guidance and empowerment. For example, these teenagers. They didn’t have much financial knowledge. But through this project, they started to be familiar with finance, and understand finance. With a more positive understanding of money, their life may be improved .

The information in this report was prepared by the Global Investment Strategy (GIS) division of WFII. Opinions represent GIS’ opinion as of the date of this report, are for general informational purposes only, and are not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector, or the markets generally. GIS does not undertake to advise you of any change in its opinions or the information contained in this report. Wells Fargo & Company affiliates may issue reports or have opinions that are inconsistent with, and reach different conclusions from, this report.

In fact, looking at actual data is one of the best ways to counteract the fear of investing. For example, are you afraid to invest in stocks because you remember the painful declines of the financial crisis? Well, in spite of the 36.55% plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25% annually between 2006 and 2015.
Positive intent can be a powerful motivating force for change and growth in our lives, but the truth is that it’s often not enough—this is the reason why the majority of us fail to completely commit and follow through on the resolutions we make each year. The truth is, most resolutions flounder in the starting gate without any real forward progress ever being made, and many others are met with a feeble, half-hearted effort that eventually goes nowhere. We need more than a positive attitude and hope—we need a plan.
Don’t give up if you get a no. Ask for non-money perks: flextime, a new title, pay reevaluation next quarter, or mentorship by or a project with a senior exec. They’re valuable in themselves, but they also get your boss in the habit of saying yes to you, and that will help you get that raise next time. Remember, this is a lifetime gap you’re working to close!
Shelly Bell has lived many lives. She’s a computer scientist, a former high school teacher, a performance poet, a community organizer, a founder, and a CEO. She has two successful apparel printing businesses: MsPrint USA—through which she creates swag for clients like Amazon and Google with a team of women designers and printers—and Made By A Black Woman, which celebrates products made by Black women.
“It’s a bit like learning to cook: I didn’t need to do it when I was growing up but I suddenly realised you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to do investing,” he says. “I can understand it and understand how much risk to take. I moved from shares to shares and property to a portfolio that includes hedge funds, property funds and a small amount in commodities,” he says.
It would be impossible to save every single dollar you need to live on in retirement yourself. Unless you make so much money that your month-to-month expenses are only a small fraction of what you make, then you likely don’t make enough to amass enough retirement savings dollar by dollar. That’s why you invest: You invest some money and by the time you sell that investment (in an ideal world), you have a lot more than what you put in.
Another consideration that I see as a barrier to the advancement of women in investment banking is the need to balance the strenuous lifestyle with raising a family. I see some senior women go through this and it just seems so tough, with a lot of sacrifices having to be made to make it work. Certainly a personal decision as to whether these trade-offs are worth it, but I can confidently say that my firm is making a positive effort to retaining women.

Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.
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