It is an advisory business and that too about critical financial and strategic decisions. A senior investment banker is of value only if she can command respect from clients and be able to source deals on her personal reputation. The clients should be ready to count her capable of advising them and consider her a confidante. Culturally in India women find it difficult to win the respect of male clients on such matters unless there is a previous history of demonstrated capability. This aspect is slowly changing with younger and more well exposed promoters and CEOs but we still have a lot of ground to cover.
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.
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 percent plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25 percent annually between 2006 and 2015.
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Stocks. They represent a part ownership in a company or corporation, also known as business equity. Basically, when a company performs well, the stock tends to increase in value. Stocks tend to be more volatile investments, meaning they can give you a high return on your investment long-term but tend to have larger swings in value in the short-term.
“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.”
It is a very demanding profession as one needs to devote all her time and attention to work alone leaving less time for family. So when people have kids and don't have someone back at home to rear them, it becomes a source of constant guilt and grief for everyone in the system. It becomes extremely competitive and political at the senior management levels as only a few people can be accommodated at that level. If one is not able to give her 100% to work for whatever reasons, it becomes difficult to compete. It finally boils to the candidate's personal rapport with the top management and conscious gender sensitivity on the part of the organisation to get over this hurdle. Most firms are found wanting on this factor though in recent times at least the established ones with a large work force are trying to be conscious about it.
“Women have more power and earning potential than ever before. They now make up the majority of college graduates, represent nearly half the labor force and are the primary breadwinners in 42 percent of households,” says Bast, who cited The Shriver Report published in 2014. “Because they’re balancing careers and families with philanthropic pursuits and other projects, however, they often place others ahead of themselves.”
An increasing number of women are having children later in life, having spent their younger years establishing careers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, birth rates declined for women in their 20s but increased for women in their 30s and early 40s.4 I personally had my son in my 30s, which meant my husband and I had to save for his college and our own retirement simultaneously. For those of us who had children on the later side, how many of us really thought about saving for retirement early in our careers? Yet we were likely more able to afford to save before we had families to provide for.
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.
Invest In Women 2019 is the leading forum nationwide to explore, discuss and learn about issues that are meaningful for women financial advisors and female clients. Both male and female advisors are invited to this event that promises insight and networking to help practices grow. The 2019 conference will offer expanded programming that reflects input from prior attendees as well as other industry leaders. Take the opportunity to be inspired — and have fun — at a conference you won’t want to miss. Plan to be there and register now.
I'm a third-year analyst in Investment Grade Finance (IGF) in the UK Financial Institutions team and I'll soon be starting a one-year rotation in our New York office. In London I work in a small team of four people, and we're responsible for helping our clients - organisations in the financial services industry - raise money by accessing debt capital markets.
I also had the opportunity to speak with a number of Allegiance Capital’s women business development and investment banker vice presidents. While they are all bright, enthusiastic and energetic women, the VPs come from very diverse backgrounds. Diversity is something both the company and the women value, and it’s apparent throughout the organization.
When it comes to the day-to-day decisions of their bosses, women describe environments that are biased against them. Though some men do report observing bias, far fewer of them see it than women do. Women (9 percent) are about twice as likely as men (4 percent) to say that they see their company’s management withhold opportunity or promotion from women. Women (8 percent) are also about four times as likely as men (2 percent) to believe women are excluded from networking and social opportunities, such as after-work drinks or golf outings.
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My days are pretty unpredictable—unless I’ve got early morning calls or meetings or a ton of work to do urgently, I’ll usually get into work around 10am and could leave anywhere between 8pm to past midnight. There have been several times where I’ve woken up to tons of emails that need to be addressed immediately, so I’ll log in from home and keep working until I get to a stopping point where I can transition to the office. Best parts of my day are when the client acknowledges how helpful our work has been. Worst parts would be the really late nights and days when you’re just stretched way too thin across multiple teams.
My days are pretty unpredictable—unless I’ve got early morning calls or meetings or a ton of work to do urgently, I’ll usually get into work around 10am and could leave anywhere between 8pm to past midnight. There have been several times where I’ve woken up to tons of emails that need to be addressed immediately, so I’ll log in from home and keep working until I get to a stopping point where I can transition to the office. Best parts of my day are when the client acknowledges how helpful our work has been. Worst parts would be the really late nights and days when you’re just stretched way too thin across multiple teams.
I am often amazed by how many intelligent, well-educated women have little knowledge and/or interest in investing and retirement planning. As a gender, we have to do something about this. Oh, that’s interesting, is a common response when women ask my friend, a female financial advisor, what she does for a living. And it is often delivered in a tone of voice that conveys just how interesting it is to have one’s teeth extracted or to find a piece of roadkill on one’s doorstep. The subtle cringe that shadows many women’s brows when a financial advisor mentions retirement planning or investment management has become a familiar sight.
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“It has become increasingly apparent that retirement planning is not only evolving, but also has become a moving target that Americans must continuously revisit to pursue their goals and priorities,” said Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Age Wave. “As we see in the latest Merrill Edge Report, retirement planning requires a new mentality—‘set it and forget it’ is a thing of the past. As millennials are envisioning living very long lives, this study reveals the new priorities they have for work, leisure, success and money as they are coming to realize that everything they do today, financially speaking, can impact the lives they’re hoping to live in retirement.”

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. 

It’s a phenomenon some money experts call “the female financial paradox”: Women are a growing economic force, expected to add $6 trillion in earned income globally over the next five years, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group released in 2013. Yet many women lag behind men when it comes to using those assets to plan and build financial security for the future.
Your goal, therefore, is to try to keep your emotions in check. Although there’s little direct data to suggest that women are less susceptible to market euphoria, they do seem a bit calmer during panics. The Vanguard Group looked at whether customers of its retirement plans were moving money out of stocks during 2008, when the U.S. market plunged 37%. Overall, the fund giant found, investors were fairly steadfast, but women were more so, proving to be 10% less likely to sell their stock holdings than men.

MS. SARR: We bring in money in terms of funding as the United Nations, but we expect private sector to play its role. We expect public sector to play its role. In Africa, right now we have two countries that are leading in terms of affirmative procurement. In Kenya for instance 30% of public spend is earmarked for women, youth, and people with disabilities. South Africa also has preferential treatment for women. So, it's those critical partnerships that will allow us to have that critical mass of women that are economically empowered. And as a UN we, especially when women, we have a good understanding of what we call the gender machinery. We play a role of honest broker and that's how we put it together. It's a, it's a holistic comprehensive approach to be able to have impact.
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.
MS. NIGEST HAILE: Thank you. In thinking of establishing a commercial bank is not an easy task, which all of you know, particularly the staff of the Bank of America and the rest of the others. We were really focusing on issues of the women operating in the small and medium enterprises, which we usually call the "missing middle." Which the formal banks are never interested to address their interests because of the issue of collateral, the stringent application processes, the lack of a track record in being their bankers, and all those. And yet, on the other side the microfinancing institutions are too small for those groups of women, so where do they fit? So, we said, 11 of us, visionary women who had been fully engaged in all of our full-time engagements, we said, "Let's have a solution. Why do we wait for the government? Why do we wait for people to come and help us? So, let's try to do it." That time was a very good opportunity for private banks to emerge, so we came out to be the 15th or the 16th private bank in Ethiopia, so we were able to do it. It was not an easy process. We had full-time jobs, busy traveling, doing our own tasks, but again no weekend, no sleep, our marriages suffered, our children suffered, but anyway, we left a legacy. So, we were able to establish the bank, actually the process started in 2008, we were registered as a national bank in 2011, but we started operation in 2013. You can see the process.
There’s also a concept I think you should be familiar with. It’s called passive investing. The idea is that it’s smarter to invest across the entire market and then not pay attention to it, than it is to pick stocks or pay someone else to pick stocks. It’s easier and less expensive, and historically it’s been more successful. In fact, Warren Buffett made a $1 million wager that passive investing would beat hedge funds—and he was right. It’s why he advises his heirs to invest passively with their money.
Sensing an opportunity and knowing that the industry had a need for greater diversity, Kevin Burke, managing director of NDIGI, invited Kathleen Dunlap, then CEO of GWI, to visit Notre Dame last summer and meet with Faculty Director Shane Corwin, finance professor Carl Ackermann and Roger Huang, then the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business.

I was partially being sarcastic. However, I think the comment probably holds some merit, as unfair as it may be. In addition, I don't think that it relates only to finance, but in business in general. I think from a hiring standpoint, for whatever reason, appearance absolutely can play a role in the decision-making process. I also think that, again for whatever reason, it probably plays a bigger role when the hiring decision pertains to a female.

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.’


That brings me to the final part that I believe is essential for young women like me to understand more about the industry, which is work experience. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity of working in the finance industry. However, it has always been my aspiration to do so, and I hope to craft my academic career to achieve this. Also, I plan on participating in KWHS’s next investment competition to gain some hands-on (although at the same time theoretical) experience and insights on the area. I am keen towards broadening my horizons and learning more about the asset management and finance industry; it truly does seem to be an amazing yet intriguing topic.
Women have different strengths when it comes to investing. Although they may make less money, they tend to save a bigger percentage of their income – 8.3 percent versus 7.9 percent for men, according to research by Fidelity Investments. And although men may take more risks with investments, women can focus on paying lower fees, making socially conscious investments and shoring up for rainy days. Here are a few targeted tips.
2. Make “friends” with risk. Women prefer to preserve wealth even if it means giving up higher returns. Take a 51-year-old attorney (who preferred not to give her name) as an example; she has consistently contributed the maximum allowed by her law firm’s retirement plan. “I know I should be investing in stocks, but I don’t want a repeat of 2008. My money is parked in a money market fund, where I know it’s safe.”

When you’re starting out, it’s important to know that, when it comes to investments, there are some no-brainers. The most obvious example is a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement account. Employers often match your contributions up to a certain dollar amount. At the very least try to contribute enough to get the full amount of that match—otherwise you’re essentially saying no to part of your salary.
When it comes to the day-to-day decisions of their bosses, women describe environments that are biased against them. Though some men do report observing bias, far fewer of them see it than women do. Women (9 percent) are about twice as likely as men (4 percent) to say that they see their company’s management withhold opportunity or promotion from women. Women (8 percent) are also about four times as likely as men (2 percent) to believe women are excluded from networking and social opportunities, such as after-work drinks or golf outings.
I don't know. Average starting salary for a T10 MBA in a variety of fields is very high. I doubt non finance Wharton graduates are making 65K a year or something like that. Suppose this woman has 5 years of serious brand management or marketing experience behind her at a huge company. She gets an MBA in finance from Columbia or something and goes into a non banking role. I would assume her salary would be 80-90ish with a bonus.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: You're further ahead than I was. I ran my first marathon in 2011 and we were given ten spots for a very new charitable organization as part of the New York City Marathon. And I thought, "Well, I know some runners, and I can't not run it as the head of this organization." So, I signed up, and immediately when I started training I saw the connection between what we're trying to do, where there is need, and where there is really an intense barrier, which is distance, and how we can connect the dots there. So, I ran the first one and then I thought, "Oh yeah, I have two kids. I think I could do that two times." And then it just started to grow, and it's turned out that there are a lot of runners out there, or people who are just—I think people who are taking care of themselves and are active, healthy people, are more likely to care about the health and wellbeing of others, than your average person. So, we found that it's been a very connective, very community-building type of event, and people go couch to marathon, or they walk, cycle, you know, anything that you do already there's a way that you can contribute that effort towards other people.
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Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. We receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.


Another reason why women may not be as aggressive as men when it comes to investing is because they are more conservative — they like to hang on to their cash, explains Cary Carbonaro, CFP and Managing Director of United Capital of NY and Author of the "Money Queen's Guide for Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear". “When I tell my clients they should have an emergency fund, the men will tell me, ‘But I want my emergency fund in the market,’ and meanwhile the women will have five times the emergency fund they need, sitting in the bank, not doing anything. For some reason, women are afraid of losing money, while men seem to be afraid of losing out by not playing the market.”
MS. VERVEER: Absolutely, and you did mention education and the fact that women are certainly in higher education exceeding all kinds of boundaries in graduate programs, and yet we don't see always, as you just said, the benefits of some of that in terms of breaking through and to some of the credible really challenging leadership jobs. What is the role of education in forging leadership? And how do you, so you've spent so much time overseeing the United States' education policies, now here in this state at the university level, what more should we be doing in terms of our education system to grow leadership, and particularly to grow women's leadership since we have such large numbers of women coming into the education sphere.
Our cities, institutions, corporations and people's retirement security depend on effective stewardship of capital. Smart investing in today's increasingly complex global economy requires extraordinary talent, skill and teamwork. Success will depend on diverse groups of people with unique perspectives working together to achieve investment objectives. 
Krawcheck, long known as the most powerful woman on Wall Street, was CEO of wealth management firm Merrill Lynch during its acquisition by Bank of America; she left in 2011. Ellevest is backed by $10 million in funding from some of the biggest names in the investment business, including Chicago-based research firm Morningstar and Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz. 

Thanks for your reply Nicole. I know you are currently pursuing ECM if I’m not mistaken. What are the pros/cons of ECM vs. M&A? In terms of exit opps and learning curve, M&A is definitely the best route, but in terms of personal life, ECM…Only disadvantage to ECM, I take it, is the less technical/more narrow content…Your input would be appreciated!

Every investor makes mistakes. Sometimes it is an error of commission: You buy a real stinker. Sometimes it is an error of omission: You hang onto a loser, or a winner, for too long. But knowing what and when to sell is at least as important as knowing what to buy. “You have to know when to pull the plug,” says Sarah Ketterer, chief executive of Causeway Capital Management and the longtime comanager of her firm’s flagship fund, Causeway International Value (CIVVX).
When I got my first management position nearly 15 years ago, My global manager said to remember, 'Transparency and honesty are key to managing relationships and gaining trust from people. And it’s harder than you think.' It’s true. It’s incredibly hard sometimes to deliver a message you know someone is not going to like, but in the long run, it really pays off to be as transparent about a situation as you can be.
The unique BGV Pitch Competition, of which there are 10 per year, is described on the website as “a crowdfunding meets pitch competition.” Attendees pay admission at the door, selected founders pitch for three minutes, and the audience votes. Winners receive the money raised from admission fees, in addition to other perks like a free consultation with both a lawyer and an accountant and a meeting with an investor.
Most of our female clients are savvy women who have recently become responsible for managing money on their own, even though they are very astute, they realize that they do not have enough experience and confidence to make good financial decisions. Discussions focused on PE ratios and comparing the performance of different investments are not a priority, women want information about reaching their goals and future planning. 
I'd second hanging out with the guys part. I remember sitting down with an MD during my summer stint on an S&T desk. It was a sell day and I remember him asking me, "Why do you want to be in S&T? Honestly. Are you an idealist who wants the save the world or something?" and I just responded "..I just want to make a shitton of money." Honest? yes. Did I read him correctly? Yep. He subsequently became a great mentor that summer. I never went into S&T but we're still in contact.
As an analyst, I'm also part of an employee networking group called Junior Women Connect, which organises a range of networking and career events. Last year we organised an event called "Power Dressing 101", which consisted of an evening in an L.K. Bennett store hosted by a professional stylist who advised us on how to dress for work and the impact of our image on people's perceptions of us.
Women Who Lead invests in the stocks of 169 companies, as of December 8, 2017*, including many that you probably interact with on a daily basis. These include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, IBM, Mastercard, and PepsiCo. The fund also includes shares in the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, calculator and semiconductor producer Texas Instruments, as well as defense company Lockheed Martin.
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.
However, if you’re looking to save for retirement over the course of 20 or 30 years, an aggressive strategy is going to get you the best return possible. While aggressive markets tend to fluctuate widely in the short term, the overall market trends upward an average of 10% each year. When you can afford to be patient in the market (something women are proven to be better at than men), an aggressive strategy can definitely pay off in your favor.
MS. CRONSTEDT: But it's, it's a field that I'm very, very passionate about, and as we've been talking today, like what does it take for women to be successful or the communities to be prosperous? Well, it takes that you can have a choice. It's all, it's about the choice that you can have, that no mother and no parent/family should be forced to stay at home with their children just because they couldn't afford it. You know? I have three boys in like three years. Like having the money in preschool it would have been so extremely expensive that I maybe and probably wouldn't have been able to take that risk. I wouldn't have the financial means. So, that is a real, it's a very, it's a gap that I'm very interested into looking into very deep, and try to do something about.
Everyone’s relationship with money varies, but LearnVest is here to make sure it’s a good and healthy one. Their sole mission? To help you feel amazing about money. All users have access to a free and personalized money center, where they can create and prioritize their financial goals, link their accounts and also determine their net worth. They also have a must reads tab where users can get more content on all things finance, career and lifestyle.
Investing your money is important. It can give you financial security and independence, as well as prepare you for important life events — your children’s education, your retirement, unforeseen financial emergencies. Even if you use the services of a financial advisor, be prepared stay in control of your investments. Although this may sound overwhelming at first, there are a few basic investment guidelines that you can use to enrich your future:
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From 2009 to 2012, Bostic was assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In that Senate-confirmed position, he was a principal adviser to the secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the secretary and other principal staff make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs, as well as on budget and legislative proposals.
Fidelity research among professional women across the country shows there's no shortage of interest in learning more about financial management and investment choices, with over 90 percent saying they want to learn more about financial planning8. For many, this stems from a need to play ‘catch up,' with a majority reporting a lack of opportunity to learn financial skills earlier in life.
I was partially being sarcastic. However, I think the comment probably holds some merit, as unfair as it may be. In addition, I don't think that it relates only to finance, but in business in general. I think from a hiring standpoint, for whatever reason, appearance absolutely can play a role in the decision-making process. I also think that, again for whatever reason, it probably plays a bigger role when the hiring decision pertains to a female.

My boss once told me to always have the strength to admit when I’m wrong. There’s nothing more intimidating than realizing you’ve made a mistake, and it takes a lot of confidence and courage to admit it. Just remember that we’re all human, and it’s better to own up to mistakes rather than hide them. (Plus they rarely stay hidden). It really builds respect and trust among a team.
MS. CALABRESE BAIN: So, I can talk about a few of the ways that Bank of America has made some progress on this front because I think that there's always more that we can do around education. So, you know, we have a partnership with the National Association of Women Business Owners in 60 cities across the U.S. where we partner Bank of America/Merrill Lynch women chapter leaders in these local cities to really bring thought leadership, to bring education, sometimes to bring financing. But it is our way of understanding what is it that makes women business owners tick? So that how can we be more supportive? So, you saw a couple of things earlier on the screen. We've got a partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, which we started in 2014. We've been able to finance over 1,100 women, small business owners, and commit $25 million worth of capital, and we hope to see that program grow. We also work with our Community Development Financial Institutions. It's always a mouthful, but for those who are not familiar they really provide technical assistance and affordable loans across the U.S., and Bank of America is the largest investor of CDFIs. So, we're really thrilled with our participation with 240 lenders across the United States. So, thank you for all of the support and the partnership. Lastly speaking about one more program, through Andrea's support in supplier diversity and development, again this is another program where we can work directly with women and diverse owned businesses, and in 2016 actually invested over $2.6 billion in procurement spending.
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.

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.


Of course, this means that women face greater expenses than men. At one end of the spectrum, they will need to meet their basic necessities for more years; this includes rent, utilities food and all the other little expenses that occur each month. At the other end of the spectrum are the big ticket items like healthcare; since the average woman will be elderly for longer than the average man, women are likely to face higher healthcare costs. These costs can include items such as insurance, medicine, hospitalization, surgery and long-term care.


And this program, the Global Ambassador's Program was really founded on that core belief. It started as a partnership between Vital Voices, a nonprofit organization, nongovernmental organization, and Bank of America of course, major multinational corporation. And one of the things that I think was so profound is that right from the beginning it was about an equal partnership, that we each have something to bring to the table, even though one entity was a lot smaller than the other. But I think what was so incredible about the launch of that was just this idea that we're going to not only look at how we tap into so many great leaders, women leaders in the bank, but also how do we leverage so many other leaders in other organizations? And I think that takes a lot of insight from a company to understand that, that partnership is not just about you and someone in another sector, it could be about even partnering with some of your competitors to ultimately, you know, make a difference in the long run.
MS. VERVEER: And what about networks? Because I think the other thing that women tend to lack in many ways, and we see this in the economics sphere among entrepreneurs, but I think we also see it more broadly, which is the need to be able to come together to meet other people in our sphere, others who can help take an element of what we're doing and enable us to forge ahead. So, more of a concentration on networks as well, that development, which again I think is what the program represents.
There’s just one problem: Despite being aces at investing, women just aren’t doing enough of it. Women overall invest 40 percent less money than men do according to a survey by digital investment platform Wealthsimple. And if given the opportunity to do more, many women wouldn’t step up. In a recent survey by Lexington Law — which asked men and women what they’d do with an extra $1,000 — men were 35 percent more likely than women to say they would invest the money.
Money Motivation: “I had always thought about finance before this program with not such a positive lens. There are a lot of people who are focused on the money. That was one reason why I was intimidated by getting into finance to begin with. A lot of times those people can be very loud and overwhelming. It can give a negative perception of the industry. The people at Princeton pursuing finance are very intense. I was meeting kids who had been on a finance track for years and I wasn’t. I now realize that was a very skewed perspective of the industry. A lot of the asset managers and portfolio managers that we’ve met in this program came from a liberal arts background.”
The reluctance to invest outside of company plans may be related to women’s lack of confidence in their investing abilities, which can make them prone to procrastination. “Women hold back because they think they need to know everything before they invest,” says Alexandra Lebenthal, chief executive of Lebenthal & Co., a New York City money-management company. Krawcheck agrees, saying that wanting to know more before getting started can be a trap. “There’s always a desire to know more. But if you wait, it just gets harder,” she says. 

While women investors are on the rise, there is still a gap between the number of men and women are in the investments market. Make sure you’re choosing a firm that will support your financial goals and understand the unique challenges that women face in the industry. Also take a look at the companies that these firms and platforms invest in. Are any of them led by women? Do they support women? While it may not immediately affect the return you get, choosing a firm or platform with a pro-women mindset will help us gain financial equality in the long-run.
Imagine what could happen if more women became financially literate and spread that knowledge to their networks of other women. The possibility for increasing awareness is tremendous. Knowledge is most definitely power, so take this information and arm another woman in your life with it by sharing it via email or facebook. She may cringe initially, but in the long run, she will thank you.
Although making a big career change can be a wonderful moment in your life, acting impulsively could really backfire. There are countless stories of people who made quick decisions to leave their current working worlds for new ones, only to discover that they were ill-informed and really had no idea what they were getting into and wound up being just as unhappy—or even unhappier—as they were before. Don’t become just another unfortunate member of this group. Plan wisely and carefully, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a real shot at positive and lasting change.

With all of these factors working against them, women have very different outlooks on retirement than men. Indeed, Jackson's recent investor survey revealed some significant disparities. In addition to the gender pay gap, there also appears to be an investing confidence gap between men and women. While 46.2% of men reported that they "have plenty of investing confidence," only 30.3% of women said the same. When asked about their current level of financial knowledge, less than 10% of female respondents stated that they "have all the financial knowledge [they] need to make appropriate investing decisions," compared to more than 17% of male respondents. Lastly, the gender pay gap could be at least part of the reason women are more concerned than men when it comes to saving for retirement. 52.4% of women cited "saving enough for retirement" as a top financial concern, compared to only 42.7% of men.5


Men were also significantly more likely to take more risk than the platform’s algorithms advises for them. Interestingly, the moves didn’t come as a reaction to one particular headline but the markets themselves. “We see people in general move toward stocks when stocks have been up the last 7 days – and toward bonds when stocks have been down the past 7 days,” Swift says, acknowledging that this is the antithesis of what investors should be doing. The key is to try to understand who you are and how you’ll react to market moves. Making an appointment to check your portfolio once a month rather than when the spirit strikes may be the better idea. “The more active you are, the more inclined you are to participate.”
You should have a six-month emergency fund. Investing is a great way to grow money but the key to making it grow is time. Why? Because investing is a risky venture. When you put money in the market, you are saying, “I don’t need this money for a few years.” First of all, you could invest and see that money decrease immediately. But the short-term fluctuations aren’t important. What is important is that over the long term the money will likely grow. So, while that money is tied up, you’ll need an emergency fund to tide you over during any rough spells—unemployment, bad health, etc. (We’ve got more reasons here.) And besides, when you sell your investments, you have to pay taxes on that—making a savings account a much more attractive place to store some extra cash. (Follow our checklist to build up your savings.)

The best place to start investing is in a 401(k) retirement account, if your employer offers one. The tax advantage will help your money grow faster, and if your employer provides a match, all the better! (That’s free money.) If you have the ability to contribute up to the match, do that first—since your contributions are pretax, they can help lower your tax bill. Next, look to an individual retirement account outside work. IRAs have a further tax benefit, but not all of them have the same effect on your tax bill. IRAs are great if you want to put more toward your retirement. If you don’t, then invest in outside brokerage accounts.
One senior woman at a European bank argued that the push to promote more women is itself problematic. "The senior men have now got a cover for promoting the younger women who flirt with them," she said. "They know they have to promote X number of women each year, so they look around and they promote the women who kiss up to them most instead of the women who are the most competent. It's the same as the old boys' network, with flirtation instead of familiarity."
But Stash’s analysis does find that male and female Stash users behave quite differently when markets become volatile. Stash examined its users’ behavior on two especially volatile days for markets in 2018—Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, when major stock indexes suffered big losses, moving into what Stash defines as correction territory. On those days, the men panicked: Men who use Stash were 87% more likely than women, on average, to sell an investment. That behavior continued through the following week, with the men remaining 76% more likely than the women to sell an investment.
Here, we have a ways to go. Maybe you’ve heard of the gender pay gap. Frustrating, right? And costly. But there are more gaps at play: Women pay more for the debt they carry than men, and they don’t invest as much as men do. As a result, women retire with two-thirds the money of men…even though we tend to live years longer. Don’t believe me? Check the gender mix at your local nursing home: 80% of women die single, and they’re also 80% more likely to be impoverished in retirement than men. Yuck.
You’ve heard the stats that there are more CEOs named John in the U.S. than there are women CEOs? You don’t want to fall behind the Johns where you work, and that’s what will happen if your company isn’t willing to invest in you. Fortunately, you’re now armed with lots of bragging points and a great sense of the market value of what you do, which will help you seek out the next great opportunity and negotiate your new offers like a pro.

Free tools designed for women. Fidelity.com/itstime was designed to provide insights and next steps around the life events that matter most to women, whether you're about to get married, changing careers or caring for aging parents. Available here are talks and workshops, articles, checklists, and other guidance targeted to help navigate financial challenges.
So how do women break the investment barrier in ways that can lead to lifelong financial independence? Sabbia has three key suggestions: learn the basics, define your goals, and invest in yourself. For more advanced investors, Sabbia suggests being a mentor that can help break the silence around talking about money. Doing so could accelerate the close of that wealth gap for all women. Let's examine each recommendation in closer detail.
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