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.”
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.”
These factors, coupled with women’s lower average wages and greater longevity, go a long way toward explaining why men’s poverty rate in retirement is half the poverty rate of women. “My real concern is that the retirement-savings crisis is a gender crisis, and we are not talking about it that way,” says Sallie Krawcheck. “Women can save more and invest more. They have to find a way that works for them and just do it.”
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That’s why it’s important for women to invest in companies that support other women. One example? Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (PXWEX). It’s a mutual fund with Sallie Krawcheck, the leader of women’s digital financial advisor Ellevest, serving as chair. Here’s the scoop: It rates companies based on how well they advance gender diversity—like how many women serve on the board or as executive managers—and puts your money towards the ones that come out on top. It’s based on global research that shows having more women at the helm can increase return and lower costs, says Blayney. As for the results? The fund outperformed the MSCI World Index for the three-year period ending September 30, 2017.
Since the feminine approach to investing has been branded as a losing strategy, let's look at how the men have fared. Men have dominated the financial services world since its inception. They run the big companies, they dominate Wall Street and they control the money, but the empirical evidence suggests that their investment results consistently trail those generated by women. Also, in studies by John Coates (a former Wall Street trader), there is evidence to suggest that a connection between testosterone and risk taking leads to irrational exuberance. Coates notes that "Economists assumed that all behavior was conscious and rational … They were ignoring that fact that signals from the body, both chemical and electrical, affect how we take financial risks.
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.
Through its website, TFS connects students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. Continual increases in tuition fees and other college expenses are critical issues impacting students and families across the United States – particularly those who can’t afford to finance higher education on their own. According to the College Board’s 2016 Trends in College Planning, the average published tuition and fee price in the private nonprofit four-year sector is about 2.3 times higher than it was in 1986-87, after adjusting for inflation. It is 3.1 times higher in the public four-year sector and 2.4 times higher in the public two-year sector. As a result of these trends, an increasing number of students must rely on scholarships to attend college or graduate school.
MS. VERVEER: One of the other things I've been in this learning experience about the region, the area, the state, and I understand the disparities between economic mobility, economic and equality, not peculiar here by any stretch but obviously significantly disparities, and maybe you can explain why. But we deal with that across the country, we deal with it all over the world. And we're here really focusing on entrepreneurship, and Bank of America has been a leader in enabling women to grow their entrepreneurial skills because we know what that can do to grow economies and provide the kind of wind at the back of economies.
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.
Women live, on average, five to seven years longer than men (depending on when they were born). Their money has to stretch longer, and if they are married, it is important to note that some of the biggest health care costs are incurred in the year prior to death, so if they survive their husbands, it is possible that their financial resources may be reduced by medical expenses. Married women tend to suffer significant losses in income when their spouse dies.
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.
Top GWI Takeaway: “An important thing to realize is that there are certain types of financial firms and investment strategies focused on doing some sort of social good. We’ve been learning about ESG investing, which is Environmental, Social and Governance Investing [which refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of in investment in a business]. That is something directly designed to make things better, but through the use of financial tools. We also found out about foundations and investing for not-for-profits. All of that combined has shown me that there is still a way to be in finance and pursue some form of public service. I was very interested in law and politics from the social-good perspective, and I’m seeing those worlds align with finance.”
Top priorities of retirees also seem to differ from those of non-retirees. The retirees’ top priorities include maintaining their standard of living (29 percent), followed by spending time with loved ones (27 percent) and maintaining their health (23 percent). Despite that nearly one in five non-retirees hope to make traveling the world their top retirement priority, only 5 percent of retirees have prioritized traveling.
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"As more women invest, we will demonstrate through a show of force that we believe in each other enough to invest in each other — whether we can invest $1 or millions. We will do this by choosing investments that advance women and help improve our world. We will commit 25% of our investment portfolios to “impact investments” by 2025." — Let’s Disrupt Money
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.