This is really important. The investment gap and the pay gap are closely related. A lot of us know about the pay gap—that women make about eighty cents on the dollar compared to men with the same job and experience. And investing amplifies that difference, thanks to what Albert Einstein once called the eighth wonder of the world: compounding. Which means that, over time, the difference between investing a little and investing a little more becomes profound. Basically, if you don’t invest much, and you don’t start early enough, you’ll end up with a lot less when it’s time to retire. Once you stop working, your retirement savings becomes your income. And more income means more choices: the choice to take time off for family, change jobs for something you love but that may not pay as well, leave a bad relationship, travel the world…money equals choices.
While female bankers with husbands and children to support keep quiet for fear of seeming uncommitted to their roles, she said male bankers are more likely to make their familial responsibilities widely known: "I used to work with a man who would shout about how he had four kids at home every year when it came to making redundancies or allocating bonuses."
MS. KATZIFF: So, to exactly that, the many, I would just add there is no one perfect mentor, so surround yourself with many people because you can pick and choose strengths. Everyone has different strengths. And so, think of it as you are the CEO of your business, of your career, and you get to select your Board of Directors, and that is how you should think about mentorship, where similar to any company who looks for a strong Board of Directors you pick multiple skills. You would never pick one person with one skill. So, diversify and have mentors that you tap into and rely on, depending on the situation, and you get diversity of thought.
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Saul M. Simon, a certified financial planner with Simon Financial Group in Edison, N.J., recommends women investors start investing at work in their 401k or 403b retirement plans. Every dollar that goes into these plans reduces current income taxes. In addition, the money grows tax-deferred, and in many cases the employer matches a portion of your investment.

At the same time, women are losing out in the ongoing push towards juniorisation. As banks look for juniors to take on roles previously occupied by people at higher ranks, young women are stepping forwards. "You see a lot of women who are taking on roles that were previously done by VPs and even though they have the same responsibilities they'll only be an associate on lower pay," says another senior woman. "It's all under the guise of cost cutting."
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, I guess, I mean, mainly we started after the film came out. We were a resource. You know, who's doing what where was the way we sort of saw ourselves. And through that, I got to meet a lot of different organizations working in maternal health. Also, as a student of Public Health, you know, the world is fairly small in the maternal child health space. So, I started to get to meet a lot of incredible people who have been working their entire careers, Melanne being one of those people. And so, you know, having access to women who were leaders in these areas was incredibly inspiring. And then in terms of finding partners, I mean we started as a campaign, and then I learned that that wasn't completely fulfilling. I felt like I wanted to do more and I wanted to really connect people who were being moved by learning this information and wanting to do something that it was really hard for them to do that. So, I felt like ultimately starting an organization that I could have more control. Being able to put those pieces together and connect those dots was a lot more gratifying, not only for the community we were trying to bring along but also for the NGOs on the ground. And what I've found over time is that smaller, grassroots, community-led groups are the most exciting to work with because they truly do partner with you. And we have, as an organization, funded some larger initiatives, and you know, it's hard to get the phone picked up, and it's hard to—you know, there's a lot of turnover in the people who run the program, and you just want to, you want to have that human touch, and so, it's something that I really strive for with Every Mother Counts to continue to have that human touch. It's the most human of all issues that I can think of, and for people who have an experience or suffer a loss, or lose a loved one, or the healthcare providers that are trying to, you know, provide services every day, I think it's really important that all of those people feel, you know, respected, and have a voice, and that we can be there for them.
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.”
“It’s been great,” said Wall, a Seattle native, pointing to the Brown Bag Lunch Series — a series of lunchtime conversations with men and women from across the investment industry, including Notre Dame Vice President and CIO Scott Malpass — as a particular highlight. “I especially appreciated the sheer variety of practitioners across all asset classes that came and discussed their career paths.”

But rather than pitch men and women and their typical respective styles against each other, we might look to the success of diverse teams across the business world for a far more productive use of this information. A widely circulated study undertaken by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability. And in February this year, it was discovered that funds managed by mixed gender teams attracted 6 percent more inflows than those run solely by men or women over three years. Diversity, it’s clear, is good for business.
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.”
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, it was a super fun partnership that was a partnership between President Clinton, President Bush, President H.W. Bush, his center, and the LBJ Library in Austin. So, in that Arkansas/Texas region we have four Presidential, Presidential Libraries. And the idea was to help develop mid-career, civically-engaged leaders, using those four presidencies as case studies in leadership around decision making, around vision and planning, around building coalitions and whatnot, and you all ought to get on the website because it looks like there's some presidential leadership scholar candidates in here. President Bush and President Clinton stewarded this. We were able to raise funds to underwrite this because we need to develop leaders in this space so they can have the skills necessary, particularly in that mid-30s to, you know, mid-50s where you're out of graduate school if you've gone, but there, and you've got plenty of runway. So, how do you become, how do you lead at that level? Who better to do that than two presidents?
Despite the attractiveness of the competitive story pitting men versus women in a contest of investment prowess, the difference in their returns is not dramatic. For example, a study in the The Quarterly Journal of Economics reported that "Trading reduces men's net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women." Clearly, like beating an index, the difference between success and failure is generally a game of inches, not miles. With that in mind, every penny counts, and pennies paid out in fees are pennies that are not working on your behalf. Over the long-term, lower fees can make the difference between a few extra dollars in your wallet or a few dollars that you do not get to take home.
Hi Ícaro! Thank you for sharing your experience about the KWHS investment competition. It’s great to hear that it ignited your interest in business and finance. We were excited to have so many great teams participate this year from Brazil. Connecting our competition back to this article, it’s interesting to note that overall we had 1,214 male students and 460 female students competing in 2017-2018. Women made up about 27% of the group. The U.S. alone, which is Girls Who Invest’s primary focus, had 552 male student competitors compared to 155 female, about 20%.
Women approach risk differently than men do. Studies show that men are more inclined to behave like baseball sluggers, who swing for the fences, even if it means running the risk of striking out far more often. Women, by contrast, are more like contact hitters, who are satisfied with a string of singles. These tendencies show up in various forms. For example, a 2013 study by Fidelity Investments found that men were much more likely than women to hold 100% of their assets in stocks. Openfolio’s data show that portfolios owned by men are subject to far wider swings in value. The problem is that investors who strike out frequently because they’re always trying to smash home runs can undermine their results.
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).
MS. SARR: For me, it's funny because the most, the most impactful mentor I ever had was an American gentleman by the name of David from Texas, had he's been my biggest supporter, and he died in a plane crash in Texas two years ago, but he's been following me and even sometimes when I didn't believe in myself he gave me huge responsibilities as a CFO of a multi-million-dollar business. That was way before I joined the World Bank or the UN. But so, mentoring is extremely important. So, my ask tonight is for the men to really be our champions. We want them to be our he for she and say to other men I stand by my sister, I stand by my wife, I stand by my daughter. That's my first ask. My second ask is for the other women, you know, we tend to shy away sometimes from the activism but you just have to realize that you have a mandate. If every woman voted for a woman we will have plenty of women presidents around the world. So, you really, you really have a mandate to represent and to know that you are really, when you're sitting on that board meeting, when you're about to make, click that button that you're doing that on behalf of millions and billions of women around the world. They say that if every woman made a jump today we will have an earthquake. So, that's how powerful we are.
Take a step to educate yourself. Countless blogs and websites provide accessible, engaging content to help increase your financial knowledge, including the Financial Freedom Studio, Jackson Charitable Foundation and many more. Just Google "retirement planning" or "financial education" and you'll see my point. I'm probably dating myself, but you could also go to the good ol' fashioned library or a bookstore to get this kind of information. For younger women just getting started, Learnvest.com can be a great resource, too.
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Top GWI Takeaway: “In investment banking, they’re always making DCF models. I’ve always wondered, ‘What does this stand for? What are they doing?’ While we were here we worked in Excel and found out about DCF. DCF stands for Discounted Cash Flow [and is a valuation method used to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.] I saw [company] income statement, balance sheet, working capital, cash flows; these are all different sheets within Excel that you bring together to create the DCF. I also saw how it intertwined with finding the value of a company, because you have to account for inflation and how much a company would be worth in five years.”
You also need to work harder sometimes in order to get recognition or get same bonuses. It might also be harder for you to find a mentor at workplace, but again you could solve those problems by working hard, finding mentors outside of workplace or developing mentorships slowly at work through developing your own brand and consistently proving that you are reliable.
This is really important. The investment gap and the pay gap are closely related. A lot of us know about the pay gap—that women make about eighty cents on the dollar compared to men with the same job and experience. And investing amplifies that difference, thanks to what Albert Einstein once called the eighth wonder of the world: compounding. Which means that, over time, the difference between investing a little and investing a little more becomes profound. Basically, if you don’t invest much, and you don’t start early enough, you’ll end up with a lot less when it’s time to retire. Once you stop working, your retirement savings becomes your income. And more income means more choices: the choice to take time off for family, change jobs for something you love but that may not pay as well, leave a bad relationship, travel the world…money equals choices.
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A fiduciary is a company or organization that is legally bound to do the right thing by their clients. Not all brokers or investment firms classify as a fiduciary, so make sure to ask before officially signing with anyone. If you find a great firm that isn’t a fiduciary, just make sure that they put client security and well-being above personal gain.
Barbara Swenson has several years work experience in the areas of accounting, real estate investing, marketing, financial management, insurance, and independent book publishing. She’s written numerous articles for AllBusiness.com, and is a Contributing Writer for Retailing Insight. She was also a Contributing Editor for the international magazine Magical Blend, and has penned articles for Aquarius and NAPRA Review magazines. She has written and published 25 personal transformation books in the last twenty years. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University Sonoma (with honors), and a Masters Degree in Science from California State University Sacramento (with honors). She lives in the Sierra foothills with her husband and son, two huge white dogs, and four cats.
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.

If you qualify for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs OR want more of your costs covered: Silver plans probably offer the best value. If you qualify for extra savings (“cost-sharing reductions”) your deductible will be lower and you’ll pay less each time you get care. But you get these extra savings ONLY if you enroll in Silver plan. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year if you use a lot of care. Even if you don’t qualify for extra savings, Silver plans offer good value — moderate premiums and deductibles, and better coverage of your out-of-pocket costs than a Bronze or Catastrophic plan provide.
“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.”
As with green investing, a gender lens comes in different strengths. Mild versions include mainstream funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), such as the SHE-ETF by State Street, that filter out listed companies with few women in senior management. Super-strength versions include funds that invest in projects benefiting poor women in developing countries. These may make it clear that they offer higher financial risk or lower returns, which investors may accept as a trade-off for the good that they do.
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!
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.
What I think that Cowell meant by the second part – that “getting to the result is harder” – is that the argument she poses is mostly true in theory; studies have indeed shown that diversity of hiring increases welfare, and specific to the asset management industry, portfolio returns. However, we have not seen enough industries and businesses having taken action towards this- which makes it hard to get to the “result”. Moreover, more diversity means more diverse opinions too, which might make it hard to reach decisions. This obstacle is natural, and its difficulty will depend on the temperaments of the people involved as well as the company’s culture.
Women approach risk differently than men do. Studies show that men are more inclined to behave like baseball sluggers, who swing for the fences, even if it means running the risk of striking out far more often. Women, by contrast, are more like contact hitters, who are satisfied with a string of singles. These tendencies show up in various forms. For example, a 2013 study by Fidelity Investments found that men were much more likely than women to hold 100% of their assets in stocks. Openfolio’s data show that portfolios owned by men are subject to far wider swings in value. The problem is that investors who strike out frequently because they’re always trying to smash home runs can undermine their results.
Money Motivation: “I’m really interested in technology, and my interest in finance started with cryptoinvesting. Four years back I read the Bitcoin Whitepaper and I thought it sounded like an amazing technology. This was before everyone started talking about cryptocurrencies. People thought I was crazy buying bitcoin, but it ended up being a great investment because last December it jumped up to $20,000 and I had bought it around $1,000. I sold my bitcoin then and made $7,000. I still have .22 of a bitcoin just in case it goes up again. I started by learning the fundamentals. Right now there are so many different cryptocurrencies people are trying to buy in these initial coin offerings, but if you don’t dive into the fundamentals and understand how the technology works, you could get scammed and lose money. You shouldn’t put money into something that you don’t understand.”
excellent post, thanks. even if this topic has been addressed and discussed however many times prior to my getting here asking the questions, i still ask it one more time ;) simply because it is important to get a personal feel to things, and not take things for granted third hand. imo, it increases the chance of making a better decision. things change, you know, day by day. i will kick the tires 100 times with my own shoes if that is what it takes for me to get a good feel when some others feel perfectly comfortable taking just a glance. to each his or her own.
Okay, we have an absolute fantastic program. I think you will find we have discussions that will be inspiring. They'll be moving, they will be thought-provoking, and we have dynamic women here who can really show how they have contributed to driving social and economic impact and improvement for women. So, we have a renowned educator here, we have innovative entrepreneurs, and we have women who have built bridges between businesses, government, and nonprofits. And so, let's just get right started. We will start with Christy Turlington Burns, who is the Founder and CEO of Every Mother Counts, and Andrea Smith, our very, Bank of America's very own. She's the Chief Administrative Officer. We'll hear from Christy as far as the important work that she is doing to advance maternal health, and the role that women play in investing in economic and social issues to continue to make sure we're driving the right level of progress. So, with that we're going to show one more quick video and we will turn it over to Christy and Andrea. Thank you.
Another difference is that men are more likely to say that outperforming the market is their top investment goal, whereas women tend to mention specific financial goals, such as buying a house or retiring at 60. Affluent women are more likely to seek financial advice and fewer direct their own investments compared with men, according to Cerulli, a research firm. But they seem to be less satisfied with the advice they are getting. A survey in 2016 by Econsult Solutions, a consultancy, found that 62% of women with significant assets under management would consider ditching their manager, compared with 44% of men. Anecdotally, millennial women who inherit wealth are prone to firing the advisers who came with it.
Women make roughly 70% of household purchases, putting them in a great position to benefit from the strategy that once made Peter Lynch the best-known mutual fund manager on the planet. Lynch, who ran Fidelity Magellan (symbol FMAGX) from 1977 through 1990, said in his book One Up on Wall Street that investors’ best research tools are their own eyes and ears; he got many of his best investment ideas while walking around shopping malls and talking with his friends and family. In fact, Lynch wrote, his wife was responsible for turning him on to what turned out to be one of his best picks ever, Hanes Co., when she told him how much she liked L’eggs panty hose, which Hanes makes.
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