The report also found that the same barriers that might keep women from investing are the same issues that create and compound the gender gap, including breaks from employment due to family care responsibilities or hesitation around talking about money. “Women have come a long way both personally and professionally, but when it comes to their finances, there is still a trail left to blaze,” said Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “As women are at a tipping point to achieve greater financial empowerment and independence, it is even more essential that we support women in helping them pursue financial security for life." Women in the study noted that their top financial regret was not investing more (41%), and also mentioned that lack of investing knowledge (60%) and confidence in choices (34%) are top barriers that keep them from investing. Of all generational groups, Millennial women reported feeling the least confident (46%) in matters of investment.
One of my favorite African proverbs says that if you want to go fast go it alone, but if you want to go far go together. And that's certainly what we're going to be talking about on this panel today. I'm thrilled to be joined by first Oulimata Sarr. She is a Regional Advisor for economic empowerment of women with UN Women. UN Women is the UN agency responsible for women's, responsible for women's empowerment, economic, political, and otherwise. Next to her is Katerina Cronstedt. She is a serial entrepreneur from Russia. She in my opinion, reading her bio, has led many lives, fit so much in, and she is currently the founder of Bankatering, and we'll hear a little bit more about that in a minute. And finally, you've already met Christine Katziff from Bank of America. She is the Global General Auditor. It's great that you have time to join us, that sounds like a really big job.
The first thing I want to make clear is that women really are missing out right now. Investing is a huge wealth generator, and women, for one reason or another, tend to do it less. Seventy-one percent of the money women have is in cash, and any financial advisor will tell you, cash not only doesn’t earn a return; it actually depreciates over time thanks to inflation. The stock market, on the other hand, has returned an average of 9.5 percent for the past ninety years, even including the horrific downturn in 2007. The good news is a lot of companies are trying to figure out how to change that. Partly because it’s the right thing to do, partly because it’s good business.
“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.”
My biggest takeaway from this article is the power of women as money managers, when it comes to both personal finance for their families as well as client assets. Yes, gender equality in the workplace is an important goal, and it is also a really smart business decision. Women need to see themselves in these roles, know they can develop the necessary skills, and then work hard to fill top asset-management positions. I love the advice of all these young women as they begin to feel more confident with their new financial knowledge and consider their future goals. They are all starting to feel empowered. Their advice, coupled with the advice from the New York Stock Exchange executives in this KWHS article: https://whr.tn/2KaCfVM, is inspiring for everyone, regardless of age.
Do you need to hear that again? Nothing will make as big a difference in your retirement account balance as the amount you save. Even just adding an additional 1% can tip the scales significantly. A 35-year old earning $60,000 a year who puts an extra 1% (roughly $50 per month) into her retirement account will have an extra $3200 per year to live on in retirement (assuming a 7% rate of return and 1.5% raises.)
Don't put your investments on long-term autopilot. One of women's strengths as investors is that they are less tempted to buy and sell in the short term, based on classic research by Brad M. Barber and Terrance Odean at the University of California-Berkeley. But at least once a year, you need to become an active investor, checking your asset allocation as you age and your needs change. That means changing your asset allocation when it's required, or hiring an investment advisor or an online investment platform to do it for you. "This was my own mistake in 2008. ... I didn't have cash, and I was fairly close to retirement," said Hounsell.
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.
I really believe in passive investing and using technology to build really smart portfolios for people who don’t have the time, interest, or expertise to do the research (to figure out risk tolerance and asset allocation and diversification). There’s a new type of investment service that does this—but it has a terrible name: robo-advisor. The way it works is incredibly simple: You sign up, answer a bunch of questions about how old you are, your financial situation, what you’re saving for, and then the company, like Wealthsimple, will instantly build you a portfolio.
Information provided in the podcast is general in nature, is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as investment advice. The views and opinions provided are those of the individual noted herein, are as of the date first published, and do not necessarily represent the views of Fidelity Investments. Any such views are subject to change at any time based on market or other conditions. Fidelity Investments disclaims any liability for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information in this podcast. As with all your investments through Fidelity, you must make your own determination whether an investment in any particular security or securities is consistent with your investment objectives, risk tolerance, financial situation, and evaluation of the security. Fidelity is not recommending or endorsing these investments by making them available to its customers. Consult your tax or financial advisor for information concerning your specific situation.
Says Bourke, “In the first part of 2014, we completed four oil and gas deals totaling $350 million. We found, even in the heart of the oil patch, traditionally known as a male dominated industry, it is more the exception than the rule that both the decision to sell as well as the selection of the most appropriate buyer was a joint decision involving a central female stakeholder. It makes business sense to direct deliberate attention to building an investment banking firm that leverages the talent and experience of the female workforce.”
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.
All of the top banks are run by men. A Catalyst study reports that women account for less than 17 percent of senior leaders in investment banking. In private equity, women comprise only 9 percent of senior executives and only 18 percent of total employees, according to a 2017 report by Preqin. At hedge funds and private debt firms, the numbers are similarly low — women hold just 11 percent of leadership roles.
Networking isn't just about meeting people to get career help. It's also about meeting others that you can help. We always remember those who have gone out of their way to be helpful. Also, people move around and you never know where they will land. So make an impression that you are a 'go to' person who can be relied on for help, and you’ll find your kindness repaid in a million ways.
Bottom line, don't be something you're not. be firm, but not a real bitch who can't play well with others. Be nice, but don't be a pushover. Don't go into banking with self-doubts because you're a girl. Sure, there are definitely times where it will be awkward (guys who do just 'guy' things, talking about girls, etc) but it's best to just go with the flow in those instances.
This problem may also result from a reluctance to talk about money. Women talk about marriage, kids, college, politics, religion, shopping and sex, but money matters tend to be taboo. “Men have no trouble talking about money, but it’s the one thing that women are hesitant to discuss,” says Zaneilia Harris, a certified financial planner and author of the book Finance ’n Stilettos. “If you won’t initiate that conversation, you’re hurting yourself. Sharing stories about money is a great way to learn.”
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The result is an investment gap. Fewer women take part in the financial market, and that hurts women’s total wealth over time, thereby exacerbating the gender wealth gap. It’s a vicious, sexist financial cycle. “If women earn less and don’t invest those earnings, the gap gets bigger and bigger,” Morrison says. But as Morrison proves, it doesn’t have to be this way.
In a sign of their higher risk aversion, 90 percent of female Millennials said they held cash assets, such as money market funds or certificates of deposit (CDs). While these savings vehicles guarantee you'll get your money back, the returns are slight. The average nationwide money market account yields just 0.18 percent, and a one-year CD pays 2.21 percent in interest, according to Bankrate.com. Those modest returns compare with a 4 percent gain for the broad stock market this year and a nearly 20 percent gain in 2017.
Figuring out how much you should invest vs. set aside in a short-term savings account comes down to how much risk you’re willing to undertake. Year over year, the market has been steadily rising, but that doesn’t mean that a return is guaranteed. The golden rule is to never invest more than you’re willing to lose, especially if you’re going after aggressive or volatile markets.
Financial editor and writer LouAnna Lofton, who studied the habits of Warren Buffett and compared them to research about gender and investing, has also found that women match their investments more closely to their goals and remain calmer during market turbulence. During a downturn, she says, female investment portfolios weather the storm far better than male ones.
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.
Perhaps you’re just not feeling completely happy or fulfilled in your current industry, and something is telling you that perhaps now is the time to make a major change. This could be a good thing—the truth is, job unhappiness is often a major cause of mental and physical distress and could have a wide range of negative effects on our health and well-being.
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.
Some more interesting results have been released, in case you're interested in adding it to the list. A recently released PwC article highlights some of the issues women face in breaking into the financial services industry, the basic finding is while involving diverse groups improves business performance - so irrespective of an ethical case there is a business one - many women for instance, still find themselves sidelined with 60% saying financial services firms are not doing enough to encourage diversity.
Most families have one person that is in charge of the family’s finances, we want to change that. Together you have worked hard to raise a family, own a home and build a life, making all the big decisions together, though life’s joys and challenges, securing a financial future is a partnership too. Talking about money can be difficult for a variety of reasons mostly because men and women approach money differently. Women have sharp intuition when it comes to money; and by 2020, they are expected to control $22 trillion in assets. Ninety-five percent of women will be their family's primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives. When it comes to investing we want to encourage couples to get involved in the money conversation before a life changing event occurs.
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.
Many women reserved their ire for the "F" word: family. Male bankers with families are feted as breadwinners, said one. "There's still the assumption - often made by senior bankers with stay at home wives - that a woman's income is the secondary income," she said. In reality, this often isn't the case: "Almost all the senior women I know in finance have househusbands, but they're not going to broadcast that fact."