If you’re looking for a way to automate your own investment strategy or want to start investing on a small-scale without using a broker or firm, an investment app might be the right platform for you. If you type in “investment apps” in the app store search tool, hundreds of options will pull up, but not all will help you grow your savings to hit a solid return.

MS. OULIMATA SARR: Thank you. You know, once a year the Cherie Blair Foundation reaches out to people who want to donate their time, and you know, that year I agreed to spend a year with a mentee across the globe, and I was assigned a young lady in Malaysia who was manufacturing washable pantyliners out of bamboo fiber, and her biggest market was California. And yes, probably the new-age women who don't want to use disposable pantyliners.
At Ellevest, we’ve found (and research confirms) that women are not so much risk-averse but risk-aware—meaning that they want to thoroughly understand a risk before they take it on. And once they do? A study from the University of California at Berkeley describes women as “rational” investors, meaning that they take on smart risks, and the women in the study outperformed the men, whose overtrading due to overconfidence was a less successful move in the long run.
MS. ALYSE NELSON: Well hello everyone, I'm Elise Nelson. I'm President and CEO of Vital Voices. Let me just first say how exciting it is to be here at the mothership of Bank of America. I heard it actually called that. Vital Voices, as you know, launched in partnership with Bank of America this really innovative partnership five years ago. So, it's quite special to be back here and to see so many people in this room who were really part of making it happen and looking at Zoe and Susan and of course Pam Seagle, and so many others who just made this a reality.  

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.
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.
#1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.
thank you for your comment. i have been making some peripheral observations based on my older sibling's friends and classmates who are considering IB related works after college. based on my non representative samplings, those who are going into IB --at least the applying stage-- are typical alpha male loud mouth who try to get ahead by stepping on others. others are turned off by this. thus i want to assess on my own if IB community is actually looking for competitive folks that are competitive in that manner. i want to hear the facts or real experiences, instead of PC talk.

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.
MS. SPELLINGS: --moderator here. Melanne, the table could be turned on this easily and Melanne and I have worked together for many, many years on these issues with President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and on and on and on. And I think that's, as I've listened to Christy and thought about the qualities that we try to engender as women leaders, patience, working with others, listening, being goal oriented, understanding it's for the long-haul, being touched by something personal as Christy was often related to children and women and vulnerable populations. I mean all of those things really are at our core beliefs—as women.
My department is pretty much evenly split, so imbalance between men and women wasn't something I took into account when deciding whether or not to join the bank. Other departments may be slightly weighted one way or the other, but that shouldn't discourage anyone from pursuing a career in investment banking. If anything, it should give women more incentive to join the industry, make it more feminine and challenge the stereotype that investment banking is male-dominated. In my experience at J.P. Morgan, men and women are treated equally. I've never felt that I'm at a disadvantage because I'm a woman.
Define your goals: Get to the heart of what's important to you by thinking critically about investment goals. Sabbia mentioned preparing for personal retirement, saving for children's educational needs, or leaving a charitable gift for the next generation as potential goals. She also mentioned a key difference in how women invest. "While women care about performance, they also look for their investments to align with their values, goals and priorities," Sabbia said. "In fact, more than half of women investors are interested in or engaged in impact investing, generating financial returns along with social returns." Sabbia mentions that whether it's for your own family or a meaningful cause to help others, having clear goals that link to a clear strategy is key to success. And the ripple effect from that empowerment could extend far beyond your own backyard. Increased participation in investing could benefit communities overall. "If more women can actively take control of their financial future all along the way, it would not only benefit them, but also their families and our society overall,” said Maddy Dychtwald, co-founder and senior vice president of Age Wave.
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.
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.)
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.

Don’t give up if you get a no. Ask for non-money perks: flextime, a new title, pay reevaluation next quarter, or mentorship by or a project with a senior exec. They’re valuable in themselves, but they also get your boss in the habit of saying yes to you, and that will help you get that raise next time. Remember, this is a lifetime gap you’re working to close!
Making investing a habit—a bit out of every paycheck—is also smart and may be a means of further reducing risk. That’s because sometimes you may be “buying high,” and sometimes you may be “buying low.” But over time, these may even out…and reduce the time it can take for your portfolio to recover from any market downturn (since during the stock plunge, you’ll be “buying low”).
Thankfully, things have changed — but not everyone has gotten the message. Today you can invest online, from the comfort of your home, and if you do meet with an advisor, you’re going to see that everyone is trying to make things more accessible, Katchen says. “People know that women control more money than men, and are often the financial decision makers in their household.”
I think the summer curriculum of this nonprofit organization is very helpful. It mentioned that there are much fewer women professionals than men in the financial market. This may be due to the industry’s prejudice against women. The industry tends to consider women have less advantages than men, or women have more commitments not only to work, but also to their families. Some of these thoughts are true, but some are not. Women need more mentorship and empowerment. As the articles mentioned above, these students brought not much understanding before the camps. After the camps, however, they learned about, and mastered financial knowledge and tools. This learning process will benefit and illuminate their own future.The potential of improving women’s financial knowledge is very big. But the existing problem is that women just are not getting the right guidance and empowerment. For example, these teenagers. They didn’t have much financial knowledge. But through this project, they started to be familiar with finance, and understand finance. With a more positive understanding of money, their life may be improved .

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.


To keep from acting impulsively, Kaplan suggests writing a script that outlines how you will react to a plunge or a rapidly rising market. Following that plan—-be it reading from an investment policy statement that you’ve prepared for yourself or simply calling your adviser—-should help you in both booms and busts, tempering the inclination to invest the rent money in stocks during run-ups and to bail out of the market with money you might not need for 30 years.
Women are different from men in many ways, one of which is their interests. They could offer an insight into an investment that a man would have otherwise not thought of – say, for instance, Kylie’s Cosmetics which today is worth $900 million. This might be a stereotypical argument, but I am pretty sure that a heterosexual man would not have thought of investing in such a company, whereas a woman might have. Therefore, an asset management business that integrates and welcomes women into the workplace could possibly have unique insights and advantages over its competitors that do not do so.
MS. VERVEER: But I do think as we talk about leadership this is one of those spaces, and one where you can have tremendous impact at the local level, even when you're doing many other things. One of the things Kim and I noticed when we were writing Fast Forward was that women today tend to look at whatever they do, whether it's starting a business, they want a real purpose for that business, whether it's trying to address some kind of a local challenge, that there's this sense of purpose. I really want to make a difference. Are we peculiar that way?

Investing is not some get-rich-quick scheme and there is always a degree of risk. But those women who are comfortable with that risk should not be deterred by the aggressive macho investor stereotype. The proof of the increasing success of women in the world of investing can be seen in the female-focused investment firms that have sprung up. As Alexander Taussig, the senior vice president for women investors at Fidelity, has said, "The myth that men are better investors is just that -- a myth."

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