While it is naïve to think that complete gender equality on Wall Street would happen overnight, the bottom line is that women, who have largely stood at the sidelines of investment banking, have potential for being successful in the field and investment banks are increasingly looking to tap that potential. Or to quote the great Bob Dylan, the times, they are a-changin’.
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.
JPMorgan, for instance, holds ‘Winning Women’ events which offer networking opportunities and guidance for prospective female investment bankers. Morgan Stanley has several diversity initiatives, including a leadership program for newly promoted female managing directors, a six-month leadership program for women vice presidents, as well as a women’s business exchange within the bank’s wealth management unit. On the more practical side, Goldman Sachs for example is accommodating mothers with on-site child care at its New York and New Jersey offices, as well as on-site lactation rooms.
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.
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.
She isn’t alone in putting financial planning on the back burner. According to the 2014 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study, the number one roadblock for people who think their planning could use improvement is a lack of time. Other studies show that many American women share this “head-in-the-sand” approach to long-term planning. But that strategy won’t work, according to Rebecca Bast, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual; not if women are to enjoy the financial security they deserve.
No. In your early 20s, you’re just happy to have a job. I loved the markets and the trading floor atmosphere. As you get more senior, the pay disparity, the accounts being unequally distributed becomes more apparent. It bothered me. The little frat boy jokes stuff was a constant drumbeat. It didn’t get to me that much. As I got into my 30s, I was bothered more by seeing young women come who were talented and leave because of the environment.
As you near your retirement, you should start moving some of your risky investments to safer avenues such as Debt Mutual Funds. But don’t give up investing in equities yet. Inflation will have a huge impact on your savings once you retire and equities are the only investments that can save you in the long run. Ensure that you have set up different income sources so that you don’t run the risk of lower returns from one income source.
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. SARR: Absolutely. I will talk about my own area of, my portfolio. So, I deal with economic empowerment for Western and Central Africa, and my role is to help our country offices develop the biggest programs that give more money to the women. Right now we're focusing on agriculture because as we look at all of these African countries we realize that agriculture is a driver of growth, and therefore if we want to empower economically the women we have to make sure that they are involved in agriculture, they are just used as labor.
Well, I think that it summarizes what I think about this topic. Maybe Wharton’s Investment Competition will have more girls participating if it adopt some measures, like maybe a “runner up prize”, with symbolic values, to the best girls team, or maybe a rule that teams with more than six participants need to have at least one girl (it won’t stop anyone to participate but would make the incentive between students for a higher participation of girls). But as I said, 27% is a number that makes me ate least optimistic, because it reveals that girls are interested in this field and are fighting for it too. Now we have to try to increase this percentage, and movements like Girls Who Invest take a key role on it.
3. Create an investment plan. Once you have set your goals, you need to create a solid investment plan. First, determine how much money you have to invest, and start thinking about how to make your money work for you to achieve your financial goals. Rather than a set of rules, an investment plan provides guidelines that can help you organize and direct your energies. Financial plans should have continuity and a solid foundation, but at the same time be adaptable to changes that invariably happen in life. For more on financial planning, read Developing a Personal Financial Plan.
According to Veris Wealth Partners and Catalyst At Large, investment-advice firms, by last June $910m was invested with a gender-lens mandate across 22 publicly traded products, up from $100m and eight products in 2014. Private markets are hard to track, but according to Project Sage, which scans private-equity, venture and debt funds, $1.3bn had been raised by mid-2017 for investing with a gender lens.
1. Get in the game. Women are participating in their employers’ retirement plans at the same rate as men. The problem is, they typically save less—an average of 6.9 percent of pay compared to 7.6 percent for men, according to 2013 a report by Aon Hewitt. Many also don’t contribute enough to take advantage of any company match. This makes it harder for women to build sufficient savings to fund retirement. In fact, according to the Aon Hewitt report, women have average plan balances that are significantly less than men’s, consistently across all salary ranges ($59,300 for women vs. $100,000 for men). The solution? Bast urges women to take full advantage of their retirement plans as soon as possible. “The key to building wealth is to start early, set aside as much as possible and always contribute at least as much to get any employer match that may be available.”
Take, she said, a feature like tax-loss harvesting, a feature that involves selling losing investments so that investors can write off the loss on their taxes. It has become a standard on some new online investment platforms. "It's very in the weeds and technical," she said. "I have been in the industry for [a long time]. ... I've never had a woman ask me about tax-loss harvesting."
Women used to get a bad rap on Wall Street. Industry observers maintained that women started too late, saved too little and invested too conservatively. But research is increasingly proving otherwise. Just as Little League pitching phenom Mo’ne Davis turned the phrase “you throw like a girl” into a compliment, author LouAnn Lofton says you should be flattered if someone says you invest like a girl. After all, says Lofton, who wrote Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl, the nation’s best-known investor does.
To kick off FUND Conference in Chicago this Fall, it is our honor to host the second Women Investing in Women (WiW) event. This exclusive event will feature keynotes, fireside discussions, and panels that focus on advancing women-led companies and bridging the unacceptable gender gap in business. A working lunch will match attendees with the resources they need to grow their business. This is an opportunity to create powerful relationships and networks to generate deal-flow for women-owned companies and the investors, service providers and communities who support them.
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”).
Moreover, I also imagine the finance industry to be intimidating by nature. To me, it requires people to make quick and sound judgments, as well as be competitive and cutthroat. However, these perceptions were based upon myths and Hollywood movies designed to generate revenue and not create awareness of the industry. They, therefore, may not match reality. This is why I believe that Girls who Invest are playing a major role in changing the perception women have towards the asset management industry. They are doing so by tackling the issue by its roots — educating young women about the industry and destroying myths and untrue perceptions. Also, by aiming to transform the finance-industry landscape with the inclusion of women in finance, GWI is working towards benefiting the industry as a whole.
This material contains the opinions of the manager and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world. ©2018, PIMCO.
MS. SMITH: That's fantastic. So, last question; so talk, talk to us about what you've learned through your work, building an organization, and what you would pass along to our entrepreneurs that are in here, our mentors from other countries as you met many of them. We've got representation really from around the world. So, what advice would you leave them with?
WIN is a forum for full-time MBA women from top business schools around the country and investment professionals from sponsoring firms to gather, network, hear perspectives on investment careers and related topics from industry representatives, learn from distinguished women and men in the industry; and showcase their stock-picking skills in front of judges from sponsoring firms and obtain feedback on their pitches. More than 60 women MBA students from top business schools and 65 representatives from top-tier investment management firms are expected to attend.
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.
MS. URZAIZ: For sure. I think trying to set up the business that I have before e-commerce was a thing—I don't even know how I would have, you know, reached as many places that I reach. We ship to every continent in the world, to places as remote as Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, that you wouldn't think we can reach. But everything—it's online. They reach me online and we're excited to say that my hammocks are used everywhere in the world.
All the women agreed – and their successful banking careers testify – that you don’t have to be masculine to succeed as an investment banker. Nonetheless, Lorraine conceded: ‘You do need to be confident and assertive. However, that could be quietly confident. Ultimately, you will need to be able to find a way to be confident and assertive that reflects your character.’ Sophie agreed: ‘Don’t change yourself – you can’t pretend to be someone else.’
Textbooks and school supplies. Course materials could eat up a large chunk of your budget. The average estimated cost of books and supplies for in-state students living on campus at public four-year institutions in 2016-2017 was $1,250, according to the College Board. Also plan for purchases like notebooks, a laptop, a printer and a backpack, and read the do’s and don’ts of back-to-school shopping for money-saving tips.
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.
The Boston Consulting Group reported that between 2010 and 2015, private wealth held by women grew from $34 trillion to $51 trillion. Most of the private wealth that will change hands in the next 20 or 30 years will go into the hands of women. There are multiple reasons for this, reports The Economist, one of them being that participation in the labor market is increasing and women are being paid more. Another is that women are inheriting more money from their husbands or parents, who are more likely to treat sons and daughters equally than they have done historically.
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.”