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.
We spoke to women working across U.S. and European investment banks about their reaction to the figures. Some were resigned and described them as as a fact of life. Others agreed with Goldman - that the UK government isn't comparing like with like because a high proportion of women in finance occupy non-front office jobs like personal assistants. Others, however, were angry. And the reasons for their anger weren't always those discussed in sanitized accounts of women's grievances.
Imagine how much easier it would be to manage your finances if change were not an ever-present dynamic. Of course, change is a fact of life – and life would be pretty boring without it! But change can certainly make long-term financial management difficult. Without insight into the future and what might transpire, planning presents plenty of challenges.
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.”
2. Most banker chicks I have met are hardcore nerds. They went to the best high schools in their respective countries. They are top 10% of their class. If they were here for their MBA, they went to top notch undergraduates either in the US or in their home countries. I haven't forgotten about American born Chinese (ABC). All of these banker chicks went to Ivy League.
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.
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I shared this experience with other female colleagues in the office, who agreed that it was totally inappropriate and assured me I’d have their full support if I wanted to report this incident to my manager. My manager (who is a male) was also extremely supportive, reaffirming that this is not the kind of behavior we’d want to espouse with future managers and leaders of the firm. He escalated the situation to HR, who has noted this on this employee’s record. While I’m not sure if any further steps will be taken, I’m glad there was an open communication channel between me and my manager where my opinion was respected and handled with sensitivity.
In fact, looking at actual data is one of the best ways to counteract the fear of investing. For example, are you afraid to invest in stocks because you remember the painful declines of the financial crisis? Well, in spite of the 36.55 percent plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25 percent annually between 2006 and 2015.
Similar to Raise, Cardpool works as a platform for users to buy and sell gift cards. Buyers can get up to 92 percent of a gift card’s value. Sellers may have to wait a bit longer for their money because, unlike Raise, Cardpool doesn’t post the funds directly to the seller’s bank account. Instead, the payment comes in the form of an Amazon eGift Card or a bank check sent via snail mail.
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?
To be successful, business development VP Marissa Meiter says, “You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there, the worst thing someone can do is tell you the timing isn’t right.” Meiter taps into her experience working at a family-owned bank equipment business and appreciates the company’s focus on relationship building. She enjoys hearing the business owner’s stories and educating them on their M&A options.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, no, you're right. I had the first child. Learned this information, and at first, I thought, you know, even though I had the complication, the experience of giving birth was still so empowering that I really wanted—that was what I thought I would go out there and do. Like you know, birth is amazing. You need options, you need to have, you know, great people by your side. And women should know the facts, and go into this experience prepared with plans.
While parents remain the top source of financial advice for most women, only 20 percent said they felt well prepared by their parents to manage their finances as an adult. Even fewer said they learned about these topics in school. Only 24 percent learned about budgeting and setting financial goals; 14 percent said they learned about investing. Overall, only nine percent of women said their education through high school left them well prepared to manage personal finances as an adult. A slightly better 10 percent said this of their college education9.
5. Diversify your portfolio. When setting up an investment portfolio, you should make sure to diversify your investments; that is, make sure the risk is spread out and not all focused in one place. Some investments are safe but have little return (bonds, money market, treasury bills), whereas other investments come with a greater risk and thus a greater yield (stocks, funds, and futures). Also, some investments work better on a short-term basis, while others are better over the long term. By diversifying your financial portfolio, you create more security for yourself. For more on this, check out Diversify Your Investments.
We had both a female and male managing director who attended and gave us tips and funny anecdotes on the topic. The event was particularly directed to first year analysts to help us feel more confident at work. The event also gave junior women the opportunity to meet with female directors and socialise with other women from different departments within the bank.
Free tools designed for women. Fidelity.com/itstime was designed to provide insights and next steps around the life events that matter most to women, whether you're about to get married, changing careers or caring for aging parents. Available here are talks and workshops, articles, checklists, and other guidance targeted to help navigate financial challenges.
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.
FEMALE VOICE 8: Since I became part of the Global Ambassador's Program I dare to dream bigger, and I know that I have this amazing network of women that are ready to help. It's not only during the mentorship we've developed a relationship that has lasted and will last. Because of the diversity of the people that participate and the different backgrounds of the mentors, of the mentees, and that exchange between women it brings down all of the barriers that we see in society. You see mentors and mentees all working towards developing those businesses and developing those people, and there's no competition whatsoever, and that is just amazing. That's an amazing barrier to break.
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.
My boss once told me to always have the strength to admit when I’m wrong. There’s nothing more intimidating than realizing you’ve made a mistake, and it takes a lot of confidence and courage to admit it. Just remember that we’re all human, and it’s better to own up to mistakes rather than hide them. (Plus they rarely stay hidden). It really builds respect and trust among a team.
MS. VERVEER: But she's really brought extraordinary leadership, certainly to the United States Cabinet as the Secretary of Education, to now be here in North Carolina running the university system in terms of what this state represents in the full-flowering of the university system, which is well-known. But also, the work you've done with President George Bush both in terms of policy work, political work, etc. So, by any definition Margaret is a leader, and that's what we're going to discuss—leadership. And I think today more than ever women are in a pivotal position. Just look at all of you, the kinds of positions we probably wouldn't have been in ten years ago. The difference we can make, the data that shows that we're growing economies, it's critical. Driving social progress. Why is it so crucial in your eyes that we push this forward as best as we can?
Finally, you need to find a new investment that performs better than the one you sold. That turns out to be really tough to do. The Barber-Odean research found that, on average, the investments that were sold delivered about two percentage points more return over the subsequent 12 months than the investments that replaced them. Women and men fared about the same on this score, but women earned more than men simply because they traded less. “Some people think that if you’re not doing something, you’re not investing,” says author Lofton. “Warren Buffett’s favorite investment strategy is lethargy bordering on sloth. Inaction is not a bad thing.”
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.”
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.
Not only are these items expensive, but political currents in many industrialized nations are reducing the contribution government makes toward these items. Decisions in corporate America are going the same way, as employers and insurance providers offer more expensive and less comprehensive coverage. All of these trends can result in higher expenses for the elderly, as they are forced to pay increased copayments, higher premiums and increased out-of-pocket expenses.
My days are pretty unpredictable—unless I’ve got early morning calls or meetings or a ton of work to do urgently, I’ll usually get into work around 10am and could leave anywhere between 8pm to past midnight. There have been several times where I’ve woken up to tons of emails that need to be addressed immediately, so I’ll log in from home and keep working until I get to a stopping point where I can transition to the office. Best parts of my day are when the client acknowledges how helpful our work has been. Worst parts would be the really late nights and days when you’re just stretched way too thin across multiple teams.
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.
Because women are more inclined to do research and more likely to exhibit patience than men, they’re well equipped to take the same disciplined approach to selling as they do to buying and are less prone to unloading their stocks during a market panic. Ketterer suggests establishing triggers that prompt the reevaluation of each holding. A trigger could be a set date (say, at the end of a quarter or the end of a year), or it could be a specific rise or fall in the share price. Ketterer sets a target price for each stock she buys and reevaluates it when the price approaches that level. A falling stock price is not a reason to sell, she says. But it may indicate that your initial analysis was flawed and requires review. “The greater the frequency of review of a company, its industry and the economic environment, the better,” she adds.
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, I think programs like this are a great place to start that are outside the government, outside formal networks, and I think obviously we need to take care of each other, to mentor each other, but not only to mentor each other, to sponsor each other, and that, you know, that distinction between, you know, being someone who is an advocate as a sponsor for that next generation of women. I think obviously higher levels of education, but we need to make sure that our women are paying attention to what the data tells us about where opportunity is. In this state, you know, STEM, whether it's the financial industry or the pharmaceutical industry, the biotech industry, those industries that are driving this state forward we want to make sure that our women and girls get part of that action and so that we're pursuing the disciplines that lead into those pathways.
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.
That brings me to the final part that I believe is essential for young women like me to understand more about the industry, which is work experience. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity of working in the finance industry. However, it has always been my aspiration to do so, and I hope to craft my academic career to achieve this. Also, I plan on participating in KWHS’s next investment competition to gain some hands-on (although at the same time theoretical) experience and insights on the area. I am keen towards broadening my horizons and learning more about the asset management and finance industry; it truly does seem to be an amazing yet intriguing topic.
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.
Women control $11.2 trillion of investable assets in the United States, according to a study by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Turner Moffitt at the Center for Talent Innovation. "Where investing is made accessible and approachable for women, women not only invest more but are better investors," said Sallie Krawcheck, the former top Wall Street executive now working on an online financial advisor called Ellevest, aimed at women, which is set to launch this year.
“There are special reasons why women have got to take financial control through education and empowerment,” says Blayney. (One big reason: Women tend to lend longer than men, so they’ll need more money over their lifetimes.) However, about 35 percent of men around the world are financially literate, compared to 30 percent of women, according to a global financial literacy survey by The Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Furthering the issue, just 17 states require high school students to take a personal finance course—and that number hasn’t changed since 2014, according to the Council for Economic Education.
MS. VERVEER: Absolutely, and you did mention education and the fact that women are certainly in higher education exceeding all kinds of boundaries in graduate programs, and yet we don't see always, as you just said, the benefits of some of that in terms of breaking through and to some of the credible really challenging leadership jobs. What is the role of education in forging leadership? And how do you, so you've spent so much time overseeing the United States' education policies, now here in this state at the university level, what more should we be doing in terms of our education system to grow leadership, and particularly to grow women's leadership since we have such large numbers of women coming into the education sphere.
Invest In Women 2019 is the leading forum nationwide to explore, discuss and learn about issues that are meaningful for women financial advisors and female clients. Both male and female advisors are invited to this event that promises insight and networking to help practices grow. The 2019 conference will offer expanded programming that reflects input from prior attendees as well as other industry leaders. Take the opportunity to be inspired — and have fun — at a conference you won’t want to miss. Plan to be there and register now.
#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.