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.
“Women have more power and earning potential than ever before. They now make up the majority of college graduates, represent nearly half the labor force and are the primary breadwinners in 42 percent of households,” says Bast, who cited The Shriver Report published in 2014. “Because they’re balancing careers and families with philanthropic pursuits and other projects, however, they often place others ahead of themselves.”
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.”
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."
Money is power. For many, it's also an important form of security. Women are starting to achieve equal pay in many jobs and industries, and the ever-narrowing gender pay gap is encouraging a more equal world. But when it comes to accumulating real wealth, women still fall behind. In fact, a new report by Merrill Lynch shows that women can fall as much as a million dollars behind their male counterparts over the course of their lives. The study, done in partnership with Age Wave, a thought leader on population aging, explored differences in how women and men approach investing as well as how their life paths and obligations shape their choices. The study found that women are less confident in managing investments (52%) when compared to men (68%). But that's not the whole story.
That’s why it’s important for women to invest in companies that support other women. One example? Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (PXWEX). It’s a mutual fund with Sallie Krawcheck, the leader of women’s digital financial advisor Ellevest, serving as chair. Here’s the scoop: It rates companies based on how well they advance gender diversity—like how many women serve on the board or as executive managers—and puts your money towards the ones that come out on top. It’s based on global research that shows having more women at the helm can increase return and lower costs, says Blayney. As for the results? The fund outperformed the MSCI World Index for the three-year period ending September 30, 2017. 
Against this backdrop, countless talented female bankers have emerged in positions of power and influence in the last ten years, and contributed to the region's thriving status. Going by the strong network of up and coming female financiers, women will continue their march on high finance in Asia. finews.asia names the region's top twelve most influential female bankers.
Saul M. Simon, a certified financial planner with Simon Financial Group in Edison, N.J., recommends women investors start investing at work in their 401(k) or 403(b) 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.
“If you look at China and India, there’s a vast majority of people that are moving from one class to the next class, and that’s happening here in the United States as it relates to minorities as well,” Abercrombie said. “People are investing more; they’re wanting to save more, and they’re wanting to get more involved with financial planning outside of just a general savings account.

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.
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.
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.

Don’t attempt to boil the ocean. “The industry has been set up to make investing feel scary,” Katchen says. “The old boys club wants you to believe that you need them to tell you what to do with your money, but the basics are simple: Don’t spend more than you make, save regularly, and get into the markets, that’s the essence of what it’s all about.”


It’s also paramount that you think about which specific skills and competencies your chosen employer is looking for. Teamwork, leadership, a sense of values and citizenship are among those that are typically sought. ‘Then ask yourself, how strong am I in these areas? What are my stand-out strengths?’ advised Lorraine. ‘Think about selling yourself and what makes you special. If you’re strong academically, for instance, it’s okay for that to take up half the page of your CV or covering letter.’
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.
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.

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."
Every time I was in an awarding of an Scientific Olympiad in my country (Brazil), I found strange that there were much more boys than girls, and it was a truth since 6th grade until High School. Well, I could not accept that there were nothing wrong with it because I knew some very intelligent girls. Before I get into High School, I studied in a regular class and some of the best grades were from girls, they potential was tremendous but they simply did not want to dedicate to this side. When I moved from my school to another and entered in a class focused in Sciences (Math, Physics and Chemistry) I realized that the majority of boys were a problem not just in the Olympiads, but in this area (STEM) itself (ant least in my country, but I believe that it unfortunately extends to other places as well). For me, it’s impossible to assume that this situation is due to a kind of “difficult” that girls would have in this subjects, as some supposes, even because some woman that I know are more than excellent at them. I believe that it’s a result of cultural scars left by a past in which girls were destined to stay in home and take care of things, a work that does not necessarily require much study. Than boys mass-dominated the STEM area. And now, due to the lack of representativity, the young girls don’t see themselves in this areas as much boys do. They do not look and imagine they being successful at it because very few were. They basically judge themselves as incapable and the shore as impossible. Of course, it’s not true, but some of them think it is. And so, the lack of women in this area causes a lack of women entering in this area… a loop. A sad loop…
Here, we have a ways to go. Maybe you’ve heard of the gender pay gap. Frustrating, right? And costly. But there are more gaps at play: Women pay more for the debt they carry than men, and they don’t invest as much as men do. As a result, women retire with two-thirds the money of men…even though we tend to live years longer. Don’t believe me? Check the gender mix at your local nursing home: 80% of women die single, and they’re also 80% more likely to be impoverished in retirement than men. Yuck.
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.

MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit--


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.
Looking back, I’d emphasize to never sell yourself short and believe in the value you can add to a client. I never thought my opinions and judgment as a 22-year-old would be valuable to a client (isn’t that what my bosses are for?), but this role elevates you to positions where you will be asked for your thoughts and asked to represent the firm in various client situations.
Everyone’s relationship with money varies, but LearnVest is here to make sure it’s a good and healthy one. Their sole mission? To help you feel amazing about money. All users have access to a free and personalized money center, where they can create and prioritize their financial goals, link their accounts and also determine their net worth. They also have a must reads tab where users can get more content on all things finance, career and lifestyle.

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”).
MS. VERVEER: One of the other things I've been in this learning experience about the region, the area, the state, and I understand the disparities between economic mobility, economic and equality, not peculiar here by any stretch but obviously significantly disparities, and maybe you can explain why. But we deal with that across the country, we deal with it all over the world. And we're here really focusing on entrepreneurship, and Bank of America has been a leader in enabling women to grow their entrepreneurial skills because we know what that can do to grow economies and provide the kind of wind at the back of economies.
BOSTON — When it comes to saving and investing one's hard earned money, who has greater overall success: men or women? If your immediate reaction was "men," then a new study from Fidelity Investments® may come as something of a surprise—and you wouldn't be alone. In fact, when asked who they believed made the better investor this past year, a mere nine percent of women thought they would outperform men1. And yet, a growing body of evidence, including an analysis of more than eight million clients from Fidelity2, shows that women actually tend to outperform men when it comes to generating a return on their investments.
Only one-third (32 percent) of female Millennials said they "feel in complete control" of their financial well-being, versus 43 percent of males. Similarly, only a quarter (26 percent) of women said they were "confident" that they are saving enough for the future, compared with 40 percent of males. And only one in five (19 percent) women said they have a "solid understanding of how to successfully invest" their money, versus 36 percent of males.
When it comes to the day-to-day decisions of their bosses, women describe environments that are biased against them. Though some men do report observing bias, far fewer of them see it than women do. Women (9 percent) are about twice as likely as men (4 percent) to say that they see their company’s management withhold opportunity or promotion from women. Women (8 percent) are also about four times as likely as men (2 percent) to believe women are excluded from networking and social opportunities, such as after-work drinks or golf outings.
The lack of confidence carries a big cost. For instance, more young women than young men defer retirement planning in their 20s, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. They take Social Security early, cutting their lifetime benefits. And financial advisors have long noted that wives often defer to their husbands, even though research shows that generally speaking, women are better investors than men.
To attend, first secure your ticket to FUND Conference here. During the checkout process, you will be asked if you plan to attend WiW. Upon selecting “yes”, a short questionnaire will be emailed to you that will allow us to better pair you for WiW's networking session. Completion of this questionnaire will then secure your spot, and a confirmation email will be sent to you.

And this program, the Global Ambassador's Program was really founded on that core belief. It started as a partnership between Vital Voices, a nonprofit organization, nongovernmental organization, and Bank of America of course, major multinational corporation. And one of the things that I think was so profound is that right from the beginning it was about an equal partnership, that we each have something to bring to the table, even though one entity was a lot smaller than the other. But I think what was so incredible about the launch of that was just this idea that we're going to not only look at how we tap into so many great leaders, women leaders in the bank, but also how do we leverage so many other leaders in other organizations? And I think that takes a lot of insight from a company to understand that, that partnership is not just about you and someone in another sector, it could be about even partnering with some of your competitors to ultimately, you know, make a difference in the long run.


With all of these factors working against them, women have very different outlooks on retirement than men. Indeed, Jackson's recent investor survey revealed some significant disparities. In addition to the gender pay gap, there also appears to be an investing confidence gap between men and women. While 46.2% of men reported that they "have plenty of investing confidence," only 30.3% of women said the same. When asked about their current level of financial knowledge, less than 10% of female respondents stated that they "have all the financial knowledge [they] need to make appropriate investing decisions," compared to more than 17% of male respondents. Lastly, the gender pay gap could be at least part of the reason women are more concerned than men when it comes to saving for retirement. 52.4% of women cited "saving enough for retirement" as a top financial concern, compared to only 42.7% of men.5
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Do what you can to learn about investing now, because estimates show that women control 51 percent of wealth in the U.S. and are projected to control two-thirds by 2020, according to a Fidelity study. Yet women are more likely to say that "lack of investing knowledge or experience" and "too much information, or complexity of investing" are reasons they feel less confident, according to a Capital One investing survey. Consider taking an online investing course, downloading a podcast or wading through a book. (Warren Buffett's favorite is "The Intelligent Investor.")
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.
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.
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. 

Investment of capital makes the global economy run, every day. The U.S. would have struggled to create a national economy post World War II without money invested by asset management firms to build its highway infrastructure. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind would not be a reality today, and in certain parts of the developing world, people would still be without clean drinking water if not for investment in water treatment facilities.
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