Women are often more cautious than men, a quality which has become highly valued in the post-financial crisis world. Intuition is another valuable ‘female’ quality when it comes to investment decisions. And last but not least, women are often more goal-driven, knowing that they sometimes need to work twice as hard as their male colleagues to get ahead.
The lesson, says Ramona Persaud, manager of Fidelity Global Equity Income Fund (FGILX), is that it’s important to manage risk and avoid huge losses. If you invest in individual stocks, says Persaud, look for strong companies that are willing and able to pay generous dividends. “Your investment return is a combination of dividends and price appreciation,” she says. “If you have enough dividend yield, it dampens the downside.”
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.”
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.
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.
You should not have any credit card debt. This means you pay off your credit card balances in full every month. Why credit card debt in particular? Because if you aren’t paying that off every month, you aren’t making enough to support your basic living expenses. Once you get a budget that keeps you out of the red on a monthly basis (excluding debt like student or car loans), then you can start thinking about investing. (If you have credit card debt, try our Get Out of Debt Bootcamp.)
OP, I'm not saying this to be rude, but arguably the most important trait of a successful analyst is being resourceful. This question has been asked hundreds of times on WSO and always is answered the same way: if you work hard, no one cares if you're male, female, black, white, or a martian. Again, not trying to be rude, but this has been asked and answered ad-nauseum.
Here’s the bottom line—many folks who are unhappy with their work lives or who are just eager for a fresh start or new challenge take the new year as an opportunity to make a change, and it’s a great time to do so! Because so many people are focused on career changes at the beginning of a new year, many companies and industries ramp up their hiring during this time—and those among us who are serious and dedicated can take full advantage of this reality. If this sounds like you, perhaps now is a great time to move forward—but do so wisely and plan accordingly. Good luck and Happy New Year!
There are a few ways to be a good self-advocate when it comes to fees. Ask your advisor if he or she gets money for any of the products they want you to invest in. Sometimes advisors are paid every time someone invests in a mutual fund, for instance. It’s a conflict of interest, but in some cases, they aren’t required to disclose it. Crazy, right? If the company makes it too hard for you to find out what they’re charging you, you should probably go elsewhere. Transparency is always a good sign.

Furthermore, women tend to be more cautious than men. They could be great assets for managing the less risky funds, as well as coming up with solid fixed-income investments. Although it is exciting to risk and watch the stock market volatility, asset management businesses need a “devil’s advocate” on the safer side, which is a great role for a woman to take. That is not to say that women can’t also make risky investments, but that is just the general consensus of psychological and sociological studies that I have read in the past.


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.

Krawcheck, long known as the most powerful woman on Wall Street, was CEO of wealth management firm Merrill Lynch during its acquisition by Bank of America; she left in 2011. Ellevest is backed by $10 million in funding from some of the biggest names in the investment business, including Chicago-based research firm Morningstar and Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.
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. 

Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.

In my experience (MM firm, about 4k in size) there is absolutely no discrimination against women. If you are bright, driven, and add value, you will succeed... regardless of what may or may not be hanging down yunder. There's no question that the C-suites of Wall Street are dominated by men... but look at the generation. Management generally is in their 40-60's, that puts the start of their career in the between the 60's and 80's... during that time, there was definitely a good deal of sexism in the office. I'd argue that's largely gone the way of the wind.
“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.
Communicate. If you have questions, your friends and family probably do too. Not only is it time for money to stop being a taboo conversation topic, but ensuring you're on the same page with your loved ones about financial goals and responsibilities can be critical. Fidelity has numerous resources to help have these conversations with parents, partners and kids.
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.

6. Impact of higher savings is calculated using fixed monthly returns with contributions made at the beginning of the period. Beginning balances are assumed to be zero. The potential difference is calculated by comparing ending balances at retirement for each hypothetical example. The ending values do not reflect taxes, fees or inflation. If they did, amounts would be lower. Earnings and pre-tax contributions are subject to taxes when withdrawn. Distributions before age 59 1/2 may also be subject to a 10% penalty. Contribution amounts are subject to IRS and Plan limits. Systematic investing does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss in a declining market. This example is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any security. Consider your current and anticipated investment horizon when making an investment decision, as the illustration may not reflect this. The assumed rate of return used in this example is not guaranteed. Investments that have potential for the assumed annual rate of return also come with risk of loss.
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.
“I listen to 20 hours of customer calls every month,” says Murphy. “Young people call and they’re trying to figure out what to do with their the money.” The answer – she says – is basic asset allocation often accomplished by putting with the help of a target date fund. “When things get more complicated they probably will want a financial advisor. But [at the start] let’s demystify it and if there is a simple investment solution focus on that. Betterment Data Scientist Sam Swift agrees. “We encourage people to be as passive as possible,” he says.
The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of individual securities is secondary to the way you allocate your investment in stocks, bonds, and cash and equivalents, which will be the principal determinants of your investment results. Figure out your goals and then allocate your assets accordingly.
Partly because of this dynamic, she said there's often a career premium for women who are young and beautiful. "You get a lot of beautiful young women in banking who find themselves replaced by a new generation as they get older. - I've seen older women being made to hand their accounts to 22 year-olds. They complain, but they were in that position once - they were the 22 year-old who took another woman's clients. Women don't help each other."
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