Knowledge shortfall. In truth, women do appear to be less knowledgeable about investing than men are. A 2015 study by Financial Finesse found that 67% of women answered yes when asked whether they have “general investment knowledge regarding stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” compared with 84% of men. And the figures don’t just represent women’s lack of confidence, says Kathie Andrade, president of personal advisory services at TIAA. The financial-services firm asked men and women a series of questions about bonds, asset allocation, inflation and interest rates and found that men scored considerably higher overall.
In recent weeks, Knowledge@Wharton High School began noticing young women on the Wharton campus in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S., who were wearing hats and carrying bags inscribed with three simple words: Girls Who Invest. Since we happen to know lots of girls with this interest – thousands from around the world have participated in our annual KWHS Investment Competition for high school students – we decided to look further into this intriguing GWI sorority. Who were they? Why were they here? And were they truly stock market devotees?
“The more women manage funds, the more funds get channeled into issues women care about,” says Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO of Brava Investments. “When someone brings on one female fund manager, we’re talking about potentially billions of dollars that get moved in a different direction.” She says that questions like “How many of your fund managers are women?” used to be rare in the industry, but now that more and more people are asking, large institutions are getting nervous—mostly because the answer is often “none” or “few.”
“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.
When_the_Pawn:Fair point. A lot of the people i know who are just starting out, men and women, have a hard time finding a good balance. but I also think mistakes are less easily forgiven when you're a woman.Also, I always see guys on here complaining about "drama" from female coworkers and I have not once experienced that, and I used to work in an almost totally female dominated industry....
Without investment, Facebook and Amazon might have been just interesting projects hatched in a dorm room or garage. Starbucks might still be just a few coffee shops in Seattle without investors who enabled the company to expand to over 20,000 stores worldwide today. The world's most innovative companies rely on investors to fund growth and expansion.
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.
Although making a big career change can be a wonderful moment in your life, acting impulsively could really backfire. There are countless stories of people who made quick decisions to leave their current working worlds for new ones, only to discover that they were ill-informed and really had no idea what they were getting into and wound up being just as unhappy—or even unhappier—as they were before. Don’t become just another unfortunate member of this group. Plan wisely and carefully, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a real shot at positive and lasting change.
2. Make “friends” with risk. Women prefer to preserve wealth even if it means giving up higher returns. Take a 51-year-old attorney (who preferred not to give her name) as an example; she has consistently contributed the maximum allowed by her law firm’s retirement plan. “I know I should be investing in stocks, but I don’t want a repeat of 2008. My money is parked in a money market fund, where I know it’s safe.”
Like Olivia Ott’s, my perception of asset management and finance is not an extremely positive one. Although I really like economics and do consider going into finance, I feel like it is still a male-dominated industry. Sheryl Sandberg says that we women have to “lean in” in the workplace, but that is easier said than done. Even in school, I feel uneasy to speak up in a class dominated by boys, imagine the same scenario, but in the workplace!
While a nice portfolio of stocks is bliss, having financial independence is way bigger than picking the right stock, fund or financial advisor. It’s about living in a way that supports your financial goals, having the confidence and knowledge to grow your money (alone or with a well chosen financial advisor), and creating income streams using either your highest skills, your money, or both to fund the lifestyle you desire.
For those who doubt that women can be successful investment bankers, there are a few examples such as Marisa Drew, a co-head of Global Markets at Credit Suisse, who has worked in investment banking for over twenty-five years, starting her career as an analyst back in 1986. Another good example is Mary Callahan Erdoes, who has been serving as the chief executive of JPMorgan Asset Management since 2009 where she oversees more than $2 trillion. Ruth Porat also deserves a mention, having worked as chief financial officer and executive vice president of Morgan Stanley between 2010 and 2015, when she decided to leave the bank for Google where she became the tech giant’s first female CFO.
Experts are readily available. Don't hold back from asking for guidance. Few have all the answers on their own. Just like you visit a doctor for medical advice, why wouldn't your take advantage of a financial professional for investment advice? Fidelity professionals are available 24 hours day at 1-800-Fidelity, or online at Fidelity.com—whether you're a current client or not.
MS. URZAIZ: I'll say four words: More women in power. I think we need more women, whether it's holding public office, whether it's in business, whether it's, the person I'm trying to make a decision at Lowe's to whether to buy my hammocks or not. Just those decisions where it's just decision-making positions we need more women because women relate better to other women. No offense to the men here, but it's easier to make that connection, to know that they have our agenda at first when they make those decisions for policy, for so many things. Just more women in power I think is what will get us to the next level. So many policies have been put in place, but now we need women making those decisions and driving those decisions.
Take a step to educate yourself. Countless blogs and websites provide accessible, engaging content to help increase your financial knowledge, including the Financial Freedom Studio, Jackson Charitable Foundation and many more. Just Google "retirement planning" or "financial education" and you'll see my point. I'm probably dating myself, but you could also go to the good ol' fashioned library or a bookstore to get this kind of information. For younger women just getting started, Learnvest.com can be a great resource, too.
It is definitely doable. I am acquainted with one female at Barclays(some of you might know who I'm talking about) who has managed to wield a massive amount of influence over the company as an associate to where she is more or less a gatekeeper for MBA recruiting. She's very direct, very professional, and very people smart...and she didn't get to where she is by trying to by imitating someone else. She crafted and managed her own unique brand.
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.”
And if you’re new to the table, bring a friend. Murphy has recently criss-crossed the country speaking to groups of women about their money. She notes that one thing that helps reluctant women get involved is to do it with a friend. Events where the invite has said “bring a friend” draw standing room-only crowds, she says. “Women love talking to each other about their experiences and once they get started they do very well. There’s an unwarranted confidence gap that doesn’t play out.”
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.
Our culture emphasizes teamwork and collaboration. My coworkers are great—really smart, driven, hard workers with whom I’ve developed several friendships (key to surviving those super late nights) and what I expect will be life-long relationships. Many of the senior folks on our floor also make a great effort to get to know their teams and serve as mentors.
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'm a third-year analyst in Investment Grade Finance (IGF) in the UK Financial Institutions team and I'll soon be starting a one-year rotation in our New York office. In London I work in a small team of four people, and we're responsible for helping our clients - organisations in the financial services industry - raise money by accessing debt capital markets.
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.
Results of this survey are based on an online omnibus conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 2,995 adults comprising 1,496 men and 1,499 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was completed during the period December 1-11, 2016 by ORC International, an independent research firm. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
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.
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This plays out in a number of different ways, explains Bast. “Some women save for their children’s college education before their own retirements. Others give generously to loved ones today, helping them to buy cars, houses and other large-ticket items.” However, Bast warns that there may be a high price to putting short-term needs in front of long-term goals.
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.)
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.
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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.
MS. CRONSTEDT: So, I, a year after participating in the program, sold my first business and simultaneously, I started a new one based on the knowledge and the tools that were given to me in the Global Ambassadors Program, which was a more successful company, just in short. Which was an online catering company that exists to this day, and that has--
Many women reserved their ire for the "F" word: family. Male bankers with families are feted as breadwinners, said one. "There's still the assumption - often made by senior bankers with stay at home wives - that a woman's income is the secondary income," she said. In reality, this often isn't the case: "Almost all the senior women I know in finance have househusbands, but they're not going to broadcast that fact."