Another consideration that I see as a barrier to the advancement of women in investment banking is the need to balance the strenuous lifestyle with raising a family. I see some senior women go through this and it just seems so tough, with a lot of sacrifices having to be made to make it work. Certainly a personal decision as to whether these trade-offs are worth it, but I can confidently say that my firm is making a positive effort to retaining women.
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.

Of course, this means that women face greater expenses than men. At one end of the spectrum, they will need to meet their basic necessities for more years; this includes rent, utilities food and all the other little expenses that occur each month. At the other end of the spectrum are the big ticket items like healthcare; since the average woman will be elderly for longer than the average man, women are likely to face higher healthcare costs. These costs can include items such as insurance, medicine, hospitalization, surgery and long-term care.
It’s real, and at the very least people are beginning to understand that the average woman makes between 78¢ and 80¢ for every $1 a man makes in the same job. To a woman earning $85,000 a year, that translates into lifetime costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The gap is not as bad for millennial women (at closer to 90¢), but it’s worse for women with disabilities (72¢), black women (63¢), and Latinas (54¢).
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% plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25% annually between 2006 and 2015.
Our New Year’s resolutions can vary across an endless array of categories—from finding love, making new friends, and moving to a new city to acquiring a new hobby or skill set. Among the most popular resolutions that people make involve job- and career-related goals. However, while making a New Year’s resolution for career change and success can be the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in our lives, it’s really just the first step.

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.


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.
After setting up this organization and being a profitable business which makes us sustainable we realized that we were still not changing some habits in these families. Yes, they had a steady income but if the kid said, "I want to drop out of school when I'm 12," the mother said okay, fine, you don't want to go to school? Don't go to school. Or they were having Coca-Cola for breakfast, not that I have anything against Coca-Cola, but if they're suffering from diabetes maybe it's better that they have oranges, that they have orange trees in the backyard.
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although it sounds great---i am not being argumentative--that more females are getting into fields previously dominated by males, i think it is still an uphill battle thus important to get a feel to the environment and culture. there may be unwarranted traditions, but there may also be some practical considerations, that is, some fields are better suited for one sex vs the other for understandable reasons. say, most top surgeons are males. heck, most top OB GYNs are males!

Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. We receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.


I cannot echo this enough. There is a female in a high level position at my firm and whenever she visits we go out for drinks where she spends the entire time trying to be one of the guys. Making stripper jokes, talking about football, etc. I mean not in a natural way either. It is constant during the entire conversation and obviously forced. Maybe some insecure little betas find it endearing. However,I find it annoying and it makes me think I can't trust anything she says since she's always putting on a grotesque facade. The world has changed so much I think it best to just be yourself. Yes there may be some misogynist leftovers from the Madmen days, but their numbers are dwindling and with that their power over your career.

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.
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.
Consider a male slugger who puts $1,000 each into two speculative stocks versus a female lead-off hitter who invests the same amount in two dividend-paying blue-chip stocks. The high-quality stocks each return 10% over the course of the year, leaving the female investor with $2,200. Meanwhile, the male investor hits a home run with one of his picks, which doubles, but strikes out with the other, which loses 90% of its value. His total after a year is $2,100.
“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.

Several studies have shown that companies with women in senior positions perform better than those without. Although this is correlation, not causation, to an investor that distinction should not matter. If diversity in an executive team is a proxy for good management across the company, a gender lens could be a useful way to reduce risk. If a business is tackling gender-related management issues, says Amy Clarke of Tribe Impact Capital, the chances are that it is dealing well with other risks and opportunities.


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although it sounds great---i am not being argumentative--that more females are getting into fields previously dominated by males, i think it is still an uphill battle thus important to get a feel to the environment and culture. there may be unwarranted traditions, but there may also be some practical considerations, that is, some fields are better suited for one sex vs the other for understandable reasons. say, most top surgeons are males. heck, most top OB GYNs are males!

Moreover, the evidence suggests that your team will be stronger if it consists of both men and women. A 2011 Harvard Business Review study discovered that single-gender teams were less effective at problem solving than mixed groups. The Barber-Odean study found that married men performed better than single men in the stock market and concluded that this was likely due to a spouse’s influence. “When you ask if men or women are the better investors, you’re asking the wrong question,” says Suzanne Duncan, global head of research at the State Street Center for Applied Research, a think tank sponsored by the big financial-services firm. “We are better together. Men and women should have an equal voice in the investment process.”


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.
One senior woman at a European bank argued that the push to promote more women is itself problematic. "The senior men have now got a cover for promoting the younger women who flirt with them," she said. "They know they have to promote X number of women each year, so they look around and they promote the women who kiss up to them most instead of the women who are the most competent. It's the same as the old boys' network, with flirtation instead of familiarity."
The stubborn refusal of the gender pay gap to close, or even narrow, is a constant source of frustration for anyone who cares about equality between the sexes. That’s to say nothing of the void separating women and men when it comes to, for example, the number holding senior positions, the rates of promotion or representation in industries like tech. There is, however, one gap that is steadily closing. Women are getting richer.
Women currently live longer than men. According to the World Health Organization, a female born in 2015 can expect to live nearly five years longer than a male born in the same year.2 The possibility that I may live longer means I have a greater chance of needing more income to sustain me through those extra years. And don't forget to factor in the medical expenses that will likely accompany an extended lifespan.

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.


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.
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!
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