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.”
Girls Who Invest wants to fundamentally transform the finance-industry landscape. “A lot of young women who are [college] freshmen have no idea that the asset management industry exists,” said Janet Cowell, CEO of Girls Who Invest and a recent speaker at the Wharton Global Forum in New York City. Cowell joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM, to discuss why it’s important to get more women and minorities involved in finance. “People have vague notions of banking, but they don’t really know what that means. So, it’s exposing them to the industry and the opportunities, and dispelling some of the myths about the finance industry or at least giving them a more holistic perspective. It’s not all the Wolves of Wall Street or some of these movies they’ve seen. And it’s not all about greed. Finance can be about social impact. As they start learning that, we have young women who have the quantitative skills and interest, and we train them.”
Women make roughly 70% of household purchases, putting them in a great position to benefit from the strategy that once made Peter Lynch the best-known mutual fund manager on the planet. Lynch, who ran Fidelity Magellan (symbol FMAGX) from 1977 through 1990, said in his book One Up on Wall Street that investors’ best research tools are their own eyes and ears; he got many of his best investment ideas while walking around shopping malls and talking with his friends and family. In fact, Lynch wrote, his wife was responsible for turning him on to what turned out to be one of his best picks ever, Hanes Co., when she told him how much she liked L’eggs panty hose, which Hanes makes.
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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.
Break the silence on money. " Our study found that 61% of women would rather discuss details of their own death over money topics ," Sabbia said. "This is impeding women’s financial empowerment and preventing them from taking needed action to build up wealth." Sabbia suggest that women with more advanced knowledge should encourage and lead open discussions with other women about financial and investing goals, concerns and fears. Discussions could be in and outside of the workplace, by holding "investing 101" events or even more casual and intimate small group coffees or dinners. That sort of venue could help encourage women to share investing success stories, advice and actionable tips for getting started.
All the women agreed – and their successful banking careers testify – that you don’t have to be masculine to succeed as an investment banker. Nonetheless, Lorraine conceded: ‘You do need to be confident and assertive. However, that could be quietly confident. Ultimately, you will need to be able to find a way to be confident and assertive that reflects your character.’ Sophie agreed: ‘Don’t change yourself – you can’t pretend to be someone else.’
Money Motivation: “At the business school at Michigan, a lot of people go into finance. It’s a new world to me because my dad was never on Wall Street. I was interested in learning more. I’m part of the Michigan businesswomen’s club. I do notice a lot of women at my school don’t go into the roles that men go into. They go into marketing. I wanted to learn the other side of finance and business.”
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, they go hand-in-hand. I mean, no matter where I've traveled in the world, you know, that when a woman not only has opportunity, is able to go to school for longer, there is a correlation between, you know, her sexual debut, first child, marriage, all of those things, which impact her freedom. I find that, and you see it, and I think it was in the first film that came up that when a woman has economic independence, she's more likely to put those funds towards her family. She'll be more likely to take care, and seek care earlier than she would otherwise, and so, you just see the thoughtfulness that goes into that. And without it it's a lot harder, you know, If you don't have decision-making power, if you don't have, you know, you're literally waiting for someone else to make a decision whether your life is worth saving. So, no one should be in that position, and I think to have more opportunities and more equality—obviously a woman is going to be better off, and you're going to see the impact in her family and in her community more than you would otherwise.