I am often amazed by how many intelligent, well-educated women have little knowledge and/or interest in investing and retirement planning. As a gender, we have to do something about this. Oh, that’s interesting, is a common response when women ask my friend, a female financial advisor, what she does for a living. And it is often delivered in a tone of voice that conveys just how interesting it is to have one’s teeth extracted or to find a piece of roadkill on one’s doorstep. The subtle cringe that shadows many women’s brows when a financial advisor mentions retirement planning or investment management has become a familiar sight.
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.”
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.

In your 40s you’re probably thinking about funding your kid’s higher education. If you think you haven’t saved enough for it, consider an Education Loan. This loan gives you tax benefits under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act. If not, loans against property or Fixed Deposit are a better option. These come at a lower interest rate. Never use your retirement savings to fund your child’s education because it will be difficult to rebuild those savings. Once you have used your savings to fund some of your goals, the money you were using to save for these goals should be redirected to your retirement savings. 


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.
I was partially being sarcastic. However, I think the comment probably holds some merit, as unfair as it may be. In addition, I don't think that it relates only to finance, but in business in general. I think from a hiring standpoint, for whatever reason, appearance absolutely can play a role in the decision-making process. I also think that, again for whatever reason, it probably plays a bigger role when the hiring decision pertains to a female.
Investing is not some get-rich-quick scheme and there is always a degree of risk. But those women who are comfortable with that risk should not be deterred by the aggressive macho investor stereotype. The proof of the increasing success of women in the world of investing can be seen in the female-focused investment firms that have sprung up. As Alexander Taussig, the senior vice president for women investors at Fidelity, has said, "The myth that men are better investors is just that -- a myth."
MS. SARR: For me, it's funny because the most, the most impactful mentor I ever had was an American gentleman by the name of David from Texas, had he's been my biggest supporter, and he died in a plane crash in Texas two years ago, but he's been following me and even sometimes when I didn't believe in myself he gave me huge responsibilities as a CFO of a multi-million-dollar business. That was way before I joined the World Bank or the UN. But so, mentoring is extremely important. So, my ask tonight is for the men to really be our champions. We want them to be our he for she and say to other men I stand by my sister, I stand by my wife, I stand by my daughter. That's my first ask. My second ask is for the other women, you know, we tend to shy away sometimes from the activism but you just have to realize that you have a mandate. If every woman voted for a woman we will have plenty of women presidents around the world. So, you really, you really have a mandate to represent and to know that you are really, when you're sitting on that board meeting, when you're about to make, click that button that you're doing that on behalf of millions and billions of women around the world. They say that if every woman made a jump today we will have an earthquake. So, that's how powerful we are.
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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excellent post, thanks. even if this topic has been addressed and discussed however many times prior to my getting here asking the questions, i still ask it one more time ;) simply because it is important to get a personal feel to things, and not take things for granted third hand. imo, it increases the chance of making a better decision. things change, you know, day by day. i will kick the tires 100 times with my own shoes if that is what it takes for me to get a good feel when some others feel perfectly comfortable taking just a glance. to each his or her own.
This is really important. The investment gap and the pay gap are closely related. A lot of us know about the pay gap—that women make about eighty cents on the dollar compared to men with the same job and experience. And investing amplifies that difference, thanks to what Albert Einstein once called the eighth wonder of the world: compounding. Which means that, over time, the difference between investing a little and investing a little more becomes profound. Basically, if you don’t invest much, and you don’t start early enough, you’ll end up with a lot less when it’s time to retire. Once you stop working, your retirement savings becomes your income. And more income means more choices: the choice to take time off for family, change jobs for something you love but that may not pay as well, leave a bad relationship, travel the world…money equals choices.
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MS. HAILE: Finance being the major constraint, I don't think it's the only one. Of course, we'd have to design strategies that women have access to finance. But again, women entrepeneurs being community caretakers, there's so many obligations in place with playing multiple roles. I believe that the business environment has to be women- friendly, starting from the policy. So, everything has to be there for them to start and to expand their business for those—particularly the young ones, who also want to start new businesses. So, equally important as finance, I believe there are so many constraints that hamper women to expand in business or start a business. The cultural barriers when it comes to my country and in our continent and elsewhere. The access to markets, the information available, disposable at their facilities close to them because of the particular role they're playing. So, I believe we have lots of things to do. And at the moment I'm here now being part of the Global Ambassadors Program I sincerely would like to thank Bank of America. I don't think many do it like this, partnering with institutions like Vital Voices .

Invest in yourself: Sabbia suggests getting smart on the benefits that your employer might offer as a vehicle for long-term financial security. She mentioned 401(k)s and health savings accounts (HSAs) or other forms of wealth escalators that can start building wealth today for use in the future. Sabbia mentioned that HSAs are portable and controllable ― meaning they can be used to fund qualified health-care costs well through retirement, and cover that potentially bill of $195,000 later in life. Sabbia also suggest investing in professional services. "Consulting with a financial advisor or professional can also play a key role by helping you create – and stick to – a customized investment plan aligned to your unique life priorities, goals and circumstances," she said.


Invest In Women 2019 is the leading forum nationwide to explore, discuss and learn about issues that are meaningful for women financial advisors and female clients. Both male and female advisors are invited to this event that promises insight and networking to help practices grow. The 2019 conference will offer expanded programming that reflects input from prior attendees as well as other industry leaders. Take the opportunity to be inspired — and have fun — at a conference you won’t want to miss. Plan to be there and register now.

Senior investment bankers spend a lot of time bonding with promoters, CEOs and fund managers. These investments yield results as the closer an advisor is to a client emotionally the more likely he/she is to get business from him. There is an innate feeling of brotherhood that comes into play here. Human beings are emotional creatures don't take fair decisions all the time. So people bond over drinks, sports, poker, travel, profanities etc. This is an area where women find it difficult to break in for obvious reasons. India is still sometime away from accepting women in this role. And this significantly impairs their ability to source business. Those who can get around this hurdle are sorted.
11. Statistics Canada, “Occupation - National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 (693A), Highest Certificate, Diploma or Degree (15), Labour Force Status (3), Age (13A) and Sex (3) for the Labour Force Aged 15 Years and Over in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data,” 2016 Census (2017).
Again, thanks for your reply. In fact, I interned in IBD this summer and despite the long hours, now that I reflect on it, I very much enjoyed it, mostly for its very steep learning curve (I don’t recall learning as much in high school or university). I obviously didn’t get the technical exposure that I had wanted (and I guess no brainer there because I don’t come from a financial backdrop).
Clearly, the caution signs are there, but the good news is that you can start doing something about it now. If you don’t know much about retirement planning or investing, purchase a beginner’s book, join an investment club, or find a financial advisor that you trust who can teach you more about the topic. It is never too late to start planning and increasing your financial literacy. The statistics concerning women and investing show that we need to do something, and the earlier we start, the better.

As you near your retirement, you should start moving some of your risky investments to safer avenues such as Debt Mutual Funds. But don’t give up investing in equities yet. Inflation will have a huge impact on your savings once you retire and equities are the only investments that can save you in the long run. Ensure that you have set up different income sources so that you don’t run the risk of lower returns from one income source.

A fiduciary is a company or organization that is legally bound to do the right thing by their clients. Not all brokers or investment firms classify as a fiduciary, so make sure to ask before officially signing with anyone. If you find a great firm that isn’t a fiduciary, just make sure that they put client security and well-being above personal gain.
As a female Baby Boomer, I'll admit that this realization was a little scary. We all see the statistics on the number of Baby Boomers retiring every day – shouldn't I be ready to join that movement any day now? But I quickly discovered I was not alone in my fears. Talking with my close friends, I was amazed to find that many of us were in the same boat. Of course, when you consider the many unique challenges women face in retirement planning, it's not surprising that my female friends shared my same fears and difficulties.
According to a recent article on The Muse, “Those who took meaningful steps to achieve their resolutions—setting step-by-step goals or telling their friends and family, for example—were far more likely to achieve their desires than those who made no specific commitments… So if you really want to see results this year, it’s critical that you set your goals with sincerity, and set yourself up for success.” 

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MS. CALABRESE BAIN: Well, you know, it's interesting, and listening to Christy and listening to Josefina really struck a chord with me because often times what we see is that necessity is the mother of all invention, and women business owners generally speaking do not open their own businesses for the lure of financial success. That's low down on the totem pole for them, it's really about empowerment. Empowerment means different things to different people, whether it's a business owner is Southern Florida and she's opening indoor pools. And so, if you're from Southern Florida you know that indoor pools is not something that exists, but it's the leading cause of death for children. So, she developed indoor pools. And financing for her was not easy out of the gate, right? I also talked to a business owner, a not-for-profit business owner this week who started her own domestic violence association, and she didn't do it for her, she did it for her granddaughter. And so, when you think about why women create businesses, it's not always about themselves. It is about other people. But I think that there is, it is about community and community is not only local, it's national, it's global. You see what these women are doing. And I think we can do anything. So, it's about putting our voice out there, our resources, our network, our support, and really sponsoring versus mentoring. But really taking a stand and pulling people together, and saying, "You know what? No is not the answer for us."
J.P. Morgan runs a recruitment programme called Winning Women, which gives female students the opportunity to discover the different areas of investment banking and learn about internships and the roles open to graduates. I recently participated in a networking event for the Winning Women programme, where I shared my experiences with students, and they also had the chance to meet female leaders from the bank and ask them questions about their careers.
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