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.”
Study after study has shown that women are less aggressive than men when it comes to investing. There are various arguments about why this is so. One theory is that that lower earnings from smaller paychecks result in a more conservative approach, as women try not lose what little they have. Another suggests that biology and the maternal instinct play a role, arguing that the protective instinct often credited to mothers makes them more reluctant to take risks.  Potential reasons aside, the more conservative approach to investing is generally associated with a variety of traits, including greater risk aversion, more concern about losses and less frequent trading. According to popular logic, these are all negative attributes to have when your objective is to make money in the financial markets. 

MS. URZAIZ: Absolutely, not too far from here I had a meeting with Lowe's, and as you know it's a very large company with hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., and my brother and I finished up the meeting, the buyer loves it, and he's like I want 5,000 a month. Well, I have a problem. If you do the math it takes two weeks to make one, I cannot make 5,000 for you a month. But thanks to the supplier diversity team we convinced them to look to us with a different lens, which is why don't we do this, I can be online, I can do drop ship to all of your customers, and instead of having them in stock at your stores, which requires the 5,000 a month, why am I not just in display at your highest-selling stores of hammocks. And so, we convinced them and they carry us. But I think that the most important takeaway from this is actually how the United States is a leader. This was a policy set up with the U.S. government, supplier diversity, you have to buy 15% from women and minority-owned businesses, and this really is leading change, and helping women like myself with a small business to thrive and generate jobs back home where I'm from, and I think that's so important that the United States remain being this leader because us from other countries are followers, and policies like this really make an impact around the world.
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.”
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.
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Like anywhere, you'll form friendships and business relationships with the people you gel with best - a lot of these may be males, as there are more males in FO banking than females. There are downsides to being a female in banking, but there are also upsides (the unfortunate reality is there can be downsides to being female in many professional environments; it's not limited to banking).
Bottom line, don't be something you're not. be firm, but not a real bitch who can't play well with others. Be nice, but don't be a pushover. Don't go into banking with self-doubts because you're a girl. Sure, there are definitely times where it will be awkward (guys who do just 'guy' things, talking about girls, etc) but it's best to just go with the flow in those instances.
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Annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Home Office: Lansing, Michigan) and in New York, annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York (Home Office: Purchase, New York). Variable products are distributed by Jackson National Life Distributors LLC. May not be available in all states and state variations may apply. These products have limitations and restrictions. Contact the Company for more information.
These factors, coupled with women’s lower average wages and greater longevity, go a long way toward explaining why men’s poverty rate in retirement is half the poverty rate of women. “My real concern is that the retirement-savings crisis is a gender crisis, and we are not talking about it that way,” says Sallie Krawcheck. “Women can save more and invest more. They have to find a way that works for them and just do it.”
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Learn the basics: Sabbia mentions that the easiest first step is to simply expose yourself to trusted financial resources and education. This approach can be crucial to gradually bridging that confidence gap for women. "Whether it be conducting personal research, enrolling in an online class or consulting with an expert, spend some time learning investing fundamentals," Sabbia suggests.
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.
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.”

So, it was, it was an amazing experience. We went through her business plan. You know, I have a finance background so most of the work we did was on the finance side, helping her focus a little bit more. She was a social entrepreneur who donated a lot of her time and energy to her community. So, for a year we never physically met. We spent time on Skype and on e-mail. You know, as mentors we just assume that we are giving, but we learn so much from each other, and when Zoe, I can't refuse anything to Zoe, when she reached out and said you know what? " Vital Voices is looking for Global Ambassadors, do you want to donate one week of your time?" So, I'm actually on leave. So, I'm not here for UN Women, I'm here for myself. I thought it was important that as women that we share our experience, that we empower others. That's how we move the needle. As you know, women empowerment we've been talking about it for years. You know? Beijing 1995 when Hilary Clinton said women's rights is human rights, and Beijing plus 20 as we call it, and we are still talking about the same issues. And the power of partnership, you know, for us it's critical that as individuals that we give back, that private sector, banks, also participate in this global agenda. The world has set up some objectives that you might want to Google, it's called Sustainable Development Goals that we want to all reach by 2030. There are 17 of those. If you only have to remember two there's number 5 which is gender quality, and number 17 which is partnership. We cannot do it separately. Public sector, private sector, and of course civil society organizations have to partner.
Every time I was in an awarding of an Scientific Olympiad in my country (Brazil), I found strange that there were much more boys than girls, and it was a truth since 6th grade until High School. Well, I could not accept that there were nothing wrong with it because I knew some very intelligent girls. Before I get into High School, I studied in a regular class and some of the best grades were from girls, they potential was tremendous but they simply did not want to dedicate to this side. When I moved from my school to another and entered in a class focused in Sciences (Math, Physics and Chemistry) I realized that the majority of boys were a problem not just in the Olympiads, but in this area (STEM) itself (ant least in my country, but I believe that it unfortunately extends to other places as well). For me, it’s impossible to assume that this situation is due to a kind of “difficult” that girls would have in this subjects, as some supposes, even because some woman that I know are more than excellent at them. I believe that it’s a result of cultural scars left by a past in which girls were destined to stay in home and take care of things, a work that does not necessarily require much study. Than boys mass-dominated the STEM area. And now, due to the lack of representativity, the young girls don’t see themselves in this areas as much boys do. They do not look and imagine they being successful at it because very few were. They basically judge themselves as incapable and the shore as impossible. Of course, it’s not true, but some of them think it is. And so, the lack of women in this area causes a lack of women entering in this area… a loop. A sad loop…
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.”
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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.
It is a very demanding profession as one needs to devote all her time and attention to work alone leaving less time for family. So when people have kids and don't have someone back at home to rear them, it becomes a source of constant guilt and grief for everyone in the system. It becomes extremely competitive and political at the senior management levels as only a few people can be accommodated at that level. If one is not able to give her 100% to work for whatever reasons, it becomes difficult to compete. It finally boils to the candidate's personal rapport with the top management and conscious gender sensitivity on the part of the organisation to get over this hurdle. Most firms are found wanting on this factor though in recent times at least the established ones with a large work force are trying to be conscious about it.
The WII Summit seeks to bring together HBS alumni, industry professionals, and current MBAs for a day of open discussion about the current topics affecting the buy-side community. It is an unparalleled opportunity to meet and network with industry peers and senior women in an open forum and exchange perspectives on how to drive a successful career in investing.
One sage piece of investment advice that I would pass on to anyone is that regularly saving small amounts into the stock market over the long term is the best way to achieve steady growth in investments and ride out peaks and troughs. Ideally, this should be done tax-efficiently through a pension or ISA, all of which are designed to take regular monthly savings.
“Today’s retirees tell us they are experiencing a very different retirement than non-retirees are envisioning,” said Levine. “With continuing savings challenges and potential economic uncertainties ahead, non-retirees should have a plan in place and regularly revisit it to make sure it still aligns with what’s most important to them for their retirement years.”
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“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”
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