Barbara Swenson has several years work experience in the areas of accounting, real estate investing, marketing, financial management, insurance, and independent book publishing. She’s written numerous articles for AllBusiness.com, and is a Contributing Writer for Retailing Insight. She was also a Contributing Editor for the international magazine Magical Blend, and has penned articles for Aquarius and NAPRA Review magazines. She has written and published 25 personal transformation books in the last twenty years. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University Sonoma (with honors), and a Masters Degree in Science from California State University Sacramento (with honors). She lives in the Sierra foothills with her husband and son, two huge white dogs, and four cats.
Over the past three years, Fidelity has seen the number of women investing their money with the firm grow significantly—by 19 percent, to more than 12 million. "The good news is many women are putting themselves in the financial driver's seat, taking positive steps to save and invest effectively for their future," said Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing at Fidelity. "But there are still many who need to do more. The reality is that saving alone is not enough to even keep pace with inflation, so if you're not investing, you're likely losing money. Taking the next step to ensure that savings are invested properly and generating growth is critical to helping women progress toward their financial goals and live the lives they deserve."
In some cases, educated, independent, breadwinning women seem to have an aversion to the idea of being an investor. About five years ago the Washington, D.C.-based Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement was running a series of investment seminars to help a group of nurses prepare for retirement. The institute was interested in part for research purposes, because nurses would be highly educated and, presumably, interested in investing.

Many companies in the financial sector are also guilty of perpetuating a male focus, Mr Tsivrikos adds. “The language and visual aspects of investing are still very male-dominated – even things such as bank notes, which have more images of men on them. The more we have female figures on money and as visual components in the world of finance, the more they will be engaged.

MS. CALABRESE BAIN: So, I can talk about a few of the ways that Bank of America has made some progress on this front because I think that there's always more that we can do around education. So, you know, we have a partnership with the National Association of Women Business Owners in 60 cities across the U.S. where we partner Bank of America/Merrill Lynch women chapter leaders in these local cities to really bring thought leadership, to bring education, sometimes to bring financing. But it is our way of understanding what is it that makes women business owners tick? So that how can we be more supportive? So, you saw a couple of things earlier on the screen. We've got a partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, which we started in 2014. We've been able to finance over 1,100 women, small business owners, and commit $25 million worth of capital, and we hope to see that program grow. We also work with our Community Development Financial Institutions. It's always a mouthful, but for those who are not familiar they really provide technical assistance and affordable loans across the U.S., and Bank of America is the largest investor of CDFIs. So, we're really thrilled with our participation with 240 lenders across the United States. So, thank you for all of the support and the partnership. Lastly speaking about one more program, through Andrea's support in supplier diversity and development, again this is another program where we can work directly with women and diverse owned businesses, and in 2016 actually invested over $2.6 billion in procurement spending.


Money Motivation: “I’m really interested in technology, and my interest in finance started with cryptoinvesting. Four years back I read the Bitcoin Whitepaper and I thought it sounded like an amazing technology. This was before everyone started talking about cryptocurrencies. People thought I was crazy buying bitcoin, but it ended up being a great investment because last December it jumped up to $20,000 and I had bought it around $1,000. I sold my bitcoin then and made $7,000. I still have .22 of a bitcoin just in case it goes up again. I started by learning the fundamentals. Right now there are so many different cryptocurrencies people are trying to buy in these initial coin offerings, but if you don’t dive into the fundamentals and understand how the technology works, you could get scammed and lose money. You shouldn’t put money into something that you don’t understand.”
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.

Hey, you may say, all money is green, right? Maybe we just need to ignore the old-boys’ game and go with the most talented “stock picker” we can find — one with, say, a five-year history of success? Well, that’s the thing. Playing “beat the market” and “pick the winner” doesn’t work so well. It just doesn’t. Less than 0.1% of “active” fund managers were able to do it over a five-year period.
So, if you’re eager to make a major job or career change… you guessed it, make a plan. Consider making a list of pros and cons for taking the plunge. If everything in your life is pointing to making a major change, figure out what new goal makes the most sense for you. Take an inventory of your skills and experience, along with your interests and aspirations, and figure out which careers/industries you best align with. Do you have any friends or family who have jobs that sound potentially intriguing to you? If so, ask them more about it. Do your research—the Internet is a great source of information for researching new companies and careers.
Since a more conservative approach to investing means less risk taking, women are likely to earn less from their investments when compared to the earnings men are likely to generate over the same period. These factors suggest that women will end up with less money than they might need to pay the bills during their "golden years." From a theoretical perspective, the argument looks sound. In the real world, it doesn't quite work out the way you might expect.
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!
“The Reserve Banks are vital contributors to our nation’s economic and financial success. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the Bank’s well-respected staff in advancing the excellent reputation this organization has built over many years,” Bostic said. “In my role as president of the Atlanta Reserve Bank, I also look forward to confronting the challenges the Federal Reserve faces in today’s increasingly global and rapidly changing economy.”

MS. NELSON: All right. Katerina, I want to, I want to come back to you and some of what you were talking about about the power of mentoring and partnership, and also bring together a strand that Melanne was talking about earlier, the idea of needing networks, and how valuable networks are. And one of the things that we've found at Vital Voices, because ultimately what we are is a network of 15,000 women leaders around the world, across different sectors, as well as mentors and others, and what we've definitely seen is that there's something about women being part of a non-competitive and non-hierarchical network, that it encourages women leaders to take risks that they wouldn't have normally taken. Can you talk about, I mean did you have that experience? I mean I know you're sort of a risk-taker by design, as an entrepreneur you have to be. But I'm curious, I mean what's next for you and what has, what has been unleashed through gaining more support and mentoring?
We had both a female and male managing director who attended and gave us tips and funny anecdotes on the topic. The event was particularly directed to first year analysts to help us feel more confident at work. The event also gave junior women the opportunity to meet with female directors and socialise with other women from different departments within the bank.
VP Nancy Wilson worked in a variety of marketing and business development roles in the I.T. and telecom industries before joining the business development team at Allegiance Capital. Her life as an Air Force brat, in a family where she was the only girl with four brothers, helped shape her “extroverted, super-high-energy personality. I jump in feet first a lot.”
Formally known as Billguard, this financial planning app not only helps you create a budget, but they have a swipe-left, swipe-right feature where users can verify which of their expenses are theirs and which aren’t. Their specialty? Protecting their users from identity theft (more on this later). Features also includes helping users track their credit score. They also have Credit Card Optimizer feature, where users can track all of their credit card info, and helps users make better financial decisions with their credit cards. They also have a blog to keep you informed on all Prosper Daily’s updates along with useful financial tips.
When it comes to managing your money, planning for retirement or paying for a major expense, your needs are unique. That’s why we’ve developed a set of tools and insights tailored to the economic goals and concerns of women. Build your financial savvy and talk to your trusted advisor for customized advice, so you can be ready to make the right decisions for the future you want - and deserve.
Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and Merrill Edge®, both of which are made available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”). Merrill Edge is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.
While parents remain the top source of financial advice for most women, only 20 percent said they felt well prepared by their parents to manage their finances as an adult. Even fewer said they learned about these topics in school. Only 24 percent learned about budgeting and setting financial goals; 14 percent said they learned about investing. Overall, only nine percent of women said their education through high school left them well prepared to manage personal finances as an adult. A slightly better 10 percent said this of their college education9.
I studied economics and business administration at Paris-Dauphine University and I completed several internships in France during the course of my degree. After completing a Masters in Banking and Finance, I was interested in learning more about investment banking. I applied for an internship in debt capital markets at J.P. Morgan, where I really enjoyed the fast-paced and challenging environment on the desk.
MS. SMITH: No, thank you. And thank you to this panel, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our panelists and our amazing speakers. I'm inspired. I'm inspired by everyone, and I wrote down a few things. I mean hammocks, the 5,000 Lowe's hammocks, or the bank in Ethiopia, the small loan is 1.8 million. I mean I think we've got some things we can learn here. I mean the dinner kit to the, sold already and now online catering. I mean the stories are amazing. So, Alyse, thank you for the partnership for the last five years, and thank you to all of our mentees and mentors for being here. we're so excited to be able to do the program in the United States, in our corporate headquarters, which is fantastic. And as Margaret reminded me I'm the only thing standing between all of you and the reception. So, my last comment though is please come to the reception because our mentees will have wears from their businesses, and they'll be able to talk to you about all of the things that they're doing. So--
Don't put your investments on long-term autopilot. One of women's strengths as investors is that they are less tempted to buy and sell in the short term, based on classic research by Brad M. Barber and Terrance Odean at the University of California-Berkeley. But at least once a year, you need to become an active investor, checking your asset allocation as you age and your needs change. That means changing your asset allocation when it's required, or hiring an investment advisor or an online investment platform to do it for you. "This was my own mistake in 2008. ... I didn't have cash, and I was fairly close to retirement," said Hounsell.
Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (“PIMCO”) is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). PIMCO Investments LLC (“PIMCO Investments”) is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). PIMCO and PIMCO Investments is solely responsible for its content. PIMCO Investments is the distributor of PIMCO investment products, and any PIMCO Content relating to those investment products is the sole responsibility of PIMCO Investments. 

So how do women break the investment barrier in ways that can lead to lifelong financial independence? Sabbia has three key suggestions: learn the basics, define your goals, and invest in yourself. For more advanced investors, Sabbia suggests being a mentor that can help break the silence around talking about money. Doing so could accelerate the close of that wealth gap for all women. Let's examine each recommendation in closer detail.

But fees are tricky, and a lot of them are hard to find. For instance, sometimes you’re charged for the trades made on your behalf. This is typical when someone is buying and selling individual stocks on your behalf. A lot of the financial products you may be invested in—mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and so on—also charge a fee. For instance, Wealthsimple invests exclusively in exchange traded funds; they have much lower fees than mutual funds but they do still have a fee.
Wells Fargo Investment Institute thanks Justin Kreiger, CFA, and John Morton, M.S., Ph.D., of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management Analytics Group for the use of their research on “Gender Differences in Performance at Wells Fargo Advisors”. Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management, a division within the Wells Fargo & Company enterprise, provides financial products and services through bank and brokerage affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. Brokerage products and services offered through Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Bank products are offered through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
If you’ve invested long enough, you know that stock markets are prone to bubbles and busts (the sharp drop early in 2016 was an example of the latter). The problem for most of us is that we tend toward euphoria during bubbles and depression during busts. As a result, we often make the wrong decision at the wrong time—-that is, we tend to buy when we’re euphoric and prices are high, and sell when we’re depressed and prices are low.
I also had the opportunity to speak with a number of Allegiance Capital’s women business development and investment banker vice presidents. While they are all bright, enthusiastic and energetic women, the VPs come from very diverse backgrounds. Diversity is something both the company and the women value, and it’s apparent throughout the organization.

MS. HAILE: We finance startups, again small and medium enterprises, also expand businesses. So, most of them are involved in agriculture, manufacturing, export/import, transport, communications, etcetera. Coming to the size of the loans, we have two loans, which we do like any other conventional commercial bank. We give loans because the bank is for both women and men because we don't exclude me, even though the bank is for women. Quite a good number of women are banking honestly with us because they love our objectives and what we're doing. So, in this respect the government of Ethiopia has set its own policy on collateral requirements, which is 100% plus. But for us, we have eased the collateral for women for this conventional part of the loan from 51 to 70. So, in this process out of, you know, we're a young bank, it's only three years, so out of the 942 borrowers 309, 33% are women, which we are very glad because we have waived that from 100% plus to 51 to 70. So, the loan size on average is 1.8 million U.S. dollars. Again, we have another loan, which we call the risk fund, the grantee fund, which voluntarily we have set aside a certain amount of money for those small and medium enterprises, mainly growth-oriented businesses, who need money but they don't have the collateral. So, this is the side of the loan which we provide, and so far we were able to give 610 businesses, women's businesses in this part of the loan. We have thousands of women on the line on that because of the problem of collateral. But lucky we were, a few months back we were able to sign grant fund from U.S. - - ten million U.S. dollars from the grantee fund. You know, when you improve working everybody comes to support you. So, now we are now ready to expand our loan on the risk fund side again, also working more on the conventional part.
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. 
If you’ve invested long enough, you know that stock markets are prone to bubbles and busts (the sharp drop early in 2016 was an example of the latter). The problem for most of us is that we tend toward euphoria during bubbles and depression during busts. As a result, we often make the wrong decision at the wrong time—-that is, we tend to buy when we’re euphoric and prices are high, and sell when we’re depressed and prices are low.

Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.
This problem may also result from a reluctance to talk about money. Women talk about marriage, kids, college, politics, religion, shopping and sex, but money matters tend to be taboo. “Men have no trouble talking about money, but it’s the one thing that women are hesitant to discuss,” says Zaneilia Harris, a certified financial planner and author of the book Finance ’n Stilettos. “If you won’t initiate that conversation, you’re hurting yourself. Sharing stories about money is a great way to learn.”
MS. SPELLINGS: I think if there's, if there's an age difference it's often the younger, the mentee helps keep the mentor real and relevant and current, which is a huge gift for those troglodytes in the audience. And I think it helps challenge your assumptions often. It allows you, as Christy mentioned, to continue to challenge yourself about the why, that you're not just so engrained in your initial vision that you forget to step back. We used to say in one of the programs I was involved in are you working in your business or on your business? And I think it lets the mentor work on your business and not in your business.
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.
When considering whether to sell a stock, apply the same analysis you used when you weighed buying it. That’s likely to involve a look at the company’s products or services, its position in its industry, its balance sheet, its history of profit growth, and its share price relative to such key numbers as earnings and sales. After reviewing the case, Ketterer asks herself two questions: First, would I buy today given the firm’s outlook and its share price? Second, if I choose to sell, do I have a better place to invest the proceeds?
Most women don’t think they know enough about investing to properly grow their savings; therefore, they wait to start investing until they feel they’re more financially stable and believe they can risk the possibility of losing money. A common misconception around investing is that you have to be an expert in the industry to succeed when the reality is that there are so many tools and resources that make easy to start investing with as little as your pocket change.
Top priorities of retirees also seem to differ from those of non-retirees. The retirees’ top priorities include maintaining their standard of living (29 percent), followed by spending time with loved ones (27 percent) and maintaining their health (23 percent). Despite that nearly one in five non-retirees hope to make traveling the world their top retirement priority, only 5 percent of retirees have prioritized traveling.
Since the feminine approach to investing has been branded as a losing strategy, let's look at how the men have fared. Men have dominated the financial services world since its inception. They run the big companies, they dominate Wall Street and they control the money, but the empirical evidence suggests that their investment results consistently trail those generated by women. Also, in studies by John Coates (a former Wall Street trader), there is evidence to suggest that a connection between testosterone and risk taking leads to irrational exuberance. Coates notes that "Economists assumed that all behavior was conscious and rational … They were ignoring that fact that signals from the body, both chemical and electrical, affect how we take financial risks.
Best Advice: “Start reading the news! Even if it’s just one article about finance. You can sign up for alerts on your phone when anything happens in the market. That way you can learn about different financial terminology. The most nerve-wracking part of this industry is speaking to professionals and not sounding dumb or ignorant about the topics. I read The Wall Street Journal, and you can also listen to Bloomberg while you’re walking to class, just so you can hear the terminology.”
My dad doesn’t even understand what I do. Within finance there are different departments and what I do is help companies raise money. Companies can raise money by issuing stock. I don’t do stock but I do bonds, which is kind of like a contract, like a mortgage. It’s a contract between the companies and the investors basically helping the company to borrow money from investors.
“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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