Betterment’s research found that in addition to taking a more hands-off approach, female investors were less likely to indulge in what Swift calls “erratic behavior,” meaning less likely to dump all of their stocks and go completely into bonds or vice versa. Although the majority of male investors in the study didn’t behave this way, men were nearly six times more likely than women to make this move.
Americans as a whole are drastically under-saved for retirement. According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, nearly half of all families have no retirement-account savings at all.1 Women are disproportionately impacted by this shortfall for a number of reasons. Consider the socioeconomic factors that are creating obstacles for women in America today:
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, it was a super fun partnership that was a partnership between President Clinton, President Bush, President H.W. Bush, his center, and the LBJ Library in Austin. So, in that Arkansas/Texas region we have four Presidential, Presidential Libraries. And the idea was to help develop mid-career, civically-engaged leaders, using those four presidencies as case studies in leadership around decision making, around vision and planning, around building coalitions and whatnot, and you all ought to get on the website because it looks like there's some presidential leadership scholar candidates in here. President Bush and President Clinton stewarded this. We were able to raise funds to underwrite this because we need to develop leaders in this space so they can have the skills necessary, particularly in that mid-30s to, you know, mid-50s where you're out of graduate school if you've gone, but there, and you've got plenty of runway. So, how do you become, how do you lead at that level? Who better to do that than two presidents?
The survey of 2,046 U.S. adults, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Edward Jones, found that only 8 percent of Hispanic respondents and 12 percent of African American respondents said it was important for their advisor to be the same race/ethnicity in order to build trust. When asked if it was important that their advisor understand their culture, only about one-third (31 percent of Hispanics and 36 percent of African Americans) said it was.
Top GWI Takeaway: “An important thing to realize is that there are certain types of financial firms and investment strategies focused on doing some sort of social good. We’ve been learning about ESG investing, which is Environmental, Social and Governance Investing [which refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of in investment in a business]. That is something directly designed to make things better, but through the use of financial tools. We also found out about foundations and investing for not-for-profits. All of that combined has shown me that there is still a way to be in finance and pursue some form of public service. I was very interested in law and politics from the social-good perspective, and I’m seeing those worlds align with finance.”
PIMCO’s global Inclusion, Diversity & Culture (IDC) initiative seeks to heighten our employees’ appreciation for diverse perspectives and skills, which in turn will facilitate increased collaboration and enhance our ability to attract, retain, develop, and engage top talent – all of which we believe will lead to better outcomes for our clients and PIMCO.
Vanessa, who started in a middle office role and worked her way to the front office, advised: ‘Don’t give up! Establish your own vision of success – you’re responsible for your own destiny.’ She continued: ‘Separate what’s in your control and what isn’t. If it didn’t work the first time, ask yourself how you can do it differently next time. Always think of the next step.’ Sophie concluded that you should ‘objectively analyse’ what happened and what you could do next time to bring about a better result. ‘Imagine you were giving advice to someone else; what would you say to them?’
MS. SPELLINGS: --moderator here. Melanne, the table could be turned on this easily and Melanne and I have worked together for many, many years on these issues with President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and on and on and on. And I think that's, as I've listened to Christy and thought about the qualities that we try to engender as women leaders, patience, working with others, listening, being goal oriented, understanding it's for the long-haul, being touched by something personal as Christy was often related to children and women and vulnerable populations. I mean all of those things really are at our core beliefs—as women.
MS. SMITH: That's fantastic. So, last question; so talk, talk to us about what you've learned through your work, building an organization, and what you would pass along to our entrepreneurs that are in here, our mentors from other countries as you met many of them. We've got representation really from around the world. So, what advice would you leave them with?
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."
“One of the biggest obstacles we have [with] teaching young people financial literacy and financial skills is not making money and expenses a taboo subject,” says Catie Hogan, founder of Hogan Financial Planning LLC. “Open lines of communication are far and away the most important tool, just so everyone’s on the same page as far as what things are going to cost and how everybody can keep some money in their pocket.”
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Take stock of your current situation—have you spent the last year working hard to convince your boss that you are ready, willing, and able to take the next step to a new job with greater responsibility? Has your boss been giving you positive feedback all year about how valuable you are to the company and how everyone is impressed with the job you’ve been doing? If so, then you’ve already been working hard to achieve your goal of getting a promotion—the next step is choosing the right time, place, and method for asking for one. This is highly subjective and based on your individual job situation. Do you have annual review meetings with your boss to discuss such issues? If so, then this would be the ideal time to broach this subject. Or perhaps your boss is open to feedback and discussions whenever they arise. If so, choose a day when your boss seems to be in a good mood and go for it!
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.
Investing itself, we’re in favor of. (You might have picked up on that, since we’re a company named Ellevest.) Especially investing in low-cost, well-diversified investment portfolios. That’s because — we’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it — we really, really need to fix the gender investing gap. Women don’t invest as much as men — we keep 71% of our money in cash (in other words, out of the market). This is part of the reason that we retire with two-thirds the money of men (even though we live longer).
In terms of dress - this is tricky. It depends on where you work. I think you will see who wears what around the office. But if it's an interview, stick to the black/brown/grey suit and plain shirt. Don't draw attention to yourself, you're just an analyst. And minimum makeup and hair. Once you work on the job you can get a feel for what's accepted and what's not. Keep in mind though that just becuase there are other girls in the office wearing a certain type of dress doesn't necessarily mean it's ok... on my team women talk crap all the time about what some girls wear to work. It's actually funny, but seriously this is a corporate job so don't think you can wear short skirts or low cut blouses or even open toed shoes... but again, it really depends on your environment and what type of role in banking you have. Someone in risk may be able to get away with more casual wear than someone in M&A.
I am recruiting, but I have a problem. We have reviewed over 40 CVs for a senior analyst position, and only 2 have been from women. I asked my head of HR to talk to the recruiter and make it clear that we wanted/expected to see more female applicants, but what he said shocked us. He said that at entry level in investment banking, 1 in 4 positions are filled by women. But by the time they get to associate level (year 4), the numbers have plummeted to just 1 in 18.
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.
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.
“Women have more power and earning potential than ever before. They now make up the majority of college graduates, represent nearly half the labor force and are the primary breadwinners in 42 percent of households,” says Bast, who cited The Shriver Report published in 2014. “Because they’re balancing careers and families with philanthropic pursuits and other projects, however, they often place others ahead of themselves.”
Because women are more inclined to do research and more likely to exhibit patience than men, they’re well equipped to take the same disciplined approach to selling as they do to buying and are less prone to unloading their stocks during a market panic. Ketterer suggests establishing triggers that prompt the reevaluation of each holding. A trigger could be a set date (say, at the end of a quarter or the end of a year), or it could be a specific rise or fall in the share price. Ketterer sets a target price for each stock she buys and reevaluates it when the price approaches that level. A falling stock price is not a reason to sell, she says. But it may indicate that your initial analysis was flawed and requires review. “The greater the frequency of review of a company, its industry and the economic environment, the better,” she adds.
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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.
While anyone can attend the pitch competitions, only women of color can do the pitching. Bell is proud, she says, of “the women we serve and their reaction to the space created for them.” She is also proud of the success many of the entrepreneurs have found after working with BGV. Founders who have participated in pitch competitions have gone on to be accepted into accelerators, receive fellowships, and raise more capital from other resources.
MS. SPELLINGS: You know, I would certainly not want to say something un-PC about men, but my observation is that I think we are. I think that's why you see women show up to say, "Put me in coach," or "I'm going to lead an effort on maternal health. I'm going to run for the school board, I'm going to be the president of a university, or the mayor of Charlotte," or whatever it is. And I do think we're motivated by that, often at some sacrifice.
WIN is a forum for full-time MBA women from top business schools around the country and investment professionals from sponsoring firms to gather, network, hear perspectives on investment careers and related topics from industry representatives, learn from distinguished women and men in the industry; and showcase their stock-picking skills in front of judges from sponsoring firms and obtain feedback on their pitches. More than 60 women MBA students from top business schools and 65 representatives from top-tier investment management firms are expected to attend.
MS. URZAIZ: That's right. We wanted to be better, and decided that a way to prove that we're doing above and beyond what is in our hands we decided to become Fair Trade Certified, and not only that B Corp, for those of you who know what B Corp is, which means we do above and beyond. We're not only committed with our suppliers, that is the weavers, but also with the environment and with the community as a whole giving back.
Textbooks and school supplies. Course materials could eat up a large chunk of your budget. The average estimated cost of books and supplies for in-state students living on campus at public four-year institutions in 2016-2017 was $1,250, according to the College Board. Also plan for purchases like notebooks, a laptop, a printer and a backpack, and read the do’s and don’ts of back-to-school shopping for money-saving tips.
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."