The best place to start investing is in a 401(k) retirement account, if your employer offers one. The tax advantage will help your money grow faster, and if your employer provides a match, all the better! (That’s free money.) If you have the ability to contribute up to the match, do that first—since your contributions are pretax, they can help lower your tax bill. Next, look to an individual retirement account outside work. IRAs have a further tax benefit, but not all of them have the same effect on your tax bill. IRAs are great if you want to put more toward your retirement. If you don’t, then invest in outside brokerage accounts.
For those who doubt that women can be successful investment bankers, there are a few examples such as Marisa Drew, a co-head of Global Markets at Credit Suisse, who has worked in investment banking for over twenty-five years, starting her career as an analyst back in 1986. Another good example is Mary Callahan Erdoes, who has been serving as the chief executive of JPMorgan Asset Management since 2009 where she oversees more than $2 trillion. Ruth Porat also deserves a mention, having worked as chief financial officer and executive vice president of Morgan Stanley between 2010 and 2015, when she decided to leave the bank for Google where she became the tech giant’s first female CFO.
Thanks for your reply Nicole. I know you are currently pursuing ECM if I’m not mistaken. What are the pros/cons of ECM vs. M&A? In terms of exit opps and learning curve, M&A is definitely the best route, but in terms of personal life, ECM…Only disadvantage to ECM, I take it, is the less technical/more narrow content…Your input would be appreciated!

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!
MS. SPELLINGS: What we're doing right is focusing on reading. Here in North Carolina there's been a major emphasis around early literacy. If people can't read and cipher at high levels very early then you're on a track for failure. So, you know, we're out of denial about that. A key part of that, certainly for the university, is making sure that our teachers are prepared to be effective in teaching reading, but teaching reading in disadvantaged communities, rural communities, urban communities, poor communities, etcetera, and I think we, and one of the things that I'm challenging myself to do since we run 14 teacher preparation programs, is understand how well we're doing that. You know, when the, when we have the reading results that we have in this state, which are not terribly encouraging, it tells me those well-intended, high-energy young people that are teaching in our schools don't have the best tools available or we'd have better results. So, that's, we have accountability for that in the university.
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.
MS. CRONSTEDT: So, I, a year after participating in the program, sold my first business and simultaneously, I started a new one based on the knowledge and the tools that were given to me in the Global Ambassadors Program, which was a more successful company, just in short. Which was an online catering company that exists to this day, and that has--
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.”
MS. KATZIFF: So, to exactly that, the many, I would just add there is no one perfect mentor, so surround yourself with many people because you can pick and choose strengths. Everyone has different strengths. And so, think of it as you are the CEO of your business, of your career, and you get to select your Board of Directors, and that is how you should think about mentorship, where similar to any company who looks for a strong Board of Directors you pick multiple skills. You would never pick one person with one skill. So, diversify and have mentors that you tap into and rely on, depending on the situation, and you get diversity of thought. 

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.”
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, in Charlotte you can't say that too much because we have people like Andrea Smith who are leading the Chamber of Commerce, and of course a woman that is the mayor, and the superintendent here is a woman, and one of my board of governors' members I think is here, Anna Nelson, and on and on and on, Ophelia Garmon-Brown who has been so instrumental in the economic mobility work here. But that notwithstanding, there are gaps and, you know, when you, and when you're in a place like Washington there is such a public service mentality and so many opportunities for women, we'll get into some of that, but I am puzzled by that, particularly when most, I mean women are going to college and getting out of college at rates that far exceed, and we need to work on our men obviously, but that exceed women. So, what happens between the time that we're getting out of college, attaining at high levels, and being in those leadership roles? We get lost. Right? Which is why programs like this are so important.
As I stated in my previous comment, I truly believe that the cultural scars and its consequent lack of representativity is the biggest cause of the few women acting in this kind of competition and going tho this area in the university. Problems like the time some girls have to spend cleaning the house because their parents say they must do it exists of course. But as I already said (previous comment) I myself, a boy, have obligations that spend some of my time, which I could use to study even more (of course, I do this by my own will, but see: in the case of selfish parents that really do care more about if the house is clean of not than if their daughter has good grades or a medal in an olympiad, I think they would prefer to show of themselves due to their daughter award. Anyway, actually they, fortunately, are not majority). Other way to conclude that the problem is in this area (STEM and similar) and not in the girls or their condition is to see that in fact there are many girls having excellent grades and getting into great universities. I’m currently trying to apply to good universities abroad and many of the exemples I have (and follow) of people who did it and got extraordinary results are women (actually, I think that the best results I know are of girls). But many of them simply do not chose this area. And so I think that we can blame this lack of representativity, which comes from a long time ago but is being grativaly erased by groups like “Olympic Girls” and “Girls Who Invest”.
MS. ALYSE NELSON: Well hello everyone, I'm Elise Nelson. I'm President and CEO of Vital Voices. Let me just first say how exciting it is to be here at the mothership of Bank of America. I heard it actually called that. Vital Voices, as you know, launched in partnership with Bank of America this really innovative partnership five years ago. So, it's quite special to be back here and to see so many people in this room who were really part of making it happen and looking at Zoe and Susan and of course Pam Seagle, and so many others who just made this a reality.
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.
Move over millennials, here comes the IGen! Born between 1995 and 2005 this group of tech savvy natives is the next cohort and are just now entering the workforce. IGen, or Gen Z as they are often referred, have grown up in a world of social media where Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter reign supreme. These kids are a force to be reckoned with and require access to information in ways that are familiar, immediate, and actionable. Our success depends on them because as the IGen goes, so goes the manufacturing industry, the nation, and the world.
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.
To test his hypothesis, Coates studied the effects of testosterone and cortisol levels on investment decisions. He found a link between chemical levels and trader behavior. High levels of testosterone led to increased risk taking. The risk taking, Coates argues, is not based on superior knowledge or skill but rather a chemical reaction to testosterone. He equates it to the "winner effect," where athletes that succeed at events feel invincible. In the finance arena, he equates this to the dotcom bubble, where "Traders were euphoric and investors delusional."
“I listen to 20 hours of customer calls every month,” says Murphy. “Young people call and they’re trying to figure out what to do with their the money.” The answer – she says – is basic asset allocation often accomplished by putting with the help of a target date fund. “When things get more complicated they probably will want a financial advisor. But [at the start] let’s demystify it and if there is a simple investment solution focus on that. Betterment Data Scientist Sam Swift agrees. “We encourage people to be as passive as possible,” he says.
Do what you can to learn about investing now, because estimates show that women control 51 percent of wealth in the U.S. and are projected to control two-thirds by 2020, according to a Fidelity study. Yet women are more likely to say that "lack of investing knowledge or experience" and "too much information, or complexity of investing" are reasons they feel less confident, according to a Capital One investing survey. Consider taking an online investing course, downloading a podcast or wading through a book. (Warren Buffett's favorite is "The Intelligent Investor.")
Without investment, Facebook and Amazon might have been just interesting projects hatched in a dorm room or garage. Starbucks might still be just a few coffee shops in Seattle without investors who enabled the company to expand to over 20,000 stores worldwide today. The world's most innovative companies rely on investors to fund growth and expansion.
Now Instagram is easier for me because it doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s a way of having an outlet without having the commitment of a blog. Instagram is just tidbits of your life and I like to go back and see what I was doing a year ago. You have this wave of memories coming at you. I wanted to have some way to record what I did. I do have a photographic memory so having a photo to me is very important because it brings different memories of that day and what happened.
It can be a very hard line to walk, and you're constantly searching for balance in literally every aspect of your personality (be fun, but don't be TOO fun; don't get easily offended, but don't internalize the shit that really does upset you; be assertive and don't let people talk over you or dismiss your ideas, but don't come off as bitch so make sure you modify everything you say by making it seem like a question or a suggestion, etc etc etc). It's not so bad at the junior levels, but I think you can definitely see and feel it more as you get older.
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But just having a big shiny goal doesn’t qualify you to open an investment account just yet. After all, if the only thing you needed to have in order to start investing was the desire to have more money, then a lot more people would have investment accounts. (According to the LearnVest and Chase Blueprint study, just 28% of women do, and 40% of men.)
As we say in my country "you weren't crying when you were eating the meatballs". Why is she bringing it up now and not when it actually happened? Because it's a convenient time to come out of the woodwork and get some publicity and possibly financial rewards. Welcome to the pussification of the Western world. Being a professional victim is becoming more and more widespread.

You’ve heard the stats that there are more CEOs named John in the U.S. than there are women CEOs? You don’t want to fall behind the Johns where you work, and that’s what will happen if your company isn’t willing to invest in you. Fortunately, you’re now armed with lots of bragging points and a great sense of the market value of what you do, which will help you seek out the next great opportunity and negotiate your new offers like a pro.
Looking back, I’d emphasize to never sell yourself short and believe in the value you can add to a client. I never thought my opinions and judgment as a 22-year-old would be valuable to a client (isn’t that what my bosses are for?), but this role elevates you to positions where you will be asked for your thoughts and asked to represent the firm in various client situations.
- With some diversity programs some male bankers will wonder if you are a diversity hire or if you are actually good at what you do (will affect your staffings and responsibilities - a proxy for your professional development). That said, I've always encouraged women (and anyone for that matter) to get in any way you can (diversity program or not). I feel like IBD is relatively meritocratic and once you are in (no matter how you got in: diversity program, your parents are well connected, you just happen to be brilliant / hardworking), you have to make your own name off your own hard work
Once you meet all these requirements, you can open your own investment accounts. If you fit that bill, then check out our Investing 101 guide to get more details on how investing works. Then, head over to our checklist that will give you the steps to opening an investment account. And, if you know you’re ready, there’s no better place to start than our Start Investing Bootcamp. 
MS. MELANNE VERVEER: Well, good afternoon everybody. It's a real personal pleasure for me to be here today. I can't tell you how inspired I was listening to Christy, and if she has proven anything it's that one person can make a difference. So, I think that's the lesson to take out of that. And thank you to Bank of America for all that you do in making not just this possible but so much more.
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.”
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As CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, we work with clients in a variety of industries, finance being one of them. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of our clients, Allegiance Capital Corporation, a premier middle-market investment bank, had launched a proactive initiative to attract more women for business development and investment banker roles. I was very curious to learn more. What compelled them to encourage women in an industry which has historically been known to be a “boys only” club?

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