First, you need to have a dream; second an idea of what your goal is and third, passion. Obviously having the skill set and working hard are important, but if you don’t have a dream and a goal, then don’t be surprised when you don’t get there. And if you don’t fill your dream with passion, then you can become disheartened about your career choice during the tough times. And there are always tough times in a cyclical business like finance.
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.
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!
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, and there's been some research on this of course, and you know, I used to say in speeches, you know, women don't feel uncomfortable saying huh, I can't balance my checkbook. You never go around saying huh I can't read, and it's almost okay to, you know, be, you know, phobic about numbers, or check out of those things. And I think we let our girls check out at early ages and have it be okay, but you're not, you're not good at math, or you're not good at science, and that that's kind of socially acceptable, and I think we have to confront those myths because it ends up being, you know, if you're not skilled and facile in math and at the seventh and eighth grade in algebra you're unlikely to be a PhD physicist. And so, we let our young girls check out of math and science at early ages and then we're off the path to those high potential fields going forward. And so, I think we all need to challenge ourselves, and when we say that to ourselves and our daughters check it.

“Most women will spend at least part of their life on their own, either because they never marry or because they lose a spouse to divorce or death. This means many will be forced to manage their own finances in their later years without the support of a partner,” says Bast. “And because women tend to live longer than men, their money will need to stretch further.”

“The more women manage funds, the more funds get channeled into issues women care about,” says Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO of Brava Investments. “When someone brings on one female fund manager, we’re talking about potentially billions of dollars that get moved in a different direction.” She says that questions like “How many of your fund managers are women?” used to be rare in the industry, but now that more and more people are asking, large institutions are getting nervous—mostly because the answer is often “none” or “few.”

Most families have one person that is in charge of the family’s finances, we want to change that. Together you have worked hard to raise a family, own a home and build a life, making all the big decisions together, though life’s joys and challenges, securing a financial future is a partnership too. Talking about money can be difficult for a variety of reasons mostly because men and women approach money differently. Women have sharp intuition when it comes to money; and by 2020, they are expected to control $22 trillion in assets. Ninety-five percent of women will be their family's primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives. When it comes to investing we want to encourage couples to get involved in the money conversation before a life changing event occurs.
MS. JOSEFINA URZAIZ: Thank you. First of all, well thank you, I'm very grateful to be here and honored to be part of this as a mentee in this week. Our organizations that lead have the goal to alleviate poverty, and the way we do this is by empowering women in rural communities in Mexico where I'm from. We employ 900 women who hand weave the hammocks from home, so I don't break that family structure. And to give you perspective, each hammock takes about two weeks to weave because they do it in their spare time, and the impact that we have reaches 3,200 people on an everyday basis.
Top GWI Takeaway: “It’s so incredible to be with a bunch of talented, smart, nice women. These women genuinely want to help and we all want to succeed together. That is something I haven’t encountered before. In general, it’s very competitive with women. We feel that there are only a few spots at the top and we have to take each other down. Here, there are enough opportunities, and if we help each other out it’s better for each individual.”
Who among us doesn’t want a loftier position with a more impressive sounding title and a higher salary, regardless of where we currently work? The truth is, this isn’t always an immediately attainable reality for everyone—maybe you’re just getting started at your current job and it’s too soon to start thinking about a promotion, or maybe the place you work at is small and there’s no clear upward trajectory. Whatever the reason, if you’re seeking a promotion and there’s no obvious path for growth for you in your current job, perhaps this means you should make a more drastic change as part of your New Year’s resolution planning.
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.
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!
MS. SMITH: Great. Josefina Urzaiz, we have Nigest Haile, who is the founder and executive director of the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment, and also Jill Calabrese Bain from Bank of America. Thank you all very much. [Applause] Next up, why partnering is good for women and good for the world, but first please take a moment and watch this next video.
MS. NELSON: To move things forward. So, I want to, I want to come to you Christine and the work of Bank of America because you've been long believers, obviously the partnership with Vital Voices is five years old, but you've been working for many years to, you know, really advance the development agenda, particularly women, but really to focus on partnership. Why does Bank of America believe that? I mean you are a huge corporation with lots of resources and entities around the world. Why is it important to partner with NGOs or governments? 

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.
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.
Top GWI Takeaway: “In investment banking, they’re always making DCF models. I’ve always wondered, ‘What does this stand for? What are they doing?’ While we were here we worked in Excel and found out about DCF. DCF stands for Discounted Cash Flow [and is a valuation method used to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.] I saw [company] income statement, balance sheet, working capital, cash flows; these are all different sheets within Excel that you bring together to create the DCF. I also saw how it intertwined with finding the value of a company, because you have to account for inflation and how much a company would be worth in five years.”
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.
Imagine how much easier it would be to manage your finances if change were not an ever-present dynamic. Of course, change is a fact of life – and life would be pretty boring without it! But change can certainly make long-term financial management difficult. Without insight into the future and what might transpire, planning presents plenty of challenges.

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Says Bourke, “In the first part of 2014, we completed four oil and gas deals totaling $350 million. We found, even in the heart of the oil patch, traditionally known as a male dominated industry, it is more the exception than the rule that both the decision to sell as well as the selection of the most appropriate buyer was a joint decision involving a central female stakeholder. It makes business sense to direct deliberate attention to building an investment banking firm that leverages the talent and experience of the female workforce.”
Before she invests in a stock, Persaud asks a series of questions: Is the company well established, and does it have clear competitive advantages? Is it profitable and capable of generating enough cash to pay a healthy dividend? Can you buy the shares for a reasonable price? Affirmative answers to all of those questions are likely to result in investments that provide competitive returns with a minimum of volatility.

Find an advisor you like and/or trust enough to use. One reason that women might be checked out of investing is that they don't like their financial advisors. One sign of this, said Krawcheck, is that if the male half of a couple dies, the women leave their joint financial advisor at a rate of 70 percent. Her advice: Meet as many times with an advisor as you need to — even if that is five or six meetings. But if you don't feel comfortable, move along.
- 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
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Despite the attractiveness of the competitive story pitting men versus women in a contest of investment prowess, the difference in their returns is not dramatic. For example, a study in the The Quarterly Journal of Economics reported that "Trading reduces men's net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women." Clearly, like beating an index, the difference between success and failure is generally a game of inches, not miles. With that in mind, every penny counts, and pennies paid out in fees are pennies that are not working on your behalf. Over the long-term, lower fees can make the difference between a few extra dollars in your wallet or a few dollars that you do not get to take home.

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.
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.
Starting early is important. Diversifying is just as important. Here’s a good definition of diversification. If you don’t want to read it, I’ll give you snapshot: Being diversified means that you are have your money in a lot of different types of investments—bonds, stocks, companies in established markets, companies in emerging markets, companies in different sectors, etc. The purpose of being diversified is that when one part of the market goes down—stocks, for instance—others may go up or go down less. The purpose is to protect yourself against catastrophe.
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That’s why it’s important for women to invest in companies that support other women. One example? Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (PXWEX). It’s a mutual fund with Sallie Krawcheck, the leader of women’s digital financial advisor Ellevest, serving as chair. Here’s the scoop: It rates companies based on how well they advance gender diversity—like how many women serve on the board or as executive managers—and puts your money towards the ones that come out on top. It’s based on global research that shows having more women at the helm can increase return and lower costs, says Blayney. As for the results? The fund outperformed the MSCI World Index for the three-year period ending September 30, 2017. 
When I got my first management position nearly 15 years ago, My global manager said to remember, 'Transparency and honesty are key to managing relationships and gaining trust from people. And it’s harder than you think.' It’s true. It’s incredibly hard sometimes to deliver a message you know someone is not going to like, but in the long run, it really pays off to be as transparent about a situation as you can be.
“It’s a bit like learning to cook: I didn’t need to do it when I was growing up but I suddenly realised you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to do investing,” he says. “I can understand it and understand how much risk to take. I moved from shares to shares and property to a portfolio that includes hedge funds, property funds and a small amount in commodities,” he says.
Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.
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