MS. URZAIZ: I'll say four words: More women in power. I think we need more women, whether it's holding public office, whether it's in business, whether it's, the person I'm trying to make a decision at Lowe's to whether to buy my hammocks or not. Just those decisions where it's just decision-making positions we need more women because women relate better to other women. No offense to the men here, but it's easier to make that connection, to know that they have our agenda at first when they make those decisions for policy, for so many things. Just more women in power I think is what will get us to the next level. So many policies have been put in place, but now we need women making those decisions and driving those decisions.
Knowledge shortfall. In truth, women do appear to be less knowledgeable about investing than men are. A 2015 study by Financial Finesse found that 67% of women answered yes when asked whether they have “general investment knowledge regarding stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” compared with 84% of men. And the figures don’t just represent women’s lack of confidence, says Kathie Andrade, president of personal advisory services at TIAA. The financial-services firm asked men and women a series of questions about bonds, asset allocation, inflation and interest rates and found that men scored considerably higher overall.
Take, she said, a feature like tax-loss harvesting, a feature that involves selling losing investments so that investors can write off the loss on their taxes. It has become a standard on some new online investment platforms. "It's very in the weeds and technical," she said. "I have been in the industry for [a long time]. ... I've never had a woman ask me about tax-loss harvesting."
Once I asked my dad a question who is an entrepreneur, “Do you think women are treated differently from men in work field?” He said, “No, as an owner of a company, we explore the full potential of every employee and make sure their talent is best used. Otherwise, why should we hire a person and why do we waste our money?” This dialogue between my dad and I partly illustrates the expectations of an employer — it’s not the gender that matters. It’s the capability that matters. Then, we talked about the status of women in China. We both believe that the status of female employee is increasing. But this doesn’t mean inequity has been put to a stop. Instead, more and more people come to speak out about their unfair experience. Even then, it is still a global problem that women are rejected due to stereotypes.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Sure. So, I have a thirteen-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and that was the baby that you saw in the video. When I delivered her, actually after I delivered her, I experienced a post-partum hemorrhage. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, and there was absolutely no indication during my pregnancy that I would have a complication like that. But luckily, I was in a birthing center within a hospital in New York City, and a team of providers that worked seamlessly together to make sure that my complication was managed and I was fine, and my daughter was fine. However, in the weeks after this experience I learned that globally in 2003, the global estimates for a pregnancy and childbirth-related complications and deaths were beyond half-a-million. And that just really struck me, like, "Why do I not know this? I can't believe I went into this experience not knowing this." And I felt like I had to learn more about why this was happening. And I learned that most of these deaths are preventable. Which beg the question, "Well why if we know how to save these lives, are we allowing these lives to be lost?" Which continues to be a goal in uncovering, you know, in many, many countries, including this one, why are we allowing women to die when we know how to make sure that they don't?
It probably shouldn’t be surprising that women aren’t investing as much: The financial industry is still one of the biggest old-boys’ games in town. Don’t believe it? Check this ratio: Financial advisors and traders are 86% to 90% men. That leaves the 70% of women who say they would prefer to work with a female Financial Advisory without all that many options.
I think the summer curriculum of this nonprofit organization is very helpful. It mentioned that there are much fewer women professionals than men in the financial market. This may be due to the industry’s prejudice against women. The industry tends to consider women have less advantages than men, or women have more commitments not only to work, but also to their families. Some of these thoughts are true, but some are not. Women need more mentorship and empowerment. As the articles mentioned above, these students brought not much understanding before the camps. After the camps, however, they learned about, and mastered financial knowledge and tools. This learning process will benefit and illuminate their own future.The potential of improving women’s financial knowledge is very big. But the existing problem is that women just are not getting the right guidance and empowerment. For example, these teenagers. They didn’t have much financial knowledge. But through this project, they started to be familiar with finance, and understand finance. With a more positive understanding of money, their life may be improved .
You also need to work harder sometimes in order to get recognition or get same bonuses. It might also be harder for you to find a mentor at workplace, but again you could solve those problems by working hard, finding mentors outside of workplace or developing mentorships slowly at work through developing your own brand and consistently proving that you are reliable.
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."
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.
4. Hire a financial consultant. Consulting with a professional investment counselor can give you an edge in creating your investment portfolio. Using a mutual fund is a way to hire a financial consultant without spending a lot of money upfront. Financial consultants can sometimes be fallible, which means you should always take an active role in your investments. For more information on how to begin this process, read Hiring the Ideal Personal Finance Advisor.
I am a sophomore student in the state of Ohio. I used to be an intern in an import and export trade company. The experience of this job provides me more understanding of finance. I worked around statistics and data. I will participate more in the industry and accumulate practical experience and insights in the future. This internship took place in China, a country that has often been considered traditional and male-oriented. However, I do not think I have ever been treated differently by my co-workers and my supervisors. The interns, male and female, who came at the same time with me were given the same amount of workload as me. Sometimes the manager even preferred to assign certain tasks to women, instead of men. Since women have some charismatic characters, like patience, moderateness, stability, and carefulness — women in some cases can be more outstanding than men.
Partly because of this dynamic, she said there's often a career premium for women who are young and beautiful. "You get a lot of beautiful young women in banking who find themselves replaced by a new generation as they get older. - I've seen older women being made to hand their accounts to 22 year-olds. They complain, but they were in that position once - they were the 22 year-old who took another woman's clients. Women don't help each other."
Women live, on average, five to seven years longer than men (depending on when they were born). Their money has to stretch longer, and if they are married, it is important to note that some of the biggest health care costs are incurred in the year prior to death, so if they survive their husbands, it is possible that their financial resources may be reduced by medical expenses. Married women tend to suffer significant losses in income when their spouse dies.
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.”
The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of individual securities is secondary to the way you allocate your investment in stocks, bonds, and cash and equivalents, which will be the principal determinants of your investment results. Figure out your goals and then allocate your assets accordingly.
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. 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.
She isn’t alone in putting financial planning on the back burner. According to the 2014 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study, the number one roadblock for people who think their planning could use improvement is a lack of time. Other studies show that many American women share this “head-in-the-sand” approach to long-term planning. But that strategy won’t work, according to Rebecca Bast, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual; not if women are to enjoy the financial security they deserve.
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.
Women control $11.2 trillion of investable assets in the United States, according to a study by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Turner Moffitt at the Center for Talent Innovation. "Where investing is made accessible and approachable for women, women not only invest more but are better investors," said Sallie Krawcheck, the former top Wall Street executive now working on an online financial advisor called Ellevest, aimed at women, which is set to launch this year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MS. CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS: Here in Haiti many women have to walk an average of five miles just to receive any kind of maternal healthcare. During my last trip here we were bouncing along the road, and I thought "Hey, why don't we run this? Why don't we run or walk this? Let's see what this really feels like." At Every Mother Counts we run as a way of educating the public about how distance is a barrier for women to access quality maternity care.
Define your goals: Get to the heart of what's important to you by thinking critically about investment goals. Sabbia mentioned preparing for personal retirement, saving for children's educational needs, or leaving a charitable gift for the next generation as potential goals. She also mentioned a key difference in how women invest. "While women care about performance, they also look for their investments to align with their values, goals and priorities," Sabbia said. "In fact, more than half of women investors are interested in or engaged in impact investing, generating financial returns along with social returns." Sabbia mentions that whether it's for your own family or a meaningful cause to help others, having clear goals that link to a clear strategy is key to success. And the ripple effect from that empowerment could extend far beyond your own backyard. Increased participation in investing could benefit communities overall. "If more women can actively take control of their financial future all along the way, it would not only benefit them, but also their families and our society overall,” said Maddy Dychtwald, co-founder and senior vice president of Age Wave.
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Financial editor and writer LouAnna Lofton, who studied the habits of Warren Buffett and compared them to research about gender and investing, has also found that women match their investments more closely to their goals and remain calmer during market turbulence. During a downturn, she says, female investment portfolios weather the storm far better than male ones.
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.
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!
Persist even when it seems like the investing isn't for you. Krawcheck and others have long observed that the male-dominated investment industry isn't particularly welcoming to women. Only about 3 in 10 financial advisors is a woman. For instance, women are thought to be more goal-oriented around the idea of taking care of loved ones and see themselves as savers rather than investors. But the investment industry often focuses its marketing on the idea of returns. In another example, investment company marketing often focuses on what the investment company provides rather than what the client needs.
The WIN conference was a fantastic opportunity to hear and learn from distinguished keynote speakers and panelists. The stock pitch showcase was a key highlight and provided us with a valuable opportunity to benchmark ourselves to peer schools and to shine in front of judges and recruiters. The whole experience was invigorating and fulfilling. Not a single minute in the two-day event was boring!
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.
1. Get in the game. Women are participating in their employers’ retirement plans at the same rate as men. The problem is, they typically save less—an average of 6.9 percent of pay compared to 7.6 percent for men, according to 2013 a report by Aon Hewitt. Many also don’t contribute enough to take advantage of any company match. This makes it harder for women to build sufficient savings to fund retirement. In fact, according to the Aon Hewitt report, women have average plan balances that are significantly less than men’s, consistently across all salary ranges ($59,300 for women vs. $100,000 for men). The solution? Bast urges women to take full advantage of their retirement plans as soon as possible. “The key to building wealth is to start early, set aside as much as possible and always contribute at least as much to get any employer match that may be available.”
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.
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The lesson, says Ramona Persaud, manager of Fidelity Global Equity Income Fund (FGILX), is that it’s important to manage risk and avoid huge losses. If you invest in individual stocks, says Persaud, look for strong companies that are willing and able to pay generous dividends. “Your investment return is a combination of dividends and price appreciation,” she says. “If you have enough dividend yield, it dampens the downside.”
Definitely important to maintain your femininity. There is nothing worse than being one of 'those' women who try and act like men. Guys absolutely hate that, and I'd say especially as the older guys are starting to retire, etc., the younger ones hate it even more. At my PE shop, there are very few girls on the deal/origination side. Luckily, the guys aren't spewing machismo. But, it's always good to remind them that you're a girl in some way or another. In my experience, guys in finance just want to work with a girl who's cool, smart and does good work. Pretty much the same thing they look for in guys. They're not running around looking to work with d-bags.
While this won’t apply to everyone, any parent who plans to pay all or part of their children’s college tuition should be investing. Tuition is rising at 6% or more per year, so parents will definitely need to harness the power of the market in order to make their tuition goals. Read our 101 on saving for college and our checklist on opening up an investing account for your child’s college education.
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.”