Phil is a hedge fund manager and author of 3 New York Times best-selling investment books, Invested, Rule #1, and Payback Time. He was taught how to invest using Rule #1 strategy when he was a Grand Canyon river guide in the 80's, after a tour group member shared his formula for successful investing. Phil has a passion educating others, and has given thousands of people the confidence to start investing and retire comfortably.
Barclays’ Lorraine added: ‘Don’t be put off by investment banking programmes targeted at women – make the most of them.’ Lorraine explained that many banks are ‘setting explicit targets to increase the number of women in investment banking’. Barclays, for example, runs events and schemes to engage female university students, and initiatives to help female employees access internal opportunities.
Given how un-fun paying taxes is, you can imagine that everyone would store all their extra money in retirement accounts if they could. But of course, the government doesn’t allow that. It limits the amount of money you can put in retirement accounts. For instance, in 2012, you can only contribute $17,000 to a 401(k) or 403(b) account (though that will be bumped up to $17,500 for 2013). Similarly, you can only put $5,000 into an IRA in 2012 (and $5,500 in 2013).
It’s a phenomenon some money experts call “the female financial paradox”: Women are a growing economic force, expected to add $6 trillion in earned income globally over the next five years, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group released in 2013. Yet many women lag behind men when it comes to using those assets to plan and build financial security for the future.
Well, the vision that people in general have about this market is one of a bunch of heartless, greed peolpe seeking more and more proft, in order to get richer. But it’s not like this. Of course, it’s in some e way about “making” money, yet it can be done without damaging people and can be used to generate good for the world. To train the future business leaders to know the imortance of it, and to select people using as a criteria their will to help the world, making it a better place, is a way to reinforce this perspective.
With this in mind, it's concerning that so many women have such a dim view of their money management capabilities. Regardless of education levels, personal or professional achievements, many women still have doubts about their ability to invest effectively. In fact, when asked what financial life skills they wished they learned earlier, the number one answer was "how to invest and make the most of my money." But perhaps women have learned far more than they realize, considering these findings:
Experts are readily available. Don't hold back from asking for guidance. Few have all the answers on their own. Just like you visit a doctor for medical advice, why wouldn't your take advantage of a financial professional for investment advice? Fidelity professionals are available 24 hours day at 1-800-Fidelity, or online at Fidelity.com—whether you're a current client or not.
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.
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.
I shared this experience with other female colleagues in the office, who agreed that it was totally inappropriate and assured me I’d have their full support if I wanted to report this incident to my manager. My manager (who is a male) was also extremely supportive, reaffirming that this is not the kind of behavior we’d want to espouse with future managers and leaders of the firm. He escalated the situation to HR, who has noted this on this employee’s record. While I’m not sure if any further steps will be taken, I’m glad there was an open communication channel between me and my manager where my opinion was respected and handled with sensitivity.
From a male perspective, very interesting to read. Never thought about these issues women face in networking, and I’ve never had any such problem (that I know of!) in networking I’ve done with women or they with me. Still though, good to keep in mind when networking with women to prevent any misinterpretations or problems. Thanks for this article; this subject should be talked about a lot more.
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.”
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Some of the other reasons behind some women investors' lack of confidence are complicated and probably deeply cultural, said experts. Parents even treat their sons and daughters differently when it comes to teaching them about money: They talk to their sons about money more than they talk to their daughters about it, and boys have earlier access to credit cards, according to a survey by Baltimore, Maryland-based T. Rowe Price.
"Taking just one step can break the inertia holding many women back," said Taussig. "Whether you're just getting started building a plan, looking to become more active in managing you investments, or determining how to make your savings last through retirement, commit to following through with one new step toward that goal. In most cases, you'll find you're off and running. And there is no shortage of resources to help."
I agree there is some discrimination and it effects women of a certain age the hardest. Generally, it's not going to impact analysts or women over 40. Most often it's going to effect women in their mid/late twenties to early forties. Why? Well, it's sort of obvious. These are the years where professional women are most likely to have kids. Hiring a woman in this age range is much riskier for the employer, because you are probably going to have to endure 1-2 maternity leaves in the best of scenarios or the complete withdrawal from the work force.
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.
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Every time I was in an awarding of an Scientific Olympiad in my country (Brazil), I found strange that there were much more boys than girls, and it was a truth since 6th grade until High School. Well, I could not accept that there were nothing wrong with it because I knew some very intelligent girls. Before I get into High School, I studied in a regular class and some of the best grades were from girls, they potential was tremendous but they simply did not want to dedicate to this side. When I moved from my school to another and entered in a class focused in Sciences (Math, Physics and Chemistry) I realized that the majority of boys were a problem not just in the Olympiads, but in this area (STEM) itself (ant least in my country, but I believe that it unfortunately extends to other places as well). For me, it’s impossible to assume that this situation is due to a kind of “difficult” that girls would have in this subjects, as some supposes, even because some woman that I know are more than excellent at them. I believe that it’s a result of cultural scars left by a past in which girls were destined to stay in home and take care of things, a work that does not necessarily require much study. Than boys mass-dominated the STEM area. And now, due to the lack of representativity, the young girls don’t see themselves in this areas as much boys do. They do not look and imagine they being successful at it because very few were. They basically judge themselves as incapable and the shore as impossible. Of course, it’s not true, but some of them think it is. And so, the lack of women in this area causes a lack of women entering in this area… a loop. A sad loop…
The Northwestern MutualVoice Team is a group of professionals who share insights and opinions from experts and industry leaders across the enterprise. Our vision is to inspire others to take action and plan for their financial future through topics ranging from financial planning, retirement planning and distribution strategies, wealth accumulation and preservation, to leadership, philanthropy and innovation.
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.
2. Make “friends” with risk. Women prefer to preserve wealth even if it means giving up higher returns. Take a 51-year-old attorney (who preferred not to give her name) as an example; she has consistently contributed the maximum allowed by her law firm’s retirement plan. “I know I should be investing in stocks, but I don’t want a repeat of 2008. My money is parked in a money market fund, where I know it’s safe.”
The most important thing you can do to change the investment gap is simple: Educate yourself. People who understand investing are less likely to be intimidated by it and more likely to do it. It’s not hard—you’re not trying to become a derivatives trader. You want to know whether you’re on the right financial track. Check out the articles on Investopedia or anything from Ron Lieber at The New York Times. (The one on how to win at retirement savings is great.)
In my experience (MM firm, about 4k in size) there is absolutely no discrimination against women. If you are bright, driven, and add value, you will succeed... regardless of what may or may not be hanging down yunder. There's no question that the C-suites of Wall Street are dominated by men... but look at the generation. Management generally is in their 40-60's, that puts the start of their career in the between the 60's and 80's... during that time, there was definitely a good deal of sexism in the office. I'd argue that's largely gone the way of the wind.
“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.”
Janet Cowell’s words mean that the diversity of gender brings us different perspectives. The integration of a large number of women workforces can add fresh blood to the industry. In my opinion, women are conservative in the asset management industry and are not as venturous as men. This more cautionary mindset enables women professionals to manage great assets for the less risky funds, while male professionals may encourager bigger risks. A company without women is like a car without a brake, which will run into risks someday.
This, however, is only partially true; Wall Street, while being a very dynamic working environment, is quite conservative in some respects, and that makes it more difficult for women to break in, relative to other industries. This has also resulted in a lack of female mentors who can explain the challenges specific to women, and provide tips how those challenges can be overcome.
‘It’s not really relevant whether you are a man or a woman in investment banking,’ said Lorraine. ‘You are one of the team from the beginning.’ Macquarie Capital’s Tara agreed: ‘Men and women face very similar challenges; all employees have to evolve and make a successful transition from an analyst to being able to sell and generate money. It’s the same for men and women in that respect.’
Many women reserved their ire for the "F" word: family. Male bankers with families are feted as breadwinners, said one. "There's still the assumption - often made by senior bankers with stay at home wives - that a woman's income is the secondary income," she said. In reality, this often isn't the case: "Almost all the senior women I know in finance have househusbands, but they're not going to broadcast that fact."