The Forgotten Woman
In February 2016, I read an article by Reshma Kapadia in Barron’s (a financial newspaper) entitled The Forgotten Woman. She makes several interesting points, specifically:
· According to a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (a NY based think tank), more than half the women with investible assets of $1 million think that their investment advisor doesn’t understand them.
· Sallie Krawcheck, former head of the wealth management division of B of A Merrill Lynch, calls the retirement crisis a women’s crisis. Women earn less, save less, and have smaller retirement portfolios than men yet they live longer.
· The Center for Talent Innovation found that 45% of women with $1 million in investible assets were deemed to be financially literate as compared to just 39% of men. Yet, women are more risk-averse than men. Krawcheck believes that although men will invest with a lack of knowledge, it is not so true of women.
· Women care less about outperforming benchmarks and care more about growing their portfolio to meet their long-term family goals.
· One of the financial-services industry’s biggest obstacles to reaching women is the lack of women employed by brokerage and financial advisory firm. Today less than 25% of financial advisors are women roughly the same as a decade ago.
Barron's February 15, 2016
Comment: A year into my first job in the institutional equities business at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, I took a Sunday flight to Seattle for investment meetings the next morning. I ran to the airport in cutoffs and a t-shirt over my bikini. Standing in line at the ticket counter, I struck up a conversation with a man about my age. I noticed his matching green Polo luggage and figured that he had to be in the investment world. When I asked him what he did, with much bravado he explained that he was an institutional equities broker for Solomon Smith Barney and that he spoke to all the big money managers on the West Coast. After further explanation as to the importance of his role, the broker asked me why I was going to Seattle. I apologized, explaining that I was an institutional broker as well but I had little experience, having only performed the job for a year. He replied, “a year, heck, I have only done this for a week.” At this point, his senior, a woman who knew me, came over and asked that I show her new recruit where to find the hotel and his first meeting in the morning. I learned a very important lesson. When dealing in a man’s world, DON'T APOLOGIZE! I don’t know is acceptable, but there is no need to apologize!
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