Category Archives: wallstreet

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing V

lensfunnyThis is the fifth Women and Money post in a series about gender lens investing. All are available at www.financialfreedomparty.com.

The first post introduced the concept of investing through a screening process referred to as a lens. The second gives an overview of socially responsible investing as an established type of lens investing. The third answers the question “Why gender lens investing?” and promises to look at the role of board of directors (also referred to as the board) and high level business executives in publicly traded companies. The fourth post, gives a brief overview of each of these two leadership groups and shows why they are important in understanding how gender lens investing works. This fifth post describes some specific criteria being used by one investment company as its way to screen companies, or simply how they apply the gender lens.  Those companies who meet the gender lens criteria are then eligible to be considered as part of the investment.

Once again I remind you, this blog is educational in nature and does not give  investment advice. The intent is to give an overview of gender lens investing and how it works. If you find the investment mentioned here to be something that interests you, then please seek professional advice and go through the normal process of determining whether or not it is appropriate for you.

Much of the material on investing is technical and precise.  Rather than trying to re-state it correctly, most of this post will refer you to the source documents through a series of links for you to click on.  It is the best way to learn, even if it may seem just a little tedious at first.  If you choose not to follow the links, all the pieces of this puzzle- like study won’t fit very well.  Your choice of course.

Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund is an example of gender lens investing. If there are similar funds out there, I have yet to find them.  Since this one is leading  a new way of thinking, it is a good place to start learning the details.

The link which will guide you in understanding who is involved in the development of the fund referenced above, why it was created, and how it works can be seen by clicking here.

An overview of how companies are screened, or how the gender lens is applied, is briefly described below:

Each company gets the cumulative ranking based on five criteria of gender leadership. These include the number of women representatives on boards of directors or in executive management, as well as those who have a female CEO or CFO and have signed the Woman’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative by the UN Global Compact and UN Women that provides guidance for companies on how to empower women in the workplace.

Besides these criteria, companies must also meet key environmental, social and governance standards

Not familiar with The Woman’s Empowerment Principles?  I wasn’t either,  They are summarized below:

The entire document may be viewed by clicking here.

Finally, more details are available by clicking here to link to the

  • Fund Fact Sheet
  • Fund Profile
  • Prospectus

You will probably find the Fund Fact Sheet and Fund Profile to be the easiest to understand.  However, the Prospectus is also a very important document.   Not sure what it is?  Next time I’ll go into details about a prospectus and why it is a valuable document to you as a potential investor or investor.

To summarize, this series of five blogs has:

  • Given a quick  lesson on the concept of investing through a screening process referred to as a lens. 
  • Explained the characteristics of the board of directors and C-level executives in publicly held companies
  • Shown how one firm is applying a gender lens to companies based on their ratio of women to men in leadership positions and the acceptance of practices as stated in the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
  • Provided links to additional  and more detailed  information on a mutual fund, Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, which is the example used in these posts.

It will be interesting to see how this concepts spreads and impacts the world of big business and the quality of the lives of both women and men.

Please share this information with those around you.

Until next time.

 

(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall

Gender Lens Investing

lensfunnyHave you heard about gender lens investing?  I must admit that it is something I am just learning about.  So, let’s learn together.

To me, the two words gender lens create a vision of looking through the lens and seeing  the world through  adjustments. The lens is a filter which symbolically contains all our personal prejudices and experiences along with those we have acquired as the result of the norms and rules of society.

I googled the term “gender lens “to see what the experts say.  Interestingly enough, there were not pages and pages of quick definitions, most were quite clinical.  So I am going with the one from Wikipedia which is simple and concisely states what the long detailed articles and papers take paragraphs to explain.  It says:

What is a Gender Lens?

Think of a gender lens as putting on spectacles. Out of one lens of the spectacles, you see the participation, needs and realities of women. Out of the other lens, you see the participation, needs and realities of men. Your sight or vision is the combination of what each eye sees.

Gender is about relationships between men and women. Gender equality is about equal valuing of women and men – of their similarities and their differences. We need equal, respectful partnerships between men and women to have happy, healthy families and communities in the same way that we need both eyes to see best.

You can read more by clicking here.

This gives us a foundation to beginning to understand the concept of a gender lens, now to see how that term applies in the investment world and what it means to women.  More next time.

Until then.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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The Bright Side-2008 and Now

In 2008 the financial markets were suffering, and so were we.  The media reporting of the Dow was continuous and we were given minute-by-minute micro reporting about the state of our economic system here in the U.S.   The only ray of sunshine I found in the reporting was from an article called “The Bright Side”.  To learn more, please click here.

This might be a good time to reflect on how you felt in 2008 and to think about how we all arrived to 2013 (when the Dow hit 15,000).

Money is not all about numbers, it is also about feelings and emotions.  Please read the article and enjoy.

 

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Debra Hadsall

I Am Celebrating!

Recently I read about a study which tells the story of under-representation of women as financial advisors, and describes the lower level of earnings of women advisors as opposed to that of men.

Clearly I am not celebrating those statistics.  I am, however, so very excited and grateful to see that someone has actually studied the situation and brought it out for all to see.  As part of the development of The Financial Freedom Party for Women, I searched high and low for any type of information about the brokerage and financial advisory industries and the level of representation by women.  Not a successful search at the time.

So, to learn more, please click here to read my article titled “I AM CELEBRATING!”

It is always nice to understand the industries we rely upon to either to provide us with services, or as employers and business partners. I hope you will learn a little about the financial services industry from my article.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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Frittata and Finances for Women?

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I remember sitting in the teeny kitchen that belonged to one of my friends who lives in Colorado.  Cooking is one of her passions.  She is also an experienced investor, learning early when she received a few shares of stock as a child.  I admire how she was investing before mutual funds gained popularity and made investing more common.  Her investment experiences over the years gave her confidence in her ability to invest and handle finances.  Still, she was struggling to see how to transfer that expertise and solicit investment clients.  We were both in the financial services industry.

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As I sat in her kitchen, she decided at the last-minute to make a frittata for breakfast.  She is one-with-the- world when she cooks.  It is just easy for her. We talked while she pulled the ingredients out of the fridge and casually walked outside to her small patio garden to cut some fresh herbs while not missing a word of our conversation.  The result was a really delicious frittata.  It was like a  Food  Network moment. She was calm, confident, creative, efficient, and making the frittata was something she just enjoyed!

I mentioned to her that I admired how she pulled all those ingredients together and it appeared so effortless.  She looked at me and explained that she wanted to have that same feeling and experience when working with her clients.  I could envision her calmly, confidently, skillfully, and joyfully interacting with her clients just as she had done when making that frittata.

I like that visualization.  Is there something you do especially well?  Maybe it is cooking, perhaps it is organizing an event, or something more technical like showing folks how to use a smart phone or tablet.  Now compare how comfortable you feel about doing that one special thing compared to how you feel about navigating your financial life, especially investing. If the feeling about finances doesn’t match those for your special talent, you can change that!

My friend became a good cook and comfortable with making frittatas through preparation, passion, and practice.  You can do the same with your understanding of finances and management of your financial life.  Money is not all about numbers, it also about  practice, experience, commitment (passion) and feelings.

Until next time.

Debra J. Hadsall

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Dow Jones Industrial, huh?

Here it is, a short version of what the Dow Jones Industrial Average represents and how it got here.  It is also a chance for you to see how all the reporting by the media may, or may not, warrant your attention.

Just click here.

The more we learn about financial management, the more comfortable we become with our personal financial lives.

Enjoy
Debra

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Goals and Couples

Yes, I am writing the article about the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  It is an important concept to understand (since we hear about it every day, often in hyped-up sound-bite reporting by the media).  Since I have stored my favorite WallStreet book called The Great Game, The Emergence of Wall Street as a World Power, 1653-2000, in the shed under tons of stuff, I ordered one from ABE Books.  Nice price and now I am becoming reacquainted with the history of country’s financial structure along with its ups and downs.  Boring to some, but not to me!!!
 
As a diversion from all that Wallstreet reading,  I am following a blog by Kimberley Borgens and wanted to share something from it with you.  She blogs at  www.marriageisacommitment.wordpress.com and reading it brought me back to goal setting and relationships.  Kimberley is a Facebook friend I met through my friend Gale.  Gale and Kimberley are both entrepreneurs and accountability coaches.  I love the way Kimberley has written about marriage and goal setting.  Below is the posting I made to her blog.   I hope you will find your way to read her postings.
 
I wrote:

The focus of my financial services life has been around women, their friends, and families, and their financial goals, dreams, and solutions.  Sometimes the woman was married or in a committed relationship.  Other women were single, having been divorced or widowed.  Some had never been married and always made independent decisions about money and money issues.  Honestly, the easiest clients to work with were women who were single, or those women who had an understanding within the relationship that they were the lead on financial matters, or had a husband who listened and freely collaborated unemotionally about goals and decisions.  I would give each a budget sheet and ask them to give their estimates of monthly expenditures.  Then we would compare them.  Couples with good communications and clear understanding of their money management agreements did this with ease.  Others often learned new things, or things they wished they hadn’t.  On occasion I could sense the relationship vaporizing right in front of me.  Having that goal conversation and then attaching the money part of reaching that goal for those requiring money (some goals are not money things at all).  Yes, communication and goal setting is so important.  I think we find the term goal to be a little clinical, so basically the question is, what do you want to accomplish, how do you want to accomplish it, and when!

 

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