Category Archives: women and money

salliecrawcheckSo excited to read the article about Sallie Krawcheck’s new offering for women investors.

Not sure who she is?  Wonder why she is involved in investing and women?  Curious to know about a new investment process which steps away from the traditional investment models?  Please just click here and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doubly High Cost of Being Female

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Some of my friends and business associates have been out and about talking to women about business development and financial management.  There are two quotes we bring up to gently gain the attention of the women we meet.

The statistic that really grabs the audience is that the average age of widowhood is 56.  Interestingly, most men and women guess numbers in the 70s or 80s.  Big surprise.   Of course many women are choosing to stay single, but this statistic makes everyone take inventory of their relationships.

Then we talk about how women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That’s in improvement over the 72 cents I used to talk about when I first started working with women and finances.  Still, something to think about.

Today as I breezed through my daily news reading on my cellphone, I found this really powerful article titled The Doubly High Cost of Being Female.  Here I found more things that I really hadn’t understood, or even thought about.  Can we fix all of it, probably not.  Can we learn and do better?  Absolutely.

To read the article, please just click here.

 

 

ffpcovermarch2016lulufinal

Click here to order

M&M-Moms and Money

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Mother’s Day celebrations and  Mother’s Day cards  mention appreciation for lots of things, but I have never seen much mention about moms, children, and money.

On this day of reflection about mothers, those still with us and those who have gone on, it is nice to add another dimension to how we see the role of a mother (or mother figure) in our lives.  Moms and Money, the new M&M.

I hope you will enjoy this article about how moms have the greatest impact on finances.   Please click here to learn more!  One more thing to appreciate about those women we call moms.

Women and Money- Limiting Beliefs

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I used to think anything related to finances is all about the numbers.   After meeting with hundreds of people concerning their personal finances and investing, it became clear that it’s more about feelings and emotions than it is about the math.

There is a really wonderful article on the blog Frugal Confessions by Amanda Grossman titled Do You Have This Limiting Belief about Money?  If you are feeling a little (or a lot) inadequate when it comes to managing your finances, just click here to read what Amanda has to offer, get some confirmation that you are not alone, and learn that there are some simple ways to start doing better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, The Prospectus

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Have you been in this situation?  You pick up the prospectus for an investment and wonder, what is this?  It looks so boring, why should I even bother reading it?   How can it help me?

This post is to help you find some value in those printed pages and keep from being be overwhelmed by the information provided there.  Yes, it is more fun to look at magazines and catalogs which are colorful and clearly designed to attract our attention to buy, buy, buy.  Just think of the prospectus as part of the process for purchasing a specific investment and try to overlook the lack of pizzazz in the presentation.  Once again, this is an educational blog and not a recommendation to make a buying decision of any particular investment or product.  You may use a prospectus from any fund you wish as a tool to learn more about the investment.

Since my earlier posts were about a mutual fund which offers an investment option called gender lens investing, I’m going to refer to mutual funds as the type of investment—or security—for this discussion. There are, of course, other investments, such as individual securities like stocks or bonds, but mutual funds have evolved into a popular investment choice.   The prospectus for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund  is as good as any to use as an example and was mentioned in my  series about gender lens investing.

First, it is important to remember that the securities industry is highly regulated. The government organization with the main responsibility for setting rules and regulations is the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The organization which is responsible for setting a framework for firms (such as broker/dealers) and registered representatives (licensed individuals who work in the industry and serve clients), is called the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA). Previously it was called the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). FINRA is not a government agency, but is referred to as a Self- Regulating Organization.  The SEC makes the rules and FINRA members (firms and individuals) implement them through more rules and regulations.  This is a simple explanation.  To learn more, please click here for the SEC website   and  click here for the FINRA website.

When you, as the client, make an investment in a mutual fund, you are given a prospectus. This is a regulatory requirement. The prospectus is supposed to be presented at the time of the investment, but there are some other guidelines which allow a slight delay. For your purposes, you should expect to receive the prospectus when you meet with your representative. It is pretty easy these days as the prospectus is usually readily available on-line.

So what is a prospectus? It is the story of the investment, in this case a mutual fund.  Some companies issue a separate prospectus for each fund.  Others, offer a booklet listing information about more than one fund.  The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund  is one of seven funds listed in the prospectus we will be reviewing.  So when you look at the prospectus, please go to the index and you will see that  information about the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund starts on page 49.

The prospectus contains a lot of information, but a good way to start is to locate the following information:

  1. The name of the company that manages the fund.
  2. The goal of the fund.
  3. The minimum investment for a lump sum and/or a periodic automatic investment.
  4. When the fund originated.  Information showing the long-term performance of the fund.
  5. Fees. What is the initial front load (cost to the investor) or a back-end load (cost to the investor)? What is are the annual operating expenses paid each year as a percentage of the value of the investment? Are there other fees and restrictions?

The best way to learn is to explore a prospectus and identify the items described above. Please link to the prospectus at   Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund and review pages 49-58 and page 89.  You probably commit a lot of time to making money and spending money.  So, please make a small commitment of time to understanding how to gain some value from a prospectus when considering an investment.

Next time–a review of the details provided by the  prospectus for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund.

 

 

(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

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing

The series of five posts on Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing, has been combined into one article.  For those who didn’t read the series, it is probably easier to read a consolidated version.  So, please go to scribd.com (a publishing website) by clicking on the link below.  Scribd.com not only provides a way to read on-line, but allows you to download the article and even print it.  I am mentioning scribd.com  because it is a great resource for those who like to read and learn.

Just click on:  https://www.scribd.com/doc/245944714/Women-and-Money-Gender-Lens-Investing .  This will take you to my article.

To me, this is an exciting time for women to be learning about how to understand gender lens investing, and see if it fits into their investment needs.

Please pass on what you learn and share this exciting concept with other women!

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(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

 

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

Women and Money, Time for Women to Teach Each Other

Working on the laptop and doing some website changes.  Kind of listening to the TV in the other room.  Realized the morning show out of Austin (Texas) had a speaker explaining how the role of women in personal finance has changed.  Started actively listening to statistics about how women own homes, are Chief Financial Officers (CFO) of their lives and the lives of their families, and how we care for our families and often other generations of friends and family members.  Basically the conversation hit all the topics we as women already know because we live it.

Then I really paid attention and realized the speaker was– a man.   So I walked to the TV to see the male speaker telling the woman talk host all this information.  The visual reminded me that about 70% of the people in the financial advisory and investment communities in the U.S. are men, even though there are more women than men in the  overall population.

Oh HAPPY DAY when we see as many women financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, and teachers of financial literacy in our neighborhoods as we see Starbucks or Walgreens.

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that men remain our biggest resource for financial “stuff”?  We can change that!

This isn’t about men versus women.  It is about choices.  Some women prefer to learn from men.  Others prefer to learn from women.  With such under-representation of women in the advisory and investment communities, we as women need to teach each other the basics to balance out the equation.  This gives us a choice in who is teaching us, and benefiting from it.

Thanks for reading my posts and being interested enough in your financial future to learn the fundamentals.  Please help by sharing  your knowledge so the next “experts” on the morning shows are women.  It could be you.  Start in your living room with a few friends.  Buy my book to start, or find other resources which speak to you.  It’s easier than you think.

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing IV

This is the fourth Women and Money post in a series about gender lens investing.

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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. This, the fourth post, gives a brief overview of each of these two leadership groups. Understanding why they are important to the company is critical to understanding how gender lens investing works.

Business executives and boards of directors can be found in both privately and publicly held companies. For gender lens investing, I am referring to publicly traded companies. These companies offer securities such as stocks and bonds to the general public through an exchange. One of the most well-known U.S. exchanges is the New York Stock Exchange, but there are many more. This is a simplified definition and to learn more, just perform a quick search on the Internet for more information about publicly traded companies.

With gender lens investing, the gender of the members of board and the company’s business executives is looked at through the lens. It is a pretty simple process; just compare the number of women to the number of men serving in these top level leadership and management positions.

lensfunnyboard-of-directors

So you may be wondering why a blog about women and money has a graphic titled Board of Directors with all male figures. The reason is simple. Men currently hold the majority of the board positions of publicly traded companies

Board members and business executives are tasked with working together to reach common goals for the company. However, their roles for achieving this are different.

Board members in publicly traded companies are elected by shareholders. Shareholders have ownership in the business. Perhaps you have owned stock or mutual funds and received forms to vote concerning selecting a board member. Maybe you have been asked to complete a proxy so someone is authorized to vote on a proposal on your behalf. This shows how shareholders are given the opportunity to influence the board and its decisions. Board members not only oversee the management of the company, but they also serve as a connector between the company (including what is referred to below as C-level executives) and the shareholders. Board members have considerable influence over the organization. They also have significant responsibility to the shareholders.

Gender lens investing evaluates the overall relationship between the number of women and men who are members of the company’s board of directors.

C- level Executiveslensfunny

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Unlike members of the board, business executives are employees of the business. The graphic above cleverly showing “C- level” and an executive meeting room may not mean much to you. However, C-level refers to the most senior and influential positions in a company. You have heard of them, CEO (Chief Executive Officer, CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer) and others. The term C-level executives is also commonly used for these important positions. C-level executives hold the highest levels of leadership and decision making authority in the company. Correspondingly, these executives are usually the most highly compensated of all the employees. Compensation may consist of not only salaries, but bonuses, stock options, etc.

As with members of boards of publicly traded companies, C-level executive positions currently are predominately held by men.

Gender lens investing also evaluates the overall relationship between the numbers of women and men who are C-level executives.

To summarize, a publicly traded company is one which offers shares of ownership to the public through an exchange. A publicly traded company has both a board of directors and business executives. Gender lens investing looks at the number of women and men holding these key positions as part of the filtering process, seeking those who meet the criteria established by the investment company, or even by an individual investor.

Coming in the next Money and Women, Gender Lens Investing post: Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund as an example of gender lens investing.

You may also read this information on scribd.com by clicking here.

(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

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing, Part II

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Let’s continue together on our journey to learn about this option of gender lens investing.

Investing through a lens is not a new concept. I first experienced it as a financial advisor when socially responsible investing became more popular. Some people are more driven by their social conscience than by the overall rate of return on an investment.  For them, using a “lens” or screening process of the companies in which they invest became the solution.

I see gender lens investing as an extension of socially responsible investing. So it helps to first understand the more established investment option called socially responsible investing.

A socially responsible investment is the result of screening publicly traded businesses based on certain criteria which seek both financial gain and social good or benefit.

Companies are evaluated and selected based on certain criteria. Some of the common criteria evaluated through the lens are:

  •  Support of sustainability of the environment through corporate policies and actions.
  •  Corporate commitment to workforce diversity in training and promotion   opportunities as well as to fair workplace practices.
  • Companies which avoid certain industries, such as those involved in weapons, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling.

I am writing a post for a blog. The intent is to keep it short and stick with the basics. If socially responsible investing interests you, please learn more through your financial advisor or by simply googling it on the web. There are now many companies offering socially responsible investing. Among them is a company called Pax World Funds. They are part of the story of gender lens investing and a partnership with an organization called Ellevate.  More next time!

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

(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.)