Winning Women: Unwrapping the Female Investor Market

(l-r): Impact Investing Committee Co-chair Nelun deS. Wijeyeratne, Speaker Andrea Turner Moffitt, Moderator Stephanie Ackler, Speaker Charlotte Beyer, FWA Emerging Leader Co-chair Elena Gerasimova and Membership Committee Co-Chair Nicole Fox.

“You, like every investor, are a CEO of MyWealth.Inc- and it is time for you to step up and act like it!”

That was the call to all participants in “Winning Women: Unwrapping the Female Investor Market”- the exciting September event organized by the Impact Investing Committee of the FWA along with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

Two leading practitioners and authors in gender lens research and wealth management, Andrea Turner Moffitt and Charlotte Beyer, were joined by long term FWA member and Financial Advisor Stephanie Ackler for a dynamic discussion that touched on many topics relevant to women in the financial sector: professional advancement, risk tolerance, investment style and broader global trends in women’s financial aptitude.

Both authors disclosed innovative strategies to help women as investors and women as promoters of diversity and economic opportunity. They noted that women need to understand the purpose of wealth, the fears of wealth, and their investment goals.  Risk and market volatility (the hype and reality) also are important factors in their journey to financial health and wellbeing.

Charlotte shared her experience as a seasoned Wall Street professional, whose focus on the relationship between investors and their financial advisors led to the development of the first private wealth management program in collaboration with Wharton. She revealed key insights from the program as well as her new book, “Wealth Management Unwrapped”, encouraging attendees to not feel intimidated or overloaded by the asymmetry of information. To minimize the confidence gap, she recommended that potential investors ask detailed questions and identify specific goals in order to successfully communicate with a potential advisor.  Regarding female financial advisors and their authenticity, Charlotte quoted Maya Angelou who said: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Andrea expanded on the findings from the global study she conducted with the Center for Talent Innovation, which formed the base for her recently published book, “Harness the Power of the Purse: Winning Women Investors”. The research results were often counterintuitive, but enlightening. Andrea highlighted the fact that according to the responses, women seek a “greater basket of goods”; that they are probably just as financially savvy as their male counterparts but have less confidence in saying so; and that they have a higher risk tolerance than we might think. She discussed her own path to helping women entrepreneurs and desire to help women get access to capital.

When asked what the main takeaways from the session are, the speakers did not hesitate: “ Be courageous!”, “Be true to yourself and your values!”, “Have a plan!” – encouraging words that left the members of the audience feeling empowered to tackle the financial challenges ahead of them.

Special thanks to Wells Fargo Advisors for sponsoring this event, to our wonderful speakers, to the Impact Investing Committee, and FWA Members Stephanie Ackler, Nicole Fox, Humaira Faiz, Elena Gerasimova, Nelun Wijeyeratne and Pat Addeo for their contributions to a successful evening.