Okay, Every Smart Girl Is Now Investing–Because Money Is Power

Okay, Every Smart Girl Is Now Investing Because Money Is Power
PHOTO: @babba.c

I bet you have all heard of the gender gap to some extent. But, what does it means for you?

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, when economists speak of the “gender gap” these days, they usually are referring to systematic differences in the outcomes that men and women achieve in the labor market. These differences are seen in the percentages of men and women in the workforce, the types of positions they hold, and their relative incomes or hourly wages. So, you know there are inequalities, but do you know on average, how much do these gender gaps cost you?

You may want to brace yourselves for this because the truth is shocking.

” Presently the average woman makes between 78¢ and 80¢ for every $1 a man makes in the same job. To a woman earning $85,000 a year, that translates into lifetime costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of women-led digital investing platform Ellevest on a new episode of MAKERS Money. “The gap is not as bad for millennial women (at closer to 90¢), but it’s worse for women with disabilities (72¢), black women (63¢), and Latinas (54¢).

How to close the pay gap

This is one of the toughest gaps to close because it’s not fully under your control. But the best way to raise your pay is to make the best possible ask.

Start by researching how much your worth using websites like Comparably, Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth, Hired.com, and GetRaised. Then schedule a talk with your bosses ASAP—Monday, if you can — to define what success looks like for you and your division. Need some help with how to ask, here’s 7 things every woman should know before going in.

This number portrays a macro view of the gender pay gap and is subject to many factors outside of gender, such as age, experience level, and industry.  Crazy right? And that’s just referring to the gender pay gap alone. We’re not done.

There’s another gender gap that can cost us women even more over our lifetime: It’s the gender investing gap. 

What is the gender investing gap?

Simply put, women don’t invest as much as men do. And they don’t invest as early as men do, either. Of all the assets women control—both inside and outside their portfolios—they keep a full 71% in cash, according to a survey by BlackRock, whereas men hold 60%.

And while keeping your money in savings account feels like zero risks, but it also has zero potential to grow as stocks do over time. And even with low inflation, the purchasing power of that cash will decline over time. So the price of certainty you get with cash is high.

Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. From a young age, we receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have actually found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.

“It’s not about beating the market—it’s about reaching your goals,” says Sylvia Kwan, Chief Investment Officer at Ellevest on the investment approach at Ellevest. And, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Ellevest was founded on the principles of simplifying and personalizing investing for women⏤and in turn, crushing the gender investment gap.

How to close the investing gap

This is going to sound a bit like a Nike commercial: Just do it. Find an advisor who feels right for you—and do your research. Ask colleagues, ask friends,  and search the Internet.

Invest Like a Woman - Open an account with Ellevest

What if you don’t have much to invest, should you still bother? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Hell yes!  Ellevest has no minimum so you can start investing with as little, or as much as you like.

So, wherever you are with saving, get started by getting your complimentary financial plan from Ellevest today— you literally have nothing to lose.