What If All Women Invested for Better?

Here’s a radical idea. (Or maybe not.) What if women around the country, of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels, demanded that their assets be invested in a way that didn’t disrespect people, the planet, or their own values?

What if women en masse decided to seize the power they already hold in their savings accounts, retirement accounts, and investment portfolios and use it to make the world better by supporting companies that promote diversity in management, set rigorous sustainability benchmarks, or create products that have positive global impact?

What if women — whose voices have rocked the world through their truth-telling, marching, and advocating — activated their financial resources purposefully? What would be possible?

When women can define how their hard-earned capital is used, entrenched financial systems can change. Say goodbye to our current reality, where fewer women run big companies than men named . When we choose what we invest in, our funds don’t have to include investments in fossil fuel producers or handgun manufacturers.

Most of us have intermediaries who control how our money gets invested, whether it’s our employer’s 401(k) provider, our own financial advisor, or even our own partners or spouses.

It can be hard to talk to your financial advisor about the integrity of your investments. The traditional financial advisor ecosystem isn’t geared toward women’s interest in values-based goal setting. Did you know that fire their long-time financial advisors because they want to work with someone who listens to them and who understands their goals? Whoa.

Right now, only control household investment choices. Women tend to be in their investment knowledge than men, and on investing activities than men do. That means to bring up money matters at home, too.

If you’re having two-way, meaningful conversations about your investments with your partner and your advisor, excellent! If not, take a look at this and arm yourself with talking points to fend off pushback and make your case.

But despite all that, I’m optimistic we will overcome obstacles like these. Women control , and I think a sea change is on the horizon. According to the Boston Consulting Group, between 2010 and 2015, private wealth held by women globally . By 2020, we are expected to hold $72 trillion, 32% of the total. And most of the private wealth that changes hands in the coming decades is likely to go to women.

So if enough women decide to invest with purpose, we have a shot at actually transforming the capital markets. At accelerating the movement to a financial system based increasingly on long-term global sustainability rather than a single-minded focus on short-term shareholder profit. At pivoting markets to not only do less harm, but also to address tough local and global challenges, like equity, sustainability, and human rights. And those women would inspire their partners, their children, and their friends.

What if all women invested for better? What if you invested for better?

 

This article first appeared in Ellevest Magazine.

What If All Women Invested for Better?

Here’s a radical idea. (Or maybe not.) What if women around the country, of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels, demanded that their assets be invested in a way that didn’t disrespect people, the planet, or their own values?

Read the article>

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There appears to be some debate among financial advisors about whether women need to invest any differently than men, simply because they’re women. The notion that one’s gender might factor into their investment strategy is based on various realities women face, including that, on average, women live longer than men, make less money, and typically spend fewer years in the workforce (which results in lower Social Security income).

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As women take impact investing by storm, the ripple effects are leading to more women in finance assuming leadership roles, with more female entrepreneurs reaping the benefits. Today, as the United Nations recognizes International Women’s Day 2019 with the theme #BalanceforBetter, the shifting gender balance in wealth shows that when women hold the reins of capital, the outcome is that investments that generate positive social and environmental impacts often win top priority.

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Here We Go

We began with a simple question

Could an intentional and strategic focus on women be pivotal to accelerating the growth of the impact investing ecosystem and help to ensure that it is inclusive and transformational? The answer, we believe, is yes. Research shows that women are overwhelmingly interested in investing according to their values, yet only 40% of women have integrated sustainability into even a portion of their investments and many fewer have made impact investments.  The time to change that is now. Women are controlling more and more of the world’s wealth. They are speaking up and strengthening their impact on issues that matter. Women can further amplify this collective voice, and find personal fulfillment and agency, through purposeful investing. In so doing, they will lead the way in developing the field at large.

So what is Invest for Better?

In the 2018 Road Map for the Future of Impact Investing, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) called for the field to “launch a broad, global campaign to reshape mindsets about the role of capital in society.” Invest for Better responds to that call for action. We aim to make it easier for women to do what they want to do—invest with purpose—by addressing their need for information, inspiration, community, and support. Our national visibility and activation campaign shares moving stories of all kinds of women impact investors, curates some of the best learning resources, connects women to like-minded communities, and invites them to take a range of simple action steps. We have launched the first Invest for Better Circles—small, peer-to-peer learning and activation groups—and will provide a toolkit and support to others who want to start circles around the country. Please have a look around the site to learn more.

Who are we?

The Invest for Better campaign was created through the collaborative efforts of dozens of women investors, donors, and field leaders. I became a passionate champion for helping women activate their capital for better after my own personal journey along that path. As a result, I feel connected to my assets in a very personal and powerful way. It’s not just about what they are doing for me, but how they are shaping the world I want to live in and leave for my children.

We are a non-profit, non-transactional, open-source initiative, housed at The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), and overseen by a phenomenal Steering Committee.  We do this because we are passionate about the impact investing movement’s potential to produce transformational change in our society and believe that women can and should lead the way.

Join us! 

Get started today>