MyWallSt is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting how women can take control of their financial future through investing.
What the world needs is more female investors because, unfortunately, the investment industry remains male-dominated. However, there are still plenty of female success stories we can take inspiration from. It was a tough job to pick just three, but here are some of the biggest women in the world of investing.
This article was originally written by MyWallSt. Read more insights from the MyWallSt team here.
First up we have Geraldine Weiss. In 1966, she became the first female to start an investment advisory service. Weiss was highly successful in her role, learning everything from books, her family, and by studying business and finance at the University of California, Berkeley.
However, Weiss found it difficult to land a job in the field of finance as no firm would take her and only offered her secretary roles despite her actually having a degree. She famously quoted:
“It was a man’s world, and women need not apply.”
Fed up of receiving rejection after rejection, she decided to start her own investment newsletter in 1966 at the age of 40. A reader once replied to her letter saying: “I can’t imagine myself ever taking investment advice from a woman. Unless you take your advice from a man”, so she began signing her newsletters “G Weiss” to avoid further discrimination.
Weiss based her investments on a value-based, dividend-oriented stock-picking strategy, which outperformed other newsletters at the time. She became known as the ‘blue chip stocks guru.’ She was also commonly referred to as the ‘Dividend Detector’ as Weiss always found the best stocks that promised great dividends, as she believed that dividends were the ultimate driver of investing as they connected stocks to businesses profits. Over the past 30 years, her investment service’s recommendations have returned 11.2% per year, compared with 9.8% for the overall market.
Catherine D Wood is the founder, CEO and CIO of ARK Invest, one of the best-performing investment management firms in the US. Since its inception in 2014, it has risen to the top of the pile in wealth management.
Wood has changed the game when it comes to ETF investing, taking the key long-term rule of diversifying one’s portfolio and applying it to her strategy of finding stocks with huge growth potential.
The exchange-traded fund industry is known for having a higher-than-average number of women in financial roles, and Wood is one of the high-profile players. ARK’s main ETF, ARK Innovation ETF, has performed extremely well and Wood is very vocal and confident about the firm’s research. Wood’s focus on innovation, “centred around genome sequencing, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage and blockchain technology”, has resulted in the ETF’s performance increasing 152.52% in 2020, compared with just over 16% for the S&P 500.
Krawcheck is the CEO of Ellevest, a purpose-driven investment platform that is on a mission to put more money into the hands of women. Krawcheck is regarded as one of the most powerful women on Wall Street and has had some very impressive roles in her career, including her time as the CEO of Merrill Lynch, president of the global wealth and investment management division of Bank of America, among many other high performing roles.
Krawcheck is regarded as one of the most influential people in business and is highly admired for the work she undertakes in educating people, not just women, about the pay divide, gender issues and equality. She openly speaks about the power of money and how vital it is to balance the power between the sexes. Krawcheck explained:
“At its core, we all know that money is power, and that if we don’t have as much money as the guys do, we’re not going to be fully equal with them.”
From the women who broke new ground by launching the first female-led investment service, a CEO who is dwarfing Warren Buffett’s returns, and a leader who climbed Wall Street’s corporate ladder to own a company that’s on a mission to get more money into the hands of women — these ladies are taking over the game.
A rising tide lifts all ships and these women are pathing the way for future generations by establishing a clear route for women to follow in the investment world.
The above article is part three in MyWallSt’s Women In Investing series. Check out the other titles in the series so far:
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