current with developments?” she asks.“We’re not a technology firm, but howdo we stay current and continue todeliver [best technology to clients]?”
Updating the bank’s wealth manage-
ment arm was a necessary step in pre-
paring it to address future trends, such
as the “enormous wealth transfer” from
baby boomers to younger generations.
This effort includes helping advisors
find the right mix of team members, and
helping them “acquire that new talent,“
she says. This includes a mixture of gen-
ders, ages and ethnicities.
Another area they see as an importanttrend, and one in which they have developed products and education for theiradvisors: sustainable investing.
“We have seen that clients are far
more interested in it than advisors,”
she says. “So we now have a director of
responsible investing to get the word
out that [advisor] clients are interested
She adds that the other end of the
spectrum also is true: Many advisors
have made socially responsible investing
their sole focus.
Goldman: Women Lack Confidence With Investing
Imagine that a CEO tells his top executives that he will iden-
tify the next CEO based on how well they do with one assign-
ment: breastfeeding. While all the men still put their hands
up saying “pick me,” the women are thinking, “well, I’m not
sure, it’s been about 10 years….”
This hypothetical was presented by Rachel Schnoll, manag-
ing director and head of personal financial management solu-
tions at Goldman Sachs, to illustrate the self-doubt that even
highly competent women often feel.
Women are a financial force today, but they are less confident investors than men, according to a recent private round-table discussion by three female Goldman Sachs leaders.
Heading the discussion was Kara Murphy, Goldman managing director and chief investment officer, who pointed outthese facts:
• With 1.75 billion women participating in the workforceworldwide today, they control close to $40 trillion of consumer spending globally, and by the end of 2020, shouldcontrol more than $72 trillion in global wealth.
• In the United States, they have decision-making controlover $11.2 trillion, and 57% identify themselves as the primary investment decision maker in the household.
• Women will earn $20 trillion worldwide in 2020 and areto inherit $28 trillion in wealth in the next 40 years.
“This is remarkable when you consider where [women]were at two generations ago,” Murphy said.
Joining her on the virtual panel discussion was Schnolland Candice Tse, managing director and U.S. head of marketstrategy for Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
There are ways to improve the confidence factor, the panelsaid. One is by asking for help and getting an advisor. EvenMurphy said she and her husband, both in the financial services business and experienced in investing, just recently gota financial advisor because they “didn’t have the discipline” tomanage their retirement funds.
Schnoll added that a lot of women are afraid to invest
Not Being Heard
because they think of it as having “to know everything about
stocks and bonds and the markets” and get overwhelmed.
“But really the most important part of managing finances is
doing something which women are so good at: planning.”
One frustration stated by women with advisors: “They don’tfeel spoken to and they don’t feel heard,” Murphy said.
“This comes up more often than it should,” Schnoll said.She added that couples also “find it hard to get on the samepage,” meaning understanding what’s important to both ofthem. One of the first things her team does is go through anumber of behavioral finance questions, she explained. “It’snot about stocks and bonds, it’s about what you want to dowith your money,” she said.
It’s critical that both partners are together in this conversation, she added. When asked what they valued, “The numberone response we get is: spending more time with the peoplethey care about,” she said.
With all the ways to invest, from robo-advisors to financial
advisors, Murphy stated, the single most important thing that
women need to do is just “start to invest.”
Tse thought “there is room for” both tech and human
help, but as people get older and finances get more compli-
cated, more help is needed, and “financial advisors aren’t
Schnoll said a good first step is to get their “financial
hygiene in place,” which can mean paying off credit cards or
saving $50 a month.
The panel also pointed out the importance of environmental, social and governance investing, which women havegravitated to, especially during the pandemic.
They also discussed the importance of the Black community as an underserved investment group, and if that “racialwealth gap” could be closed, “billions [of dollars] could beadded to the U.S. economy,” Tse said.