Why I’ll Die on the “Investing by Women, for Women” Hill

By Sallie Krawcheck

Like everyone nowadays, I’m almost always scrolling, clicking, reading, watching — something. As you might imagine, a lot of it has to do with women, money, and power, and those things often overlap in my mind. Such as, recently:

What gave me a laugh last week: The fact that Tina Fey’s character’s podcast on last week’s Only Murders in the Building was sponsored by “Pink Ladle. Soup, by women, for women.”

Touché, Tina Fey’s character. Touché.  

What made me nod my head: Coming across a research report from Morningstar called “The Value of Advice.” It shows that one of the highest-return things an investment advisor can help you do is stay the course during tougher times. Which means it’s one of the highest-return things that you can do. And gold stars to all of you on this, actually collectively adding to your Ellevest accounts every week of this year; this is while individual investors overall have pulled billions and billions and billions of dollars out of their investments every week for some time now. (This is me bursting with pride.)

What made me think: NYT Opinion piece on why feminism needs to start playing by different rules. “What strengths might we be able to tap into if we recognized that the game is rigged and gave up on trying to ‘win’ it?”

What made me grateful: That we happened upon this concept — without really knowing we were happening upon this concept — for our Series B raise, tapping into a network of women to invest in our company, rather than just depending on the traditional venture capital firms. 

What finally happened: One of the humongous asset management companies launched an investment portfolio “for women.” On the one hand, I’m soooooo glad to see another company recognizing that women have to plan their finances differently than men. (Plus imitation, flattery, and all that.)

Their solution is essentially a product that increases the amount of investing risk women take, in an attempt to earn higher returns, as a means to try to make up for women’s lower salaries, more career breaks, and longer lives

That’s one approach to address the gap. 

If you would allow me a minute, I’d like to brag on Ellevest’s approach and what the Ellevest team has built. Ellevest takes a holistic approach (based on thousands of hours of research with real women) designed to give you a high degree of personalization in the investment plans we construct for you. It works to solve the “problem” of yes-women-still-earn-less-than-men-in-2022 differently for each of us — through our women-first algorithm — rather than in a one-size-fits-all way. We’ve got a full explainer on how we do that here, but for example:

  • For you, this may mean you choosing to retire a bit later and thus taking on less investing risk (based on our advice), while still having a higher degree of confidence built into your investing plan. 

  • For your next-door neighbor, this may mean choosing to retire earlier, and thus choosing (based on our advice) to make somewhat higher monthly deposits. 

  • For the woman down the street, this may mean helping her decide how much to invest to start her own business, even if that means investing less for retirement for a little while (based on our advice).

  • And for the woman across town, it may mean that our algorithm tells her that she’s already set for retirement, and so she can invest for other goals in her life. (Based on … you get it … our advice.)

For each of you, we dynamically manage your investment portfolio based on your financial goals: For example, we automatically change your asset allocation when warranted, like when the market moves a lot, or even simply because you’re getting closer to needing that money. And, importantly, we let you know if you’re off track for your goals, along with tips on how to adjust. 

So, while “soup by women, for women” might make you smile, we’ll die on the “investing by women, for women” and “investing by women, in women” hills. Every day.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.