In 2023, Let’s Talk Fundamentals, Not Forecasts

By Sallie Krawcheck

For my first column of the year, I considered writing a forecast for women and money in 2023. You know, a classic outlook-type thing. 

But then I thought better of it. 

Because the trouble with forecasts, especially financial ones, is that they aren’t all that reliable — particularly because it is so easy to fall into the trap of extrapolating whatever is going on, into the future. (If it’s sunny today, it’s easy to forecast it will be sunny tomorrow.) In volatile times like today, that means you can overshoot or undershoot, by a lot, missing out on opportunities or risks. 

Instead, I decided to go back to some core principles on money and investing — the tried-and-true lessons that can set us all up for success, regardless of what’s ahead. 

Here are some of the most important things we believe at Ellevest:

If you don’t control your own money, you don’t control your own life.

This one is a biggie. Just ask your grandmother — or Midge Maisel.

There’s no reliable path for “getting rich quick” …

On this one, check with investors in the dot-com bubble, the subprime bubble, the crypto bubble, in meme stocks. Yikes.

… But compounding is time-tested.

While there are no tried-and-true shortcuts, there are a couple of paths to building wealth that have been historically reliable, over time. And they tend to go slowly at first, but then more quickly … by tapping into the power of compounding. Here’s our explainer on how (and why) it works

A diversified investment portfolio has historically been a key to growing wealth. over time. 

That’s because, when some investments are down, others can be up, and vice versa. In contrast, concentrated investment positions — aka having a large portion of your money invested in any one company or industry — can make your investment portfolio unstable. Diversification can smooth out the ride. 

Investing a bit out of every paycheck — whatever you can — has also been a winner. 

Speaking of smoothing out the ride, investing steadily does that too. When you’re consistently investing, some weeks (or months) you’ll be buying into the markets when they’re up, and some weeks when they’re down. And since none of us — including those hyper-confident pundits on TV — know where the markets are going in the short-term, it’s been a successful strategy. 

The financial (and other) industries weren’t built for us. 

Having worked in the industry for years (and years, and years), I can tell you: Nobody ever actually said this is the plan, or “meant” to build the financial industry for men. But when an industry is run by an overwhelming majority of one kind of person … it’s easy to see how that business ends up designed to suit that kind of person. 

This is important because it can mean that it doesn’t take into account the fact that women live longer, statistically retire with less saved, are more likely to support their families, and so on. Not good.

Ellevest is all about betting on women. Every time.

And for so many reasons: Because diversity just works. It works in business, and it works in society more broadly. 

Because, in the past, when you’ve invested in women-run businesses, you’ve earned higher returns

And because when women have more money, it creates a positive economic ripple effect that benefits all of us. (Closing the pay gap, for example, would add $28 trillion to the US’s.)

What does this all mean in practice?

We take the above seriously. So it means that, in 2022, while others were betting on crypto, we were betting on — and investing in — women.

A couple of examples: In our private wealth offerings, nearly 85% of our outside investment managers have a woman or person of color or woman on their senior investing team. And those investments — which address impact areas like municipal bonds, climate change, affordable and sustainable housing, and more — are, like all of our investment offerings, chosen with women’s advancement in mind.

And so, in 2022, when people were pulling their money out of their investments, Ellevest digital clients continued to invest more every week. And even while the stock market ended the year down some 20% from its peak, those net inflows pushed Ellevest to a record $1.5 billion in assets under management. 

That was you. You did that.

What will it mean going forward? 

OK, fine, I’ll make one prediction: 2023 is going to be a year in which women keep pushing forward on investing in each otherdefying the odds, defining their own relationships with money — no matter what the markets or the news throw at them. 

We’re in it for women — for the long haul.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.