In this panel discussion, digital media experts will dive into how brands can position themselves for success with a diversified strategy.
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3:45pm - 6:00pm
Tropical Foods - Roxbury
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April is Financial Literacy Month, which means there is no better time for you to prioritize your financial wellness.
The Chamber’s Women’s Network recently hosted an event called Women & Financial Wellness, hosted at Bank of America’s Boston headquarters, which focused on the ways in which attendees can reach their full financial potential. The event began with an exploration of Bank of America’s research – Women, Money, Confidence: A Lifelong Relationship – which uncovered insights into the strengths and challenges, as well as comfort, confidence, and influence of women around various financial matters. Next, a panel of financial experts discussed their own experiences and advice for women looking to grow their understanding in this area.
In case you missed it, we’ve rounded up the key takeaways from the event that can help you be confident, empowered, and ready to take action on your financial future.
For Bank of America’s study, they interviewed 3,500 women and 1,500 men across ages, income levels, and ethnicities, to help paint a wholistic picture of the current state of women’s confidence in their finances.
Lisa Margeson, Managing Director, External Affairs at Bank of America highlighted that while nearly half of women say they feel confident about their finances (which has risen in the last 5 years), only 28% feel empowered to act on them. We are at a pivotal moment for women’s financial freedom, and 1 in 5 women say it is time to make a change to their finances.
Additionally, “women are more confident when it comes to the tactical, short-term, everyday tasks,” said Lisa, such as paying bills, managing a budget, and paying off debt. But many are less comfortable with activities around building wealth, such as choosing a financial advisor, managing investments, and creating a diversified portfolio.
The problem here: when women are less confident, that leads to less involvement with larger and longer-term financial decisions, shared Lisa. There is still largely the belief that “men are more knowledgeable” when it comes to these kinds of decisions.
The good news? Younger women are more comfortable and more empowered with financial conversations than their older cohorts.
To continue this progress, Lisa emphasized that “education and comfort with investing is a crucial next step for growing that empowerment.”
One piece of advice that the panelists all highlighted – the importance of not waiting to get involved in your finances. As Megan Cooney of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management shared, “every day you wait [to invest], there really is an impact on your portfolio.” She suggested that you start small, and gain comfort that way first.
Another thing to remember is that you can’t time the market. “Keep the long-term perspective, because the volatility that we’re seeing right now is really out of your control,” shared Megan. But you should ask yourself: What’s your risk tolerance? How aggressive are you being?
At the end of the day, you want to be proactive with your financial strategy.
When it comes to planning for retirement, two questions you should ask yourself are: how much money will I need to have the kind of retirement I want? And where will my income in retirement come from?
Moderator Amanda Ross of Bank of America also underlined that “the conversation around retirement planning also needs to take into account all the things that happen before retirement.”
When it comes to growing your financial confidence and knowledge – asking questions is key!
Gabby Salmon at Bank of America described how one thing that differentiates younger women is that they are more willing to take on risk but want to be in charge of what they’re doing. “Don’t be afraid to ask the questions,” she emphasized.
Whether it’s your group of friends, your family, or your financial advisor—there’s power in collaboration. “Women are such big collaborators,” noted Gabby, and encouraged us to share advice and pass along information to our tight-knit networks.
Amanda described how important it is for women to also lead by example — “Women leaders need to be disciplined by talking about [finances] if they want to continue the momentum for the younger generations.”
Megan added that at your peak earning years is when it’s a smart idea to engage with an advisor. Using a financial advisor as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of can help you be more tax efficient and know the various types of accounts to contribute to.
Since everyone has different priorities, it’s important to ensure your advisor is on the same page as you. “You want your financial advisor to understand what you’re looking to accomplish long-term,” Megan shared.
In Bank of America’s research, women take four years on average out of the workforce, primarily for caregiving. While the majority of them don’t regret the time they took off, Lisa reflected on her own time, saying, “had I known back then what I know now, I would have planned for it, and used my time off differently.” One alarming stat that sets women back: many women who return to the workforce, return for less pay.
To counteract this, Lisa advised those taking time outside the workforce to use any downtime for ongoing learning, keeping up with your networks, and pursuing topics that could help you advance your career when the time comes to go back.
Amanda also asked the panelists – how can employers better serve their employees’ needs?
Lisa suggested that employers offer employees caregiving resources, help them with their career interruptions, and make it easier for people to find their way back to you.
“The employers that allow people to live full lives are pretty critical to keeping caregivers in the workforce,” added Leslie Forde, CEO & Founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Ultimately, women who leave the workforce for a period of time are still crucial to our economy and a lack of resources and support available for them can hinder many talented women from progressing in their careers.
These days, many people are starting to demand more from their employers which will (hopefully) help us continue to make progress in the coming years.
Jun 13, 202311:30am – 1:00pmMoonshine 152