Ellevest CEO: Women are not a niche market

Women are half of the population, how come they don't invest like it?

Women are half of the world’s population, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at how they invest their money.

In a fireside chat at the Lendit Fintech Conference in San Francisco, Ellevest CEO and Co-Founder Sallie Krawcheck detailed what it takes to get women more involved with investing their money and wealth.  

And considering they control a large chunk of assets worldwide, maybe it is time that others take women investing seriously.

Speaking with Kat Utecht of Core Innovation Capital, Krawcheck waxed that women don’t express a lot of interest in investing.

When researching women and investing, Krawcheck explained that after two years and thousands of hours of research and conversations, what the company found is that the craft of investing just isn’t interesting to women. What they did find, she said, is that women are interested in and motivated by their goals, whether it's buying a home or saving for retirement.

“Women are goal oriented when considering investments,” Krawcheck told the audience. “The investment product is not that interesting to women, but their goals are. The industry needs to adjust to women not vice versa.”

Krawcheck is an industry expert in the area of investing, having held high-level jobs in the field. She previously served as CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Citigroup’s Smith Barney. She was also the president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management division.

She told conference attendees that in order to tap into the investing power that women offer, the company had to think outside of the traditional investment box.

“We approached it completely different to how everyone else did. All the big banks, including Citi when I was there, saw this as a marketing problem,” Krawcheck said. “‘We just need to market to them different! We just need to make them listen!’ and what we said is ‘What if the underlying product also isn’t working for them?’”

As far as the skeptics are concerned, Krawcheck pointed to the size of the investing potential that women offer. The world is “wide open” to embrace women investing more of their assets, Krawcheck said.

"Women control $7 trillion of investable assets across the world. We're not a niche market,” Krawcheck remarked.

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