Women, Investing, and Truth


We love finding  Lenny Letter in our mailbox, its Point of View young and savvy and female. We admire the interview of Sallie Krawcheck  by Laia Garcia , just out. It's titled "How to Invest Better: A Guide for Young Women." Young women need to know about the world of money. Krawcheck's  advice is sage, and hers is the voice of experience. 

Writes Garcia: "Sallie is a total powerhouse. Currently, she is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a website that helps women invest and plan for their future. Before that, she worked as a CEO and CFO of a variety of investment firms. Most notably, she was ousted as CEO of Citigroup's wealth-management business because she thought Citi should reimburse its clients for money it lost due to bad investment decisions by the company. So, you know, she is legit." 

Krawcheck says about the way investments on Wall Street work: "The research I did when I was at Smith Barney showed that neither men nor women understand. It just is what it is."  She goes on to advise  young women: 

"What I would say to you is, number one, pay down the credit-card debt. Number two, pay down your high-interest-rate student-loan debt. Number three, get some cash and put it aside, at least one month of take-home pay. Number four, I want you to choose an amount that you can invest every month. I don't want you to start with your expenses and then decide how much you can invest, because the answer will be zero. I want you to have a target of maybe 10 percent of your salary. I want you to see if you can adjust your expenses."

These are wise admonishments, but easier said than done by most young women, particularly women of color or from working class backgrounds. And god help her, if she's  a woman with dependent children, or a divorce in her past....?  We love you, Sallie. But we don't agree that  "It Just is what it is."

We need women like you to squawk loud about "it"--not leave out pesky details. Women's unequal pay, rampant everywhere including Wall Street, leaves her less surplus income to "adjust"  and invest. And Sallie's being fired was not just about her financial ideas, but Wall Street EconoMan's integral sexism that rewards domination and punishes girly-morality.  "it" wages war. We  need an economy that wages life.

Read more of Laia's interview with Sallie here: www.lennyletter.com/life/interviews/a970/investment-guide-for-young-women/