University of Chicago Booth Business School, Chicago Women in Business Conference, October 27, 2023
I had the pleasure and privilege of moderating a conversation with the iconic Sallie Krawcheck
for this month’s Chicago Women in Business
conference at the University of Chicago Booth Business School.
Not only has she been described as “the last honest analyst on Wall Street
” (given when she served as the director of research at Bernstein she advocated FOR a hard division between equity research and investing banking for there to be truly independent equity research being generated on companies going public)-successfully turned around Merrill Lynch as the CEO of their Private Wealth division-and far more-she is the founder and chairman of Ellevest,
the world’s first investment platform by women, for women. Her famous line that “nothing bad happens when women have more money” is impossible to contest.
We had a dynamic conversation as is always the case with Sallie-and exceprts of it are below below.
: Why did you start Ellevest as a standalone enterprise versus launching it within one of Wall Street’s big banks?
Sallie: The big banks are run by men, for men. It would not have worked. We have built an algorithm at Ellevest that uniquely takes women’s longevity and personalized goals in mind when advising on their investment strategies. And god knows it hasn’t been easy. Building the highest quality team of only women (e.g. finding a CIO, head of private wealth management, et al that are the best women in the business), and primarily counting women (male allies and gender non binary individuals are also welcome!) as investors is a harder strategy to execute. But the results speak for themselves: 130,000 clients, over 1 million readers of our newsletter, and more.
Alyssa: What is the ultimate impact you are seeking at Ellevest?
Sallie: To empower women to take control of their futures by empowering them with their own wealth. Women live on average eight years longer than men; with a 50% divorce rate in America, the week that women are widowed or divorced is often the worst of their lives, and more often than not, compounded by negative financial surprises. If women are involved in the investing decisions of their own lives from the get go, the negative surprises will not take place.
Alyssa: What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to the women MBAs in the audience?
Sallie: Start investing a little bit from each paycheck immediately. The power of compounding is extraordinary. If you had invested for 10 years for any period from the 1900s onward, you would have had a 98% probability of making money in the stock market. If you stayed in for 15 years, that probability becomes 99%. For more than 15 years, 100% probability of making money. And the only way to benefit by the engine that is the US capital markets and the power of compounding is to have money in the game. So the time to start is yesterday.
Most important, to start investing with Ellevest, go to www.ellevest.com
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