In the spirit of international women’s month, this week’s top reads are about women, the wage gap, the investing gap, women planning for retirement, and female entrepreneurs.

In the personal finance section, Judith Ward shares recent survey results from Forbes on the gender gap, and outlines what we can do to start closing that gap, Arielle O’Shea discusses how women can close the investing gap and Mia Taylor considers whether women should adopt a different investing style than men.

In the personal interest section, Sheila Marikar explains what happens when female entrepreneurs are given the opportunity pitch their ideas to women VCs, rather than men, and Deborah Sweeney interviews Sutian Dong and Anu Duggal of Female Founders Fund to find out what they’re up to next.

For more articles like this, check out Raghav’s two previous Top Reads posts here and here.

Personal Finance

3 Essential Money Lessons For Career Women

In this article, Judith Ward shares statistics from a recent Forbes survey on the gender pay gap. The survey revealed some disheartening results, demonstrating that women often start their careers with lower wages than men, giving them an immediate disadvantage when entering the workforce. This compounds when we look at average lifespans, with women living longer and ultimately having to save more than men for retirement, relative to their income.

According to our recent survey, the median personal income for millennial women is $56,000—almost $30,000 less per year than millennial men. The study also found that women are contributing less to their 401(k)s (a median of 5% of salary) than their male counterparts (8%).

So what can women do to narrow the gap and better prepare for retirement? Ward outlines the steps to take and conversations to have in detail, but here are a few takeaways:

  • Know your worth and negotiate for higher salaries–starting with a low salary could have a long term impact.
  • Set career and family goals–take opportunities that have family friendly benefits. If you exit the workforce to raise your family, continue to network.
  • Continue to contribute to your workplace retirement plan, an IRA or spousal IRA while on leave.
  • Be selfish–prioritize yourself and your retirement. Talk to your partner.
  • Be intentional about earning and saving.

For the full survey results and details on how you can close the gender gap, read the full article here.

Many Women Still Make This Big Financial Mistake

According to research, women may be waiting another 40 years for the wage gap to close and are 80% more likely to be impoverished during retirement. To actively work toward making a difference today, women have the power to close the investing gap.

Why does an investing gap exist? Financial literacy expert and economist Annamaria Lusardi says that women are less likely to invest and lack confidence, further widening the investment gap. The irony, however, is that women are arguably better ar investing than men.

A Fidelity Investments analysis of client accounts published in 2017 found that on average, women outperformed men by 0.4%. In the U.K., a behavioral economist at the Warwick Business School found an even larger advantage, with women outperforming men by 1.8%.

In this article, Arielle O’Shea discusses how women can:

  • gain confidence in their investing ability,
  • align investments with their values, and
  • make investing less complicated.

Read the full article here.

Should Women Be Investing Differently Than Men?

There are conflicting opinions among financial advisors as to whether women should invest differently than men. As the two articles above have mentioned, the wage gap, average lifespan, and higher healthcare costs for women as they live through a longer retirement, point to a need for differing investment strategies depending on your gender. In this article, Mia Taylor of The Simple Dollar provides tips from various finance experts on how women can change their investment approach:

  • Don’t leave too much in savings
  • Examine your stocks-to-bond ratio
  • Maximize the power of compounding returns
  • Diversify with international exposure
  • Investing for social impact

For a detailed look at Taylor’s approach and a case for ignoring gender in investing, read the full article here.

Personal Interest

When Women Control the Money, Female Founders Get Funded

When women pitch their business ideas to potential investors, they often find themselves speaking to a crowd consisting of middle aged men; this can pose a challenge. In this article, Sheila Marikar asks, what if women could pitch to a roomful of women? And in January of 2019, they did.

The gathering was called Wingable, named for the club and Able Partners, a New York venture capital firm that had already put money into each of the 10 companies. The fund, which was started three years ago by Lisa Blau and Amanda Eilian, has been an early-stage investor in a number of female-founded companies, including The Wing and Goop.

According to Crunchbase, near the end of 2017 only 8% of women were investing partners among the top Venture Capital firms. In 2018, female founders in the US received just 2.2% of the $130 billion in venture money. To find out what happened at Wingable, and the outcome of what VC-funded industries can look like when women have control over funding, read the full article here.

Why Investing In Female Talent Matters

In this article, Deborah Sweeney interviews Sutian Dong and Anu Duggal of Female Founders Fund (FFF). The strategy that FFF has adopted is to prove that exceptional returns can be generated by investing in companies founded by women. Their mission in recent years has been to surround themselves with female disruptors and Sweeney wanted to know where FFF would go next.

Sweeney discusses Dong and Duggal’s educational backgrounds and career experience, what inspired them to start a VC firm for women, what a day in the life is like when you work for FFF, and more.

To read what these inspirational women had to say and to find out what they’re up to next, read the full article here.



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