Written by: Hannah M. Lewis - Communications & Research Advisor, Global Success Fund ("GSF")
Edited by: Kim Kastorff - CEO/Founder of Kimpacto & Global Success Fund ("GSF")
You know the saying: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
How about this one... Give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day; teach a woman to fish and she’ll likely take the profits from her sustainable fishing enterprise and invest them in her children, community, and social impact investments.
The truth is that U.S. women are about to possess a lot more “fish," and we believe the ripple effect will be a growing sea of Impact Investing opportunities.
According to Trish Costello, CEO and founder of Portfolia, the amount of personal wealth owned by women in the US has been growing steadily for the past 30 years as women advance in the workforce and outlive their husbands. In early 2015, women controlled an estimated 51 percent ($14 trillion dollars) of all personal wealth in the United States. By 2030, women in the U.S. will hold approximately two-thirds of personal wealth. And over the next four decades, U.S. women are estimated to inherit 70 percent of the $41 trillion that will be transferred between generations. Costello calls this “the largest intra-generational wealth transfer in history.”
So, where will women invest these trillions? Studies done by Calvert Investments, U.S. Trust, and others show it is likely to be in socially responsible, ESG, and impact investments. The 2015 U.S. Trust “Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey” found that 71 percent of high net worth (HNW) women—compared with 49 percent of HNW men—agree that social and environmental impact of the companies they invest in is important to their investment decisions. Moreover, according to the same U.S. Trust study, 40 percent of HNW women own or are interested in social impact investments (compared with only 26 percent of HNW men). These numbers are clear—HNW women want their investments to be aligned with their values.
The potential social impact from women who actively choose to invest with a gender lens is extraordinary. However, many investors still find themselves fishing for ways to make a social impact investment in women, while also making a financial return. In fact, it’s become easier to catch a gender lens investment, and even some with low-dollar minimums. To get started, here are a few examples of innovative investment opportunities that women (and men) can make to further women’s equality and empowerment in the U.S. and across the globe-
Morgan Stanley's The Parity Portfolio is a discretionary Portfolio Management gender lens investment strategy created by The Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley. In addition to seeking financial returns, “The Parity Portfolio” seeks to create social impact through focusing on gender parity in corporate America. Its gender lens strategy is centered on the strong correlation between company financial strength and significant female representation in corporate boardrooms.
True Wealth Ventures is a new early-stage venture fund that invests in women-led companies focused on sustainable consumer and health products and technologies. The fund is led by two Austin-based women, Sara Brand and Kerry Rupp. They've been told they are the only early stage impact VC fund with a gender-lens strategy. To learn more, check out the Women Effect platform and Sara Brand’s post on how gender lens investing is gaining traction in the venture capital and private equity space.
SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE) & Barclays Women in Leadership ETN (WIL) are two public investment vehicles that provide exposure to companies with women in senior leadership positions (i.e., companies with female CEOs or a minimum percentage of women on their board of directors). Barclays ETN is linked to the performance of Barclays Women in Leadership Total Return Index. Check out this article from Zacks Investment Research that compares and contrasts these two women-centric investment opportunities.
Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (“PXWEX”) – PXWEX is a broadly diversified mutual fund that invests in companies around the world rated highly in advancing women’s leadership. Created by Pax World Management LLC and Ellevate Asset Management LLC, PXWEX is the first such women’s index of its kind. When choosing companies to invest in, the fund looks at criteria such as gender diversity on boards and in executive management.
Global Success Fund (“GSF”) is the world’s first Pay-For-Success, women-led investment fund with a gender lens. GSF’s first fund, called “GSF Latina,” targets women-led social businesses and women entrepreneurs in Latin America. Through its innovative model, GSF offers low risk and attractive return investing opportunities. You can learn more about GSF, its founder Kim Kastorff, and how to get involved here or by email: email@example.com.
For more examples of global investment opportunities with a gender lens—including Calvert Foundation’s WIN-WIN, Root Capital’s Women in Agriculture Initiative, and Oxfam’s WISE Fund—check out my previous post: Gender Lens Investing 102: From Theory to Practice.
And stay tuned for my next post, which will look at the intersection of women’s empowerment, gender lens investing, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To offer support or learn more - please contact Kim Kastorff - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Kastorff has 15+ years of international finance experience and two Masters degrees - MBA and a Masters of Research in Impact Investing. My goal is to promote impact investing and financial inclusion as we collectively strive for a more educated and financially sustainable global economy.