Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Opportunity for Financial Services and Products for Women

The world of finance is cold and uninspiring to women. Beyond the heart-warming photos of aging couples swanning into retirement along the beach, financial services and products have not been designed well to suit women. This article speaks to some new approaches to court women in ways that suit them, i.e., creating learning and networking environments that are not "the pink and shrink" style of past efforts.

I've also been looking for financial products that speak more specifically to women's values around holding up "half the sky". In the area of mutual funds, I've found just one mutual fund that is focused on women's leadership (many CSR funds include diversity and positive corporate policies that affect women) called the PAX women's fund. From the poor financial returns, it appears that the managers were more pioneer than performance-driven. I think there's also a huge opportunity here. After all, if there are affinity funds for Lutherans to invest together, there's likely a market for women to do the same, at market returns.