Unlocking the Power of Women in Investing
The financial services industry is undergoing a dramatic shift.
The next generation of investors will be younger and much more diverse, with women taking an increasingly prominent role in building and growing family and personal wealth.
Today’s infographic comes to us from New York Life Investments, and it showcases how this new paradigm will shape the future of products and services on offer in the industry, as well as how wealth managers can cater to these changing needs.
Growing Economic Might
Women are underrepresented in the investing world, but this is changing fast. While various cultural and societal reasons are contributors to this, there is also a more simple driver: rising economic might.
- Women-controlled wealth in the U.S. will increase from $14 trillion to $22 trillion between 2015-2020
- Women control 51% of all personal wealth in the United States today
- Women are set to inherit $28.7 trillion in intergenerational wealth over the next 40 years
Women are becoming more important drivers of income and wealth for their families, as well:
- Women are now the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households – a 4x increase from 1960.
- Women own 30% of all private businesses in the U.S.
- Women now hold the majority of management, professional, and related positions (52%)
Finally, women now make up the majority of recipients of Associate’s degrees (61%), Bachelor’s degrees (57%), Master’s degrees (60%), and Doctoral degrees (52%) in the United States.
The Wealth Management Gap
As women increase raise their level of economic influence to new levels, how will they manage this wealth?
Interestingly, studies show that women think about money and wealth differently than men – and differently from precedents already set in the financial services industry:
|The Good News||The Bad News|
|Women are better savers, saving 9.0% of their salary in comparison to men (8.6% of salary)||Women consistently tend to score lower on financial literacy tests|
|Some research points to women generating better returns (+0.4%) off of investments||Some research points to women investing up to 40% less than men|
Data from a recent survey by New York Life Investments sheds light on why women may be underserved by the financial services industry.
Reasons why women switch financial advisors:
- 33% poor performance
- 29% lack of personal connection
- 27% poor customer services
In other words, women don’t switch investment advisors simply because of poor performance – there are other, more complex factors involved. Part of this is likely because 62% of women say they have unique investment needs and challenges:
Perceptions of women and investing:
- Financial professionals treat women differently – 40%
- Women feel patronized by financial advisors – 36%
- Financial advisors are less likely to listen to investing ideas from a woman – 30%
- Financial advisors push women out of financial conversations – 28%
- Women have less access to financial education – 26%
- Financial professionals find it hard to relate to women – 26%
- Financial advising is a man’s world – 24%
A Deeper Dive
It is crucial for advisors to understand that women are not one large, homogeneous group.
In fact, research shows that there are four unique segments of women that each approach investing differently – and they all have different sets of needs.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this infographic series, which will detail the differences between these segments.
How Carbon Offsetting Works, and What Investors Should Know
Eliminating all harmful GHG emissions is not yet possible, but carbon offsetting offers a route for businesses and funds to become more sustainable.
This infographic is available as a poster.
Carbon Offsetting: What Investors Should Know
In 2016, an international treaty known as the Paris Agreement was negotiated by member nations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The long-term goal of this agreement is to limit the increase in global temperature to below 3.6°F (2°C) over the next century. Achieving this target will require the world to develop cleaner solutions across all areas of the economy, from energy to transportation.
In this infographic from New York Life Investments, we introduce carbon offsetting, an activity used by both businesses and investment funds that has the potential to accelerate the development of a more climate-friendly economy.
What are GHG Emissions, and Where do They Come From?
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are a family of gases known to trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The most prevalent among them is carbon dioxide (CO₂), which accounts for 80% of America’s GHG emissions. Common sources of CO₂ include fossil fuel consumption and deforestation.
Businesses are often significant emitters of CO₂, but due to the complexity of their production chains, emissions can be difficult to track. To combat this, a company’s carbon footprint is measured across three scopes:
- Scope 1: These are direct emissions from a company’s operations. An example would be the CO₂ emitted by company-owned factories.
- Scope 2: These are indirect emissions from a company’s operations, such as the pollution generated from purchased electricity.
- Scope 3: These are indirect emissions from the company’s supply chains. Common sources include the extraction of raw materials and business travel.
Although we understand that GHGs are harmful to the planet, our ability to eliminate them is limited by technology and costs. Fortunately, this is where offsetting can help.
How Does Carbon Offsetting Work?
Carbon offsetting is a method of neutralizing one’s emissions by investing in GHG-reducing projects. The benefits of these projects are measured by the amount of CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e) that they avoid or absorb. Then, the company or fund that is engaging in the carbon offsetting project will then receive one carbon credit for every tonne of CO₂e negated.
Below are the three common types of GHG reduction programs.
1. Energy efficiency projects
These projects reduce energy consumption. One example is the distribution of energy-efficient cookstoves in Rwanda, a country where many people rely on firewood and charcoal. By distributing 10,800 cookstoves throughout the country, nearly 60,000 tonnes of CO₂e can be avoided each year.
2. Forestry projects
These projects nurture and protect our CO₂-absorbing forests. One notable example is the Garcia River forest protection program, which ensures the longevity of California’s redwood forests. The program oversees over 9,600 hectares which has been estimated to store almost 80,000 tonnes of CO₂e annually.
3. Renewable energy projects
These projects reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. They are especially effective in economies such as Taiwan, where 75% of electricity capacity relies on fossil fuels. Thanks to its strong coastal winds, Taiwan is able to remove 328,000 tonnes of CO₂e per year with just 62 wind turbines.
How is Offsetting Regulated?
Carbon offsetting in America is primarily a voluntary activity, but some state governments have made it mandatory for significant polluters. Here’s how both markets are regulated.
The Voluntary Market
The voluntary market is regulated by a variety of third-party organizations such as Verra, Gold Standard, and American Carbon.
They conduct audits on GHG reduction projects to ensure each one meets four broad criteria:
- Measurability: The GHG savings of the project must be measurable
- Verifiability: The results of the project must be verified on an annual basis
- Sustainability: Each project should have a minimum lifespan of seven years
- Additionality: GHG reductions of project must be considered in reference to a baseline scenario
Carbon credits are only issued after a project has passed this verification process.
The Mandatory Market
Some U.S. states have introduced carbon offsetting schemes to meet their climate goals. One of the largest is California’s Cap and Trade program which was introduced in 2013.
The program is targeted at businesses that emit over 25,000 tonnes of CO₂e annually, and works by setting a “cap” on total annual emissions. This cap is reduced each year, and overpolluting businesses must acquire carbon credits to offset their excess pollution. These can be purchased from state-administered auctions or from other firms.
Revenues generated from California’s carbon credit auctions are used to fund various GHG reduction projects, including:
- 690,000 acres of land preserved or restored
- 287,000 rebates issued for zero-emission and plug-in hybrid cars
- 108,000 urban tree plantings
- 150,000 energy efficiency projects installed in homes
By 2030, California’s emissions cap is intended to reach 200.5 million tonnes of CO₂e, marking a near 50% reduction from its 2015 level.
What Role can Investors Play?
A majority of U.S. investors consider themselves to be values-based, meaning they care about the societal and environmental impacts of their investments. This mentality is increasing the demand for ESG investing and placing pressure on corporations to become more sustainable.
For example, the percentage of S&P 500 firms that publish sustainability reports has risen from just 20% in 2011 to 90% in 2019. More importantly, a growing number of U.S. firms are cooperating with the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to report their emissions and set formal reduction targets.
|Year||Companies with active emissions reduction targets||All other companies reporting to the CDP||Total|
Source: CDP 2020
Some of the world’s largest oil producers are also taking action—a testament to the significance of these shareholder concerns. Royal Dutch Shell announced earlier in 2020 that it intends to fully offset its Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Does Offsetting Really Help?
Carbon offsetting programs such as the one implemented by California have the potential to generate revenues and encourage innovation. Critics, however, have suggested it has a number of design issues.
One such issue is the fact that California’s carbon credits do not expire. This could allow companies to stockpile credits and ignore future cuts to the emissions cap. Another concern is that the companies covered by California’s cap and trade will simply pass their higher costs to the consumer, although this claim didn’t seem to hold up in a 2016 study conducted by UCLA.
Other inefficiencies within the program may exist, but its benefits are hard to ignore. By the end of 2019, the revenue generated from California’s carbon credit auctions totaled $12.5 billion. Of this amount, over $5 billion has been invested in GHG reduction projects to date.
Tech Investing: Exploring the Sector’s Promising Potential
In the first 9 months of 2020, tech’s return was almost 5x greater than the general market’s return. Here’s what you need to know about tech investing.
This infographic is available as a poster.
Exploring the Potential of Tech Investing
Technology stocks have had impressive momentum. In the first 9 months of 2020, the S&P 500 Information Technology sector had a total return of 28.69%—far exceeding the S&P 500’s total return of 5.57%.
What should investors know about participating in this trending sector? This graphic from New York Life Investments covers tech’s long-term performance, the broad tech universe, and what investors should consider when analyzing tech investments.
Since most tech companies are internet-based, COVID-19 has caused minimal disruptions to their business operations. In a number of cases, tech companies even saw sales growth as they benefited from consumers going online during lockdown.
Over a longer timeframe, however, tech’s performance is quite varied.
|S&P 500 Information Technology||S&P 500|
Data based on total returns.
Tech underperformed the general market in 2010, 2012, and 2013. However, the sector has outperformed every year thereafter.
In total, investors who held tech stocks over the last decade would have been rewarded. The 10-year annualized return for the S&P 500 Information Technology index was 20.50%, compared to 13.74% for the S&P 500.
The Tech Universe
While the information technology sector is commonly used to represent tech stocks, the broader tech universe can be broken down into 4 business types:
- Software – such as application software, fintech, and cybersecurity.
- Hardware – such as electronic equipment, semiconductors, and self-driving cars.
- Internet Information – such as social networks, e-commerce, and digital advertising.
- Telecommunication – such as internet services, telephone operators, and cable companies.
In addition, there are other companies that don’t fit neatly into these categories. This includes businesses involved in biotechnology, blockchain, or even retailers with modern technology such as mobile payment systems.
What Investors Should Consider
There are many factors to consider with tech investing.
To lower potential risk, investors can diversify across industries, geographies, and individual companies. Tech investing should also be part of a broader portfolio strategy.
- Risks and opportunities
Tech stocks have unique risk factors, such as regulatory risk arising from data privacy and antitrust concerns. However, they also present specific opportunities: new applications of technology are always being discovered. For example, GPS was originally used by the U.S. Navy to track submarines, but is now used for things like ridesharing.
- Personal objectives
Investors can consider whether they are seeking growth or income. Growth investors can look for newer companies with high growth potential. Income investors may seek mature companies, some of which offer dividends.
- Company financials
It can be tempting to get swept up in the news hype of a particular company. Instead, investors can pay close attention to company financials and reporting to ground their interest in reality.
With all this in mind, how do the sector’s risks measure up against its returns?
Potential Risk/Reward Payoff
Tech stocks have historically been more volatile than defensive sectors, such as utilities and consumer staples. However, they have also generated higher returns relative to their risk level.
Annualized risk-adjusted returns
|S&P 500 Information Technology||1.37||1.49||1.28|
|S&P 500 Consumer Staples||0.65||0.78||1.06|
|S&P 500 Utilities||0.52||0.76||0.84|
Risk is defined as standard deviation, calculated based on total returns using monthly values.
By understanding the landscape and what to look for, investors will be poised to take advantage of tech’s potential.
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