“What does the financially confident woman look like? Well, I’d say she is much more economically literate than ever before, and not just a “caretaker” of somebody else’s money<….> she is fiscally confident and it shows in her investment knowledge, salary, performance bonus and stock options.”
The Future of Women in Finance, 2015.
Right before International Women’s Day Nordnet gladly presented the business-minded women of Stockholm some valuable insight. Nordnet, which provides brokerage and banking services in Scandinavia, invited Barbara Stewart, Partner and Portfolio Manager at Cumberland Private Wealth Management and a researcher, to present her latest white paper The Future of Women in Finance.
Barbara started her research five years ago. (Last year Life as an Investment published an article about Barbara’s research How does smart women invest in 2013?) Ultimately, she was not satisfied with how the media portrayed women in finance. Everything she read was negative, and in contradiction with her experience as a portfolio manager. Then Barbara decided to nix negativity and focus on the positive.
The Future of Women in Finance revealed the following trends for 2015
- A diversity in company leadership and that more women in leadership roles equals more revenue—financially confident women in focus
- Transparency and Respect is what women value
- TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTIONIZES our lives
We talked with Barbara about her secret to staying in shape, how smart women build their lifestyle, and how technology changes everything around us.
Anna: “Barbara, thank you for a wonderful presentation. I noticed that all my girlfriends, who are smart and inspiring entrepreneurs, talked about how well-trained and healthy you look. And when I said that you arrived just yesterday, hopped in your running shoes and ran through Stockholm exploring various running routes, I think they got the picture. But really, how often do you run and what role does sport play in your life?”
Barbara: “Oh, that’s a great question! It’s been my lifestyle as far back as I can remember. Both my parents were athletic people. My Mom and Dad were both competitive swimmers. And I’ve been a regular runner since 16 years-old. Now that I’m a bit older, I have started with weights…. and they work very well for me. Running gives me energy to stay active all day long.”
Anna: “So, is it running that gives you such a fresh look? And obviously it helps prevent jetlag? “
Barbara: “Hehe, yes, running and coffee! If I don’t do my daily exercises, and I mean every day, I won’t be able to do the things I need to do—like travel around the world and keep up with everything.”
Anna: “Do you feel any connection between sports and making investment decisions?”
Barbara: “I would say that it’s not about how I make my decisions, but rather how to keep myself as productive as possible. And as I mentioned in the white paper, as well as in my presentation, ‘mobile technology changes everything for us.’ We are living on our smartphones. I can check my portfolio on my smartphone….and I do it when I’m walking my dog at six in the morning, or when I’m working out. I just integrate all my decision-making into my lifestyle. And in order to do that, I need to be physically fit or I wouldn’t make it.”
Anna: “What does a normal day in Canada look like for you?”
Barbara: “It always starts with a dog-walk. I have a beautiful Bernese mountain dog named Hank. He’s eight months old and requires a lot of my attention. And he’s already 95 pounds! He’s going to be a monster! After walking Hank, I head to the office and I do my portfolio management work, which is trading stocks on behalf of my clients. I have been doing this type of work for nearly 20 years and I love it. In the evening I spend time with my husband Duncan, who is also very much in shape. We run together a lot.”
“Women understand that taking no risk is the greatest risk to take.”
Anna: “You know we have a minus interest rate right now in Sweden. How should intelligent women carry-out financial decisions under these circumstances?”
Barbara: “I think this is a great opportunity for women to educate themselves about different investment opportunities outside the traditional savings account. Three years ago I did a study on how women invest. It showed that 50% of women invested in real-estate. But you need to remember that the real-estate market is quite cyclical. It can be very up and down.”
Anna: “Thank you Barbara for coming to Stockholm and inspiring women! Now we know that future of finance looks bright!”
Barbara: “Thank you Stockholm for having me.”
P.S. Here is a video of Barbara’s speech.