Socially Responsible Investing Series: Gender-Lens Investing
Paul Ellis: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Sustainable Finance with Paul Ellis. In this series of podcasts, we’ll be discussing various topics in sustainable finance, the people involved with making those parts of sustainable finance work. And, today, we’re focusing on gender-lens investing with our guest Marguerita M. Cheng, who is a CFP, who runs her own registered investment advisory firm in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
And Margarita is going to share with us some of her perspective about how women in finance are promoting the use of gender-lens investing and strategies to integrate that into their investment portfolios.
Ben Gerow: We are here with Marguerita Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. This is Ben Gerow of SunStar strategic. Marguerita, thank you for joining us today.
Marguerita Cheng: Thank you so much for having me.
Ben Gerow: I guess the logical place for us to start would be if you could tell us a little bit about your path to becoming a financial advisor. Why did you know this was the career path for you?
Marguerita Cheng: I think I was always destined to become a certified financial planner. I am the eldest of three girls, and my dad taught me how to use a financial calculator, and a scientific calculator. I also knew how to read value line because my dad took the time educate me on the stock market and the importance of planning.
Having said that, I graduated from college with double degrees; one in East Asian language and literature, and the other one in finance. My first job out of college, I was an analyst. And while that job was very fulfilling, I felt that something was missing. And that’s when I discovered the discipline of personal finance.
Ben Gerow: And then what was your reasoning for opening up your own registered investment advisory, Blue Ocean Global Wealth?
Marguerita Cheng: So I absolutely love being a financial planner. I believe that I’m a financial cheerleader, coach, and confidant to my clients. Having my own registered investment advisory firm allows me to focus on one thing, and that’s my clients. There is no company agenda. I didn’t want to have to apologize for things in the headlines. I just want to be able to help my clients gain clarity, confidence, and control over their financial lives.
Ben Gerow: Great. And then I guess switching topics a little bit here. I know one thing that you’re big into is gender-lens investing. And I was just wondering, how do you think women investors and consumers are influencing the way companies plan for long-term success in the 21st Century.
Marguerita Cheng: Well, women, all across the globe, but I’m gonna talk here about in the US, they are having more and more affluence and influence. So women control nearly 30 percent or 39.6 trillion of the world’s wealth, and 51 percent and 14 trillion of personal wealth here in the US. So I think that women view wealth a little bit differently. They take more of a comprehensive holistic approach. And to that point, many corporations are becoming more transparent in their corporate responsibility, and women really value this level of transparency.
Ben Gerow: And I’d love to give our listeners some takeaway concepts to think about later in the day. What do you think are the three most important financial concepts, for girls and young women, in particular, to understand?
Marguerita Cheng: So the first thing I think is very important for everybody, but particularly young women and professional women, and of course retired women, so for all women to understand. The first is the concept of time value with money. And dollar, today, growing for you for the future is gonna be really important. The next one is compound interest. Your money growing over time. Loan payments and credit card debt represent examples of compound interest working against you.
The next one is the power of tax-deferred growth and tax-free growth. I think these three concepts of time value with money, compound interest, and tax-deferred and tax regrowth are really important for everybody to understand, but particularly women.
Ben Gerow: Okay, Marguerita. And I guess switching the focus from young women to women of all ages. What two suggestions do you have for women of all ages regarding how to leverage their growing wealth for the good of society?
Marguerita Cheng: The two recommendations I had first is for women to become more financially literate or more financially savvy, and as a result, they become more confident and empowered to invest for the future.
Ben Gerow: And why do you think these are the two most important suggestions out of all of them?
Marguerita Cheng: I think they’re really important because at some point in time, women are going to have to make decisions about their investment portfolios and their wealth, whether it’s for themselves or for their families. So there’s no better time to start than today.
Ben Gerow: So, Marguerita, I know we’ve covered a lot of topics today. Are there any further resources you’d like to give our listeners to kind of take away with them after they listen to this podcast?
Marguerita Cheng: Absolutely. I’d like to encourage our listeners to visit Let’s Make a Plan. That is the certified financial planner board of standards, a consumer site, for everyone to learn more about financial planning. And then our website, Blue Ocean Global Wealth. You can read some of the articles about impact investing and financial planning.
Ben Gerow: Great. Well, we thank your time today.
Marguerita Cheng: Thank you.
Paul Ellis: Thank you very much, Marguerita, for joining us today for this initial podcast, and we look forward to hearing from our audience about topics that you would like to hear more about in sustainable investing. We feel that it’s important for everyone’s voice to be heard, especially people who are engaged in the financial services industry.
Let us know what you’re thinking, make suggestions on topics that we can cover. We’re going to be doing more of these programs on an ongoing basis, and we’re looking not only for ideas of things to discuss but for good people to talk to as well.