Women and Investing – Ask Our Expert with Amanda Vance Giangola

Women and Investing – Ask Our Expert with Amanda Vance Giangola

Time, Confidence, Knowledge, and the “Elephant in the Room”

4-minute read


Amanda Vance Giangola is a Vice President, Financial Advisor at United Brokerage Service, Inc. She received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and an MBA from Shepherd University. She holds the Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, Life & Health, and Property & Casualty Insurance licenses.

The Thrive team spoke to Giangola about what she sees as challenges and opportunities for women investors.

What are some common barriers women face when it comes to investing?

Many women feel that they face both monetary and non-monetary investment barriers. Less discretionary income is an unfortunate monetary obstacle that women face, while lack of time, lack of confidence, and a perceived lack of access to investment knowledge are all non-monetary obstacles standing in their way.

First and foremost, as a result of the wage gap, women have significantly less discretionary income left to invest, thus making their budget much tighter and their resources to invest smaller. But not only that, women that are balancing career, household, familial duties and so on, tend to have less time on their hands. This lack of time leaves women feeling like investing is not conducive to their lives. This is also a contributing factor as to why women have less confidence when it comes to investing, because they feel they lack the ‘time’ it takes to research investments and understand the options available to them.

However, there are many different resources available that are geared towards women and a woman’s specific financial situation that can help alleviate many of the perceived barriers they face.

How does the gender pay gap affect women's investing opportunities?

The gender pay gap is the ‘elephant in the room’ that we are FINALLY (and deservedly) starting to address. This systemic issue costs women thousands of dollars annually, not only in current monetary value but also the future value of their money. Women’s retirement, long term care, and legacy planning are all forward looking factors that can be negatively impacted.

While investment opportunities are aplenty, women are working with considerably less capital as a direct result of the gender pay gap. And, when you factor in other monetary obligations that many women are responsible for, like childcare, such opportunities to invest can be harder to reach.

How can women overcome a lack of confidence and knowledge in investing?

A wise person once told me that if you want to know how someone became successful, just ask them! Much like the wage gap ‘elephant in the room’ that is finally being addressed, now is the time to start talking about investing! It has been said that men talk more freely about investing than women; and a great way to overcome a lack of knowledge of investing and confidence is conversing with others and asking questions.

Talk with your peers, your coworkers, and your family about investments. Ask them if they have a trusted financial advisor they recommend or what investment strategies they incorporate into their lives. As we begin these conversations, we’ll start to see a direct correlation with increased confidence.

Financial advisors help to overcome the monetary and non-monetary obstacles we see women facing today. It has been proven that a financial advisor is one of the greatest resources an investor can have, and women investors should take advantage of every resource available to them.

What are some investment strategies that are particularly relevant for women?

As a broad group – and statistically speaking – women have been found to lean more toward Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments. But it’s worth noting that each person has their own set of unique circumstances that creates different avenues for investing – there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all.’

What resources and support networks are available for women investors?

There is an array of online resources dedicated to women in investing, as well as books and articles at their disposal – ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham is a favorite amongst the world’s most successful investors.

For a more tailored approach, many investment companies have free dedicated resources for women to use online as well. But overall, a trusted financial advisor can help women overcome obstacles and is inarguably the one most important support network any investor has.

Wrapping up and getting started.

An overall investment strategy is very important, and approaching investing as part of an overall financial planning process is critical. Knowing your budget, risk tolerances, and time horizons are the initial steps needed in order to implement an effective investment strategy.

This is why it’s crucial to find an advisor that is knowledgeable and who understands your specific needs, especially for women investors. At United Brokerage Services, we work with clients to determine the right asset allocation for their specific risk tolerance and investing timeframe, regularly monitoring accounts and rebalancing when necessary to maintain proper allocations. We also guide our clients through a four-step process for defining, developing, implementing, and monitoring their personalized portfolio-management plan. It’s a great starting point for women and investing.



United Brokerage Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer is a subsidiary of United Bankshares, Inc., the issuer of UBSI stock. The investments offered through United Brokerage Services, with the exception of brokerage certificates of deposit, are not bank deposits and are not obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank. These products are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC. Investments are subject to risk including possible loss of principal. This information is not legal or tax advice and past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
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