Wednesday, May 11, 2022

You Just Turned 40: Here's Why Now Is The Time To Start A Company

Written by: Stephen Dalby

When we think of high-growth, venture-backed founders, we often think of young founders who weren’t a day over 22 when they started their companies. We think of people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

However, findings published by MIT have found that the average age of startup founders is actually 45. So, while some people may not realize it, those older than 40 can have great success starting their own companies. Rather than thinking it’s too late, here’s why 40 is a great time to start your business:

You have access to capital, both human and financial.

Normally when one thinks of capital, they automatically think of financial. While this is true, there are other forms of capital that are essential for starting a company, one being human capital.

This type of capital involves a deep network and long-standing partnerships that can help add structure, credibility and resources to the company you want to create. Younger entrepreneurs are less likely to have had the time to network and develop these important business relationships.

Time brings the ability to store up a greater amount of capital compared to someone in their 20s who has lived half as long. By capital, I don’t just mean financial capital, though you likely have managed to create more significant assets and have a better chance of bootstrapping your startup.

You know who you are and make good decisions because of it.

Much of our lives are spent trying to figure out who we are and what we want. As a midpoint in your life, your 40s often clarify some of those questions. A strong sense of self is valuable for business owners because it becomes much easier to determine what to delegate, how you can use your skills appropriately and how you can identify and select the right talent that fits your values and goals.

Just because I was older didn’t mean I had all the answers, so I found it extremely valuable to lean on others who had specific expertise that I may have been lacking. Being older and not having the fear of asking for help was extremely valuable for me.

You’re good at prioritizing work and life.

This is one of Clayton Christianson’s main points in his book How Will You Measure Your Life? He saw hundreds of people coming back with degrees from Harvard divorced and unhappy because they lacked the ability to prioritize well. Learning how to balance life takes time, and if you’re over 40, you’ve had some practice.

At 40, you probably have more responsibilities and demands. Depending on your own situation, you may have a family and numerous tasks outside of work that put more demands on your time than if you were in your 20s.

However, you also may have the wisdom, patience and maturity to better understand how to balance those tasks and responsibilities. For me, having a family as a support unit is a tremendous asset, not a hindrance to business success. They have given me the motivation, assistance and confidence to see my startup through and continue growing it into a flourishing business.

If you’re older than 40, now may be the right time to take the leap.

You may be the ideal candidate to become a startup founder if you are in your 40s. Remember, age is mostly just a number. No matter what age you are, you will need to consider those impacted by this decision, your financial position and your life goals. That’s why your mindset, as opposed to just your physical age, becomes a big part of how you approach the idea of starting a business.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Married mothers take on more housework even when they out-earn their husbands


Good morning, Broadsheet readers! President Biden chooses a nominee to serve as ambassador to Ukraine, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter could affect the future of content moderation on the platform, and becoming a breadwinner comes with a caveat. Have a great Tuesday.

– Double duty. Changing gender norms around parenthood and work have allowed women to become breadwinners for their families. But some gender norms are particularly stubborn, as Joanna Syrda, a professor at the U.K.-based University of Bath School of Management recently discovered.

In her research, analyzing the relationship between spousal income and the division of housework between partners, Syrda examined more than 6,000 North American dual-earner, mixed-gender couples between 1999 and 2017. She found that as the gender pay gap closes between a husband and wife, the gender housework gap rises—with the woman taking on even more housework as she begins to outearn her husband. The surprising inverse correlation reflects deeply held beliefs about who should be a breadwinner and who should take care of the home, Syrda argues.

See the statistical analysis below from her study “Gendered Housework: Spousal Relative Income, Parenthood and Traditional Gender Identity Norms” published in the journal Work, Employment, and Society. The chart shows a mother’s housework decreasing from 18 to 14 hours a week as she goes from earning no income to about half the household income—and then ticking back up again to almost 16 hours as she exceeds her partner’s salary. The husband’s housework starts around six hours a week when he’s a father and the sole breadwinner, reaching a maximum of just under eight hours before declining as his wife takes on additional housework with her rising income.

It might sound counterintuitive that women breadwinners spend more time on household chores when they earn significantly more than their husbands—and worse still, the data doesn’t even account for gender gaps between time spent by mothers and fathers on childcare. Syrda speculates that heterosexual couples are, perhaps subconsciously, compensating for deviating from the male breadwinner norm. (Past research has shown that men are more likely to exhibit signs of “psychological distress” when their wife earns more money.)
“This is a non-traditional outcome in that she is earning more money than him,” Syrda says. “So to compensate for that, they [follow the norm] traditionally for housework.”

Syrda’s analysis brings to mind a 2019 study I covered for Fortune. Researchers found that married women did more housework than single moms—despite theoretically having a partner at home to share the load. They also found that “marriage remains a gendered institution that ratchets up the demand for housework and childcare through essentialist beliefs that women are naturally focused on home and hearth.”

The question, as Syrda frames it today, is what housework means to us. “Is housework just a sequence of tasks we perform?” she asks. “Or is it a way of constituting and enacting a gender?”

The combination of parenthood and marriage seems to be the defining element here: Syrda didn’t measure the same uptick in household chores for high-earning women who are not mothers. Similarly, the 2019 study focused on motherhood, measuring the difference in household chores for married and single mothers. Parenthood can have a “traditionalizing effect,” Syrda argues, causing even the most progressive of women to adjust their adherence to gender norms as they feel internal and external pressure to excel at motherhood.

By one measure, Syrda’s study could denote progress; there are enough women breadwinners in the dataset to come to these statistically significant conclusions. But it’s hard to celebrate women as their household’s primary financial provider when doing so comes with a performative obligation to do the dishes.

Emma Hinchliffe

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

What is sustainable finance and how it is changing the world

Written by: Douglas BroomSenior Writer, Formative Content

Sustainable finance offers higher returns for investors.
Image: UNSPLASH/Towfiqu Barbhuiya

  • Investors no longer face a choice between profit and saving the planet.
  • Sustainable finance is prioritizing businesses that help the environment.
  • But it also focuses on inclusion and ethical business standards.

The drive to sustainability is transforming the way we live. But what is the impact on the way our savings and pensions are invested? Welcome to the world of sustainable finance.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have come to dominate many investment decisions in recent years. Put simply, this means investing your money where it will make the world a better place.
What is sustainable finance

Sustainable investing covers a range of activities, from putting cash into green energy projects to investing in companies that demonstrate social values such as social inclusion or good governance by having, for example, more women on their boards.

Sustainable finance has a key role to play in the world’s transition to net zero by channelling private money into carbon-neutral projects, says the European Union, whose Green Deal Investment Plan aims to raise $1.14 trillion to help pay the cost of making Europe net zero climate change emissions by 2050.

To ensure that sustainable investments deliver on their promises, global accounting body the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation has just set up the International Sustainability Standards Board to come up with new rules to validate sustainability claims.
Sustainable finance provides better returns

As well as helping the planet and making society fairer and more inclusive, evidence is mounting that sustainable businesses actually offer higher returns for investors.

Companies with sustainable practices are now proving better stock market picks.
Image: Fidelity

A study conducted for asset manager Fidelity tracked the performance of a range of ESG investments worldwide between 1970 and 2014 and found that half of them outperformed the market. Only 11% showed negative performance.

Analysis by BlackRock – the world’s biggest asset management company – found that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, more than eight out of 10 sustainable investment funds performed better than share portfolios not based on ESG criteria.

Investment funds built on ESG principles are bringing in the best returns.
Image: BlackRock

As well as paying higher dividends to shareholders, companies with high ESG ratings have also enjoyed stronger increases in their share price in the past five years, according to research by financial website Morningstar.

This matters because most stock market investments are made by financial institutions such as pension funds. In the United States, 80% of listed equity in leading companies is held by organizations that are looking after other people’s money.

While individuals may choose to earn a lower rate of return to save the planet, institutional investors and pension fund trustees don’t have that luxury. They must abide by what is known as a fiduciary duty to act in the best financial interest of investors.

But rising returns on sustainable assets mean trustees no longer have to sacrifice sustainability for profit. The World Economic Forum’s Transformational Investment report cites the example of New Zealand’s state pension fund, the trustees of which argued that climate change posed a risk to their ability to fund pensions and switched to a sustainable finance strategy. The fund has outperformed comparable investments by 1.24% a year since its inception in 2003 – a total difference of $7.24 billion (NZD10.65 billion).

But why do ESG-friendly investments do better than conventional investments?
Outperformance explained

One factor is changing customer attitudes. A study in the US found that two-thirds of consumers of all ages prefer to buy from companies that share their values. Among millennials – people aged between 18 and 34 – that figure rises to 83%.

Consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from a brand with a corporate purpose they endorse, according to a global survey. But if a company does something they disagree with, three-quarters said they stopped buying from that brand and encouraged others to do the same.

Carbon-intensive industries such as coal, oil and gas are also finding it harder and more expensive to raise capital as leading lenders refuse to do business with them.

In contrast, sustainable companies are more likely to win contracts, save costs by using fewer resources, have less regulation, retain the best people and avoid losing money on old carbon-intensive processes, according to research by McKinsey.

Global companies took in a record $859 billion in sustainable investments in 2021, Reuters reported, including $481.8 billion in green bonds that raised money for specific environmental projects.

And the level of sustainable finance is only set to grow. The total value of ESG investments is on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025, accounting for more than a third of all global investments, according to analysis by Bloomberg.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

STC Financial Management & Business Consulting. 6th Anniversary

STC 6th Anniversary!

As we celebrate our 6th anniversary, we want to THANK our favorite clients and friends for your support and business. We truly enjoy working with you and feel honored to be your chosen Financial Management & Business Consulting firm. Your business is much appreciated, and we will do our very best to continue to meet and exceed your Financial needs. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

If you know someone who needs the expertise we provide, we'd love to meet them. Thank you for being part of our journey.

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