Aggregator honours women in finance

The first of the nationwide event series included a speech by one of Australia’s top female financial media commentators

Aggregator honours women in finance



Leading aggregator FAST is holding its fifth Women in Business summit, kickstarting this nationwide series of talks with a lunch in Sydney yesterday (18 July).

Hien Nguyen, partnership manager at FAST and MC for the event, opened up with the inspirational tale of her flight from Vietnam as a child and her mother’s brave efforts to build up a life here in Australia.

FAST CEO Brendan Wright followed with a few words about the importance of diversity before introducing the keynote speaker Effie Zahos, editor of Money Magazine.

He told the audience that businesses gain the twin edge of courage and kindness by bringing women on board.

“Gender diversity just makes sense. What diversity can bring to you personally in your life and also in business is something that drives really sustainable business success. The concept of diversity in thinking as leaders – and you are leaders in the businesses that you run – can make all the difference when you let go and know that you don’t have to come up with all the answers.”

Fostering an environment that provides these answers stems from diversity in thinking, he said – a goal which can be reached with help from those with different genders, races, age and experience.

Zahos then took the stage to talk about her own two-decade long journey in banking, finance and property from working her way up through Westpac to being part of the Money for Jam television show and finally stepping up as editor for Money Magazine.

Inconsistency and confusion

Zahos also ventured into some of the most common financial questions by consumers about matters such as whether to hold off on buying property or where to invest $10,000.

Mixed messages amongst experts created confusion for the public, she said, pointing to recent forecasts of where the cash rate will go to in future.

“You have one call by an ex-RBA member where we’re going to see eight rate rises; then there was another one where three economists said rates are going to rise because of excess supply; and then you’ve got other expert economists such as HSBC saying that rates will be cut. You can see the confusion that people have.”

The same discrepancies can be found amongst property data with Zahos stressing the importance of knowing whose statistics one was looking at.

“I was gobsmacked to see just how much the experts differed in their opinion on where property was going,” she said pointing to recent data compiled by various agencies such as Domain and CoreLogic. “Sydney varied from 3.3% to 16.7% – that was annual house growth as of January 2017 – so you can how consumers get confused.”

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