The 7 Most Successful Women Investors

When you hear "successful investors," who comes to mind? Maybe Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, or Ron Perelman? Often, there isn't a single woman in the bunch. This article means to change that. (See also: 5 Investors With Better Returns Than Warren Buffett)

Below are seven women who have bucked the stereotype and built enormously successful investment careers despite the "old boys" club of finance.

1. Geraldine Weiss

Though she was a top finance student at the University of California, not a single investment firm considered Weiss for a role beyond being a secretary. She refused to be deterred from having her say, so she started Investment Quality Trends (IQT), a finance newsletter. When she started receiving hate mail from people who said a woman wasn't capable of giving investment advice, she began to sign her newsletter "G. Weiss" and soldiered on. That was 50 years ago. Today she remains one of the most successful and prolific investors, analysts, writers, lecturers, and TV personalities in the world of finance.

2. Muriel Siebert

In 1967, the NYSE was a world where no woman-owned brokerage firm had ever gone before. Siebert changed that. Despite blatant and constant attempts to keep her brokerage firm, Muriel Siebert & Co., from registering with the NYSE, she refused to take "no" for an answer. Unfortunately, her company remains the only woman-owned national brokerage firm on the NYSE today. Siebert passed away in 2013 leaving a rich legacy in finance and politics that continues to inspire and encourage women today.

3. Lubna S. Olayan

Saudi Arabia is known for the stifling limitations it places on women in the social, political, and business realms. Olayan didn't let that stop her. After building an illustrious career in finance rising through the ranks of Olayan Finance Company, a conglomerate of 40 manufacturing firms, she is now the CEO. Despite her heritage, she often faces intense criticism. She does so with grace and strength, and refuses to let the ignorance and oppression of the Saudi government limit her. She serves as a pillar of courage to women in the Middle East and all over the world.

4. Deborah A. Farrington

StarVest Partners is a behemoth in the world of venture capital, where Farrington is a co-founder. She's also served as President and CEO of Victory Ventures, LLC; Chairman of Staffing Resources, Inc; and continues to hold numerous director and committee roles at technology companies, Smith College, and Harvard (her alma maters), and a leading international microfinance organization.

5. Marianne Abib-Pech

After a successful business career that included stints at Arthur Andersen, GE, and Shell International Petroleum, Abib-Pech struck out on her own. She boldly moved to Hong Kong to write an investment book and founded Lead the Future (LTF), a leadership consulting firm, financial advising, and thought leadership platform rolled into one. High-profile oil and gas companies are among her diverse clients.

6. Kathy Xu

Warren Buffett is known for only investing in concepts he can understand. He doesn't jump on fads and isn't persuaded by paper-thin trends. Kathy Xu, arguably the most successful investor in China (male or female), is known for her prudence and shrewd decisions. Once she makes an investment, she's in it for the long haul. Xu started her Shanghai-based private equity firm, Capital Today, 10 years ago and her track record is impeccable. Her latest jewel? The IPO of JD, China's second largest e-retailer.

7. Nehal Chopra

Since the last recession cycle started in 2007, hedge funds and their managers have been hammered by less-than-appealing returns. Ratan Capital Management, the firm founded by Chopra, has bucked that trend to the envy of every other hedge fund manager, often returning 20%+. At 35, she oversees $750 million in assets.

What truly impresses me about these women is that they didn't let criticism and negativity stop them from reaching for their goals. In fact, they seemed to use it as fuel to reach higher. They're role models for all of us — women and men alike.

Who inspires you to invest and save more?

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