Women Make Better Investment Decisions than Men
Women have a tendency to 'buy and hold' old fashioned, boring stocks and mutual funds with big names. Men are more likely to buy and sell and fiddle with percentages and take chances on 'the next new idea'. Guess who comes out ahead?
Once upon a time, in a life so long ago it almost doesn't feel real anymore, I worked in the 'basement' of the mutual fund industry – as a service specialist in the transfer agency. I wasn't the person who picked up the phone when the shareholder called, I was the person the customer service representative called when he or she got stuck.
It doesn't seem like an auspicious start to a understanding of the principles of investment, but over the years there I got a thorough grounding in retirement fund rules and requirements, broker rights and responsibilities, and how different sorts of funds tended to do in different economies.
I was good at my job, and fast, so often found myself exploring financial websites seeking to broaden my knowledge of investment principles. By the time I had been there seven years, I was acknowledged by my peers as someone with a great deal of specialized knowledge in the field of mutual fund investments, and was often encouraged to get my broker's license. Instead, I left to become a social worker, but that's another story.
An article has appeared on MarketWatch.com that supports those seven years of observations in an unexpected way. The headline states that 'Women are Better Investors' (than men), and the article attempts to support that argument. A study by Barclays Capital and Ledbury Research discovered that women are more likely to make money in the market than men – because they take less risks, and have a tendency to buy and hold.
That 'buy and hold' conservative investment does better over time jibes pretty solidly with my mutual fund experience, and on a larger level, with the experience of the international markets' failed experiments with CDOs and other risky and arcane investments in the last decade or so. A wise man once said 'never invest in anything a bright ten year old can't understand' (for the life of me I can't find the quote, and would appreciate a sourcing if anyone has it), and the market over time has supported that view.Continued on the next page