Why women are better investors
Call it the Weiner principle: Men self-destruct.
By David Weidner, MarketWatch
Anthony Weiner put us men in a pickle.
Why is it that men so often self-destruct? In the political world, Weiner recently joined Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Edwards as hypocritic slimeballs who let their pants set their personal policy.
But it’s not just politics. Todd Thomson, young, married, chief financial officer at Citigroup (C) was embroiled in a scandal a few years ago with money honey Maria Bartiromo of CNBC. Her career survived. His didn’t.
There’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund, who’s accused of sexual assault. There’s James McDermott, who was CEO of Keefe Bruyette & Woods until a dalliance with a porn star named Marylyn Star embarrassed him out of the company.
We men just make bad decisions. We can't help it. We’re men.
Women, on the other hand, do almost everything better. We’ve known this intuitively for a long time. If you didn’t, just ask your wife or your mother. But now there’s a raft of evidence that suggests women are better at everything -- including investing.
A new study by Barclays Capital and Ledbury Research found that women were more likely to make money in the market, mostly because they didn’t take as many risks. They bought and held. Women trade this way because they aren’t as confident -- or perhaps as overconfident -- as men, the study found.
"Women were more likely than men to have a greater desire for self-control,” the study concluded.
In other words, they trade less and earn more.
“Women tend to have lower composure and a greater desire for financial self-control, which is associated with a desire to use self-control strategies. Women are also more likely to believe that these strategies are effective.”
And you know what? They were.
The study supported previous findings that women tend to make more. A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. Moreover, an academic study in 2009 found women made 1% more annually.
Chun Xia, a finance professor in Hong Kong and one of the researchers, wrote that women reported a greater desire for self-control in their approach to financial management. They are likely to get stressed out more easily and their awareness partially accounts for their greater desire for financial discipline.
However, the report said, it is men who actually have a greater need for discipline when it comes to investment management, as they tend to be overconfident in investing.
This probably doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. A new body of evidence is emerging that shows women are better at just about everything -- or, as Dan Abrams has titled his new book, “Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.”
As Abrams notes, women are better soldiers because they complain about pain less. They’re less likely to be hit by lightning because they’re not stupid enough to stand outside in a storm. They remember words and faces better. They’re better spies because they’re better at getting people to talk candidly.
Look at the evidence: Hillary Clinton has proved a more-than-capable secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren has been a leading champion against the banks. Sheila Bair, as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has played hardball with the boys’ club.
And what about Sarah Palin? There were 24,000 emails released this weekend and not one crotch shot.
This is deflating news for us men, but there is hope. We still lead the field in self-destructing because of pride, overconfidence, hubris and ego.
So, go ahead, ladies. Make the money. You’re better at it. We men will just make inappropriate comments, send you lewd photos and make asses of ourselves.
That’s why we created Facebook and Twitter.
It’s what we’re good at.
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Sensible people--both ladies and gentlemen--will ignore this kind of silliness.
Sensible men do get chosen by women all the time. I'm a sensible, pragmatic programmer, and I'm happily married. Almost every man I know of in some kind of engineering field is married. The problem is that men who don't behave badly also don't make for very interesting "news" material.
Just imagine the backlash that this would cause if the article was flipped saying that men are better than women at just about everything. It wouldn't last 10 min on a site like this, what a shame that sexism can exist in spaces like this. Enough with keeping score of who is better at what.
The frustrating thing is that the same qualities the author discusses that make men worse performers in many areas than women, are also at the root of why women were attracted to those men to begin with.
As the author points out, there have been many male figures in the news recently with stories of screwing up. At the same time, almost every single one of these men were married or involved with a fairly desirable woman. Yet, despite the man's potential for scandal, she still chose him. She did not choose the pragmatic, sensible guy - the one who makes judgements the way a woman would.
So women may be better at just about everything, but many successful, attractive women suck at choosing partners.
What can we say. We know we have a weakness for short skirts, small waists, long hair and adventure.
I am sick and tired of hearing how women don't make as much as men, so thats why they are better with there money. The reason men are paid more is because women still don't want to share thier money. They want equality, but yet they still expect the man to pay when they go out to dinner. The man is expected to pay for vacations, and to buy his woman all kinds of little trinkets (necklaces, flowers, chocolate,) just because she needs to feel loved. That being said there are very few women out there that will even date a man that makes less then she does. Because there is still a feeling in America that the man is the bread winner. So with that said it is engrained in a mans head that he needs to spend his money a little more freely. Meanwhile since the man has been spending his money whooing a woman. She has not spent any of hers or very little, she at this time now has extra money, and says to herself I guess I will put it away for a rainy day. Weather or not you want to admit it, this is the way society has been told to think. Until women have to start opening there wallets and spend some money on a man with out bitching, or thinking they should get something in return, this is the way it will always be.
Plenty in India, including nuclear scientists, engineers, doctors. Plenty also historically when there was more equal opportunity for education until Britain came and banned women from inheriting, studying, etc. as per norms in Britain.
BTW, also some very successful female Mafia types, like Santok behn, the godmother, who controlled ports, etc.
Marie Curie, MRS. Erik Erikson, Vandana Shiva, etc. Today, heads of many financial institutions.Many simply don't get the credit.
Me, I like men so no issue.
Hey RickTheLongShanks: you want to know about famous female physicists or mathematicians? Well, everyone knows about marie curie (chemist and physicist) but most other female physicists aren't famous DESPITE contributing vast amounts to their field.
-Henrietta Levitt - enabled us to calculate intergalactic distances
-Phyllis Frier - discovered that the nuclei of heavier elements are in cosmic radiation
-Renata Kallosh (a mathematical physicist) - predicted the structure of 2-loop divergence in pure gravity
-Sau Lan Wu - discovered a subatomic particle comprised of charm/anticharm quarks that helped lead to the understanding of the fundamental structure of atoms in terms of leptons and quarks.
There are many, many more. The point is, when a female physicist makes a contribution, people don't hear about them. It doesn't mean they don't exist, or aren't stellar at what they do. For instance - you know how men supposedly discovered the shape of DNA? Well to do that, they stole (they didn't give credit to) a female physicists research. Thats not the only time guys have gotten the credit for what women have done, either. Not that the men set out to gyp women, they're just... ignored.
Ah, I don't entirely agree with this article, either. Women aren't 'better' investors- they're different. Depending on your goals, smaller but more reliable returns may be better. Historically men tend to outperform women on short term gains in stocks (especially things like day trade). Right now, people could say 'ah I should have invested with a woman all along!' but thats not fair. It depends on what your short and long term portfolio goals are.
To the guys that say 'oh she'sjust spending his money' and idiotic things like that: please grow up, and grow a pair. 40% of households now have a woman as the main breadwinner. To the rest of the guys (which are significantly the majority): You're right - this article is sexist, and unfair. Sorry :-/
lol. That may be true what you said about msnbc(I puke when I have to even glance at their TV station while surfing channels)---though some guy named David wrote the story.
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