Hormones Can Affect How You Invest

Board room I am a staunch advocate for women establishing their financial security.  Too often they rely on the man to take care of it, which can be a huge mistake. If you don't think you are smart enough to invest your money keep on reading.

Male investors aren't necessarily the smartest investors. There’s been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they’re doing, even when they really don’t.  Women, on the other hand, appear more likely to acknowledge when they don’t know something.  

Staying the course and minimizing costs are the classic characteristics of good long-term, buy-and-hold investors. But during the financial crisis, men were more likely than women to trade in and out of stocks which made matters even worse.

Women on average are a lot more risk-averse than men. In portfolio selection, we tend to have a greater preference for fixed-income investments.  That could cause our portfolio returns to lag over the long run, assuming that stocks outperform bonds — though in a shaky market, a women's cautious behavior might be beneficial.

Is risk aversion biological or cultural?  Who knows?  Some studies have found that there is a correlation between hormones and risk-taking. Alexandra Bernasek, a professor of economics at Colorado State University, said "before the dawn of history, aggressive risk-taking might have given men an advantage in finding mates, while women might have become more risk-averse to protect their offspring."

Real Cougar women strive to be financially independent and yes, they do take risks. But, the risks they take are always calculated so the odds are in their favor.  If they don't know something they will seek the advice of someone they trust to advise them.

To read more check out this N.Y. Times article.


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