Women are better investors

Finance has long been considered a male domain, but what is the reason for men's tenacious hold on money management?

Finance has long been considered a male domain, but what is the reason for men's tenacious hold on money management?

Men do not necessarily refuse to relinquish their control; women are hesitant to assume control. One could also argue that women lag because of centuries-old restrictions on women being in charge of money.

Women might be entrepreneurs and earning at the same rate as men, but they are still reluctant to manage and invest it. Research shows that 90percent of women have become totally responsible for their financial welfare at some point in their lives, yet lag far behind when it comes to financial planning and investing.

Women who do invest are usually more cautious than men. A Financial Gender Gap study by Prudential Securities in the US revealed significant differences in how the sexes invest. The study placed investors in three zones: action, comfort and caution.

More men were in the action zone and more women were in the comfort and caution zones. The study also showed gender differences in risk tolerance, perspective on change and on the future, control issues, attitudes about money and investment knowledge.

A study of trading activity and yearly returns of 150000 individual accounts in the US showed that women are better investors and make more money on the stock market than men.

They make about 1percent more a year, with single women earning nearly 2percent more a year than single men. This may not sound like much, but if you look at the difference between earning 10percent and 12percent a year on a R100000 investment, this means you earn about R291879 more after 20 years.

l Bryan Hirsch is chief executive of Pioneer Financial Planning. Visit www.pioneer.co.za or e-mail help@pioneer.co.za

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