Dollars & Sense Street Smarts
Men and women differ on investment strategies; both have strengths
One of my favorite authors has written a series of books you are probably familiar with, the first being “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” These books by John Gray delve into the differences between the way men and women think and how that relates to the way we interact. With over 50 million copies in 50 languages sold worldwide, obviously a lot of people thought it was very helpful to understand the opposite sex. Just like the perception of Mars and Venus being different, Wall Street and Main Street are different, and how men and women think about investments can contrast too.
WOMEN OFTEN MAKE DECISIONS FROM THE HEART Even when retired, the moms I see coming in my office are still concerned about their grown children and grandchildren and wanting to make sure they have money to live comfortably. They also worry about having enough income to last a lifetime and don’t want to be a burden to their families. Safety and security are also critical to women. They desire a comfortable home, know there’s food in the fridge and that they are safe. When considering their savings, they usually prefer fixed-rate investments to the volatility of the stock market.
MEN TEND TO BASE DECISIONS MORE ON FACTS When asked about their priorities, many of the men I consult tell me they have raised and educated their children and now want to spend money on themselves. They aspire to enjoy the fruits of their labor with more leisure activities, hobbies or travel. They also want to make sure their wife is taken care of when they are no longer around. If there’s a family financial crisis, they are there to help—but are less likely to want to supplement their adult children’s current lifestyle.
MORE LIKELY TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE Because women are concerned about how each and every decision will affect them and their families, they are more apt to look to
an expert for guidance with their home, health and finances. Women investors more often than their male counterparts will counsel with a financial advisor, but the biggest mistake I see women investors making is not having a financial plan and delaying making a decision.
OFTEN RISK-TAKERS In contrast to women’s desire for safety, many men thrive on the excitement of danger. That’s possibly why they like to hunt and enjoy combat sports. In their investments they thrive on watching the markets and making their own decisions based on speculation, market timing and past performance. As the result, the biggest mistake men are making is not getting professional advice and having too much at risk. Getting a second opinion on your investments from a financial expert could make a big difference in your future. Whether you’re on Wall Street or Main Street, a happier, secure retirement could be just around the corner.
All written content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor or qualified professional before making any financial decisions.
WOMEN INVESTORS MORE OFTEN THAN THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS WILL COUNSEL WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR.