Men are much more likely to make investment decisions based solely on emotion, while women are more cautious and value professional advice, according to a May survey by Spectrem Group.
“Women tend to be very deliberate in their financial decision-making,” said Catherine McBreen, Spectrem’s managing director. “Our research shows that women also tend to be more traditional about issues such as savings and home ownership. Perhaps most significantly, they are much more likely than men to value professional advice.”
Naturally more cautious in the best of times, women appear to be growing more conservative in the post-Recession economy. High net worth women favor cash as an investment, according to a special Spectrem report on wealthy women investors issued this spring. Forty-five percent said they were likely to invest in cash, compared to 43 percent who said they would purchase stocks. In contrast, 52 percent of all high net worth investors surveyed in December said they were most likely to invest in equities, while only 35 percent favored cash. These high net worth investors have $5 million to $25 million not including their primary residence.
A conservative profile also emerges for wealthy women investors surveyed in May by Spectrem Group, which polled 1,167 investors with a net worth of $500,000 or more, not including primary residence. Women investors (76 percent) were more likely than men (69 percent) to think it’s important for a beginning investor to buy a home. Women also put a higher value on monthly savings.
Only half the men surveyed would advise a beginning investor to get a good financial advisor, but 56 percent of women thought having a good advisor was important or very important. Women also placed a greater value on taking full advantage of an employer’s 401(k) plan, and more than 90 percent of women felt it was important to understand how to structure withdrawals from retirement accounts, compared to 84 percent of men.
Perhaps most significantly, only one-third of women said they had every made a financial decision without any research or recommendations from a trusted source, but nearly half the men reported making financial decisions based solely on emotions.