In a year of near unprecedented stock market volatility, women are bringing their cautious and thoughtful investing mindset to their household shopping.
This is not surprising. Conventional wisdom has it that women already control a majority of the household purchasing decisions (The Wall Street Journal’s Numbers Guy debunked the oft-quoted stat that women in the U.S. control 80 percent of consumer spending, but it is pretty much accepted that they do make more buying decisions than men).
But research also has found that it is also in their nature. Just as they are less confident and more risk-averse investors than men and prone to do more research, so they are more deliberate shoppers, according to a new investor survey conducted by Millionaire Corner. In light of market fluctuations, just over 42 percent of women said they have reduced their spending for so-called “luxury” goods, such as cosmetics, clothing, and technology as opposed to 30.9 percent of men who have cut back on luxury spending.
The New York Timeshas noted that in 2011 excess stock market volatility—-price moves that get reversed in a few days or weeks—“has risen to levels seen only three times before in the past 60 years: after the 1987 stock market crash, near the bottom of the market decline in 2002 and during the financial crisis and recession of 2008 and 2009.”
A survey of investors we conducted last September found women less optimistic than men (29.4 percent vs. 34.4 percent) that they would be better off financially in one year than they are now. Accordingly, our new survey find that just over half of women, compared with 46.1 percent of men, said they are using products longer or are being more selective on when and which products to upgrade. Likewise, more than a third of women (36.8 percent) said they are purchasing less expensive products. Nearly 27 percent of men said they are doing this.
Women, too, are more likely than men to being more selective in their shopping and looking for the best deals, 71.4 percent vs. 62.8 percent.
Tellingly, more men than women (21.8 percent vs. 14.1 percent) told researchers they were doing “none of the above.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.