Men earn more on average than women for a variety of reasons. They’re more likely to take jobs that pay more because they require travel, overtime or working in dangerous working conditions. Women are more likely to take time off to care for family members or work part time to juggle personal and professional obligations, and they literally pay a price for it over a lifetime. But how do men and women fare when it comes to investing? Let’s look at why men are no better than women on investment matters.
Women are on average more risk adverse than men. On one hand, this means they’re more likely to park their money in a savings account than invest it in the stock market where it would grow faster. On the other hand, they’re less likely to trade regularly. They might try to day trade in their retirement account or invest in speculative investments to try to win big. The end result is that they have less on average over the long-term than women who invested in solid mutual funds.
Men are much more likely than women to rely on their friends for financial advice. This makes them more prone to investing in a friend’s startup rather than buying a couple of blue-chip stocks. Women are more likely to work with a professional financial advisor. While there may be a fee for their service, you’re more likely to get good advice.
Women tend to be better at managing the money than men. This is reflected by the fact that men are more likely to have bad credit than women. Women on average have slightly better credit scores because they are less likely to not pay a bill on time. Women are more likely to make a budget and stick to it, too, while men are more likely to make an impulse purchase. Having a budget increases the odds you’ll have money left over to save and invest at the end of the month as well as continue doing so month after month. When women make an impulse buy, it tends to have a lower price tag than men’s, too. That means the average woman’s impulse buy is less likely to blow her budget than a guy’s impulse buy.
Women’s overall financial status tends to suffer because of their relationships. Women earn less on average over a lifetime than men, though women live several years longer. That results in the average woman having less in retirement savings than a comparable man. Women’s tendency to sacrifice for family often results in them saving for a child’s college rather than their own retirement And they’re more likely to bail out family members though it leaves them unable to pay their own bills.
In couples, women are more likely to manage the day-to-day expenses while the men are more likely to manage the investments. However, women need to do more to make sure the money is well invested. And both partners should learn to abide by their budget, if they want to be able to avoid debt and save for the future.