ARBOR WEALTH: Mars vs. Venus investing

Margaret R. McDowell
Special to The Log
Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 03:53 PM.

Please consider two impressive, verifiable facts about women, finance and investing:

• “Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.” — Claire Behar, Fleishman-Hillard New York

• “If academic enrollment is any indicator, in 25 years women will dominate once male-dominated fields such as law and medicine.” — Author Liza Mundy in the Wall Street Journal

With all the wealth controlled by and being transferred to women, many are just now starting to immerse themselves in the investment process. And statistics show that many more husbands than wives still handle the family investments.

A Wall Street Journal article by Susan Thomas entitled “The Rise of the Female Investor” purports that most women don’t have the time or the inclination to coordinate family investment accounts.  “…men are still more likely than women to take the lead with the family financial account,” says Thomas. “According to a recent study … 19 percent of wives said they took control of financial decision making, versus 38 percent of husbands. Among female breadwinners, 20 percent said they were ‘very well prepared’ to make wise financial decisions, compared with 45 percent of their male counterparts.”

Thomas also quotes a recent study that “has found that women differ substantially from men in how they relate to investing.  They don’t want to hear about … growth or comparative performance of different funds; they want information about reaching their long-term goals, like putting a kid through college.”

Having advised male and female investors both singularly and as couples for 18 years, I think it’s difficult to generalize or stereotype. Each investor is different, regardless of gender.



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