Do Men And Women View Investments Differently?Wealth Prime
As the gender plays quite an essential role in each and every aspect of the society, it invariably has its footprints on the investment sector too. The economy and the gender difference is going a long way in the history. When humans started to form as a family and as an extension as a society, the gender difference and the decision to who will handle the economy had taken its roots. Some societies allow women also in equal footing with men to involve in the economic activities. Some of society’s men dominate the sector. Against the myth of women equality, it is found the developed countries discourage their women from participating in the economic affairs. In the ‘traditional’ societies, women find their way to make an imprint in the economic sector firmly. However, the contributions of women are always undervalued systematically from the beginning of the economic history of the world.
However times are changing. We now live in a world where men and women work equally and carry responsibilities. This is specially the case with urban life where there are salaried individuals, and on other hand have their short and long term financial plans in life to achieve targets and goals. Now that there is certain standard of living in urban lives, there have been certain checklists and things sorted out and planned ahead. These are done through way of investments into different instruments to get returns. Although men and women are equally concerned and planned on how to go about investments, there are innate and minute differences on how the perceptions change. In this article let us see how men and women making investments view differently and how their perceptions change. There are several factors and characteristics defining the underlying cause.
Lack of Adequate Educational Opportunities
As the root cause, the women were not encouraged to pursue their education or professional career in the economic sector. The opportunities were proven to be barriers for women. There is only one woman economics laureate stands as a testimony for this argument. Similarly, the women’s contribution to the economy is also undervalued by not even taking their day to day activities in calculating the GDP of the many countries.
Women definitely view investment differently than men for the reasons of insecurity provided by society. Women are always attributed to the risk aversion characteristic, which is believed to be key to the investment sector. The risk aversion comes with the amount of money controlled by the individual. If the women were also given an equal opportunity to control the money as men, they would also take the risk and invest better than what they do now.
Moreover, most of the societies believe it is the man’s job to provide for the family, and naturally push the money and property to the hands of men leading to men having upper hand in the investment sector too. However, the factor of risk aversion proves to be one of the vital factor in making profits from the investment sector. Women were given credit for giving more importance for the slower growing things such as investment in gold and microcredits,which are considered to be more tangible than the virtual money, which is dominating the current investment sector.
Bankers, investment brokers, and the economic sector is mostly affiliated and pictured as the men’s world. These sectors also have a negative connotation in general, which perpetuates the notion of being crooked and deceiving the others in order to make profits. Women cannot be viewed to hold the positions in this sector because women cannot be attributed to these characteristics.
The risk factor
An HSBC research carried out to understand the investment patterns among men and women proves that men are more independent and impulsive and play their cards in the untested waters. Whereas, 17 percent of women spent nearly month researching before investing their money against the 13 percent of men doing the same. Women take holistic approach take their own time to make decisions before investing, whereas the men seem to be more risk-
taking and jumping the gun in decisions making.
The different set of studies also suggest there is not much difference among the men and women in the investment sector. Thought female users considered themselves as conservatives in practice, but when coming to investing in the riskier investments, women came nearly equal to the men questioning the myth of women not choosing to invest in the riskier investments.
Women’s perception of the investment is highly cultural, subject to societal pressures and facilities provided to them. There is a dire need of conducting further studies building upon the existing findings in this sector. A nation or society cannot achieve or claimed to be developed if it is leaving behind half of the population that is women of that society.
The goals of both men and women are also invariably quite different. While men mostly focus on short term and portfolio performances, women mostly think of longer-term goals, security, and independence. They both more on lifestyle changes, life in the long term, retirement, and further benefits. While men hence react to short term changes more and do not hold to investments longer, women tend to take a ride on ups and downs on focus on the long term.
Attitude and preferences
There is also an inbuilt difference between men and women and their attitude. Men are mostly risk taking as mentioned above and hence, they have an optimistic and positive attitude on investments. Hence at times, this also leads to an aggressive approach, has over estimation and performance qualities. Women see more through pessimist outlook and can miss out certain opportunities.
On the other hand, as same as any sector, women prove to handle the investment sector too much efficiently than men. However, they should be given correct orientation and proper guidance to fill the historical injustice committed to women in the investment and economic sector. Given the many gaps are eliminated, women and men can come on line to see investments in similar patterns and manner. All we can do to estimate their investment behaviour is through their attitudes and perceptions on money and finances, through their social habits, attitudes, and strengths.