There are countless studies out there trying to answer questions about how – and why – men and women invest differently. Do men tend to take more risks? Are women better at committing to a long-term strategy? Should advisors take different approaches with men and women as a result? A comprehensive study performed by Merrill Lynch offers a somewhat surprising, but also no-nonsense explanation when it comes to finance and investing—men and women aren't all that different.
Human beings, no matter what their gender, all share a common trait that can affect how we make investment decisions – our emotions. On the other hand, the strengths of a good investor, such as patience, analytical attention to detail, and long-term focus are common across both men and women.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the findings of Merrill Lynch’s research paper, titled “Women and Investing: A Behavioral Finance Perspective.” Perhaps the most important finding of them all, however, comes straight from the lead researcher and Head of Behavioral Finance at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Michael Liersch: “What should really drive investment decisions are your financial priorities, and those are very personal. They have nothing to do with gender.”[+] Read More