By Melanie Hasty-Grant
5 Myths That Keep Women from Investing
I’ve heard some crazy reasons about why women shy away from investing and making financial decisions. Most folks have heard the saying, “Don’t believe everything you hear.” This statement is true. During my time as a financial advisor, these are the top 5 myths I would like to clear up.
1st Myth: Women are just not as good at math as men.
Women are not bad at math. Gender has nothing to do with cognitive ability. Women and men alike are able to conduct reasoning, comprehend complex situations, and practice problem-solving. As a matter of fact, most women who come to my office are the ones paying the bills for their household. If you can add,
subtract, multiply, and divide, you know enough “math” to understand investing.
2nd Myth: Women always try to avoid risk when it comes to investing.
While men often do have a larger appetite for risk, women are usually willing to take appropriate risk once they understand the investment. Studies on investment behavior indicate that men are more tolerant of risk than women and typically are more competitive. For instance, men will often allocate a greater proportion of their investment portfolio to stocks. Women are more cautious than men and want more information and preparation before making a decision about an investment purchase. However, once they have made a decision, they are willing to stick with the plan.
In terms of investment, higher risk is thought to mean higher returns. However ,it also means there is a higher risk of negative outcomes. Men’s willingness to take more risk also means a higher risk on the downside.
3rd Myth: Women require more education before they can make a financial decision.
When it comes to making a decision as important as money, doesn’t everyone want a certain amount of information? I don’t recommend blindly investing in something you know absolutely nothing about. In truth, we never stop learning; whether that be finance or in everyday life whether it be a man or a woman.
4th Myth: Women don’t care about investing.
I find that women really do care about creating a financially secure future. Women are not socialized to talk about money with their peers. They are usually taught that it is rude or impolite. Men don’t have that barrier. They widely talk about money and often treat investing as a competitive sport with their friends. I find that women are more focused on wealth preservation and are more interested in financial planning and cash-flow issues while men are more focused on wealth accumulation. However, both men and women care about creating a financially secure future and investing.
5th Myth: Men are better at investing.
Actually, we have discovered that this is not the case. Women are often as good, or better investors than men. While women are more cautious and rely on more information to invest, they also trade less often, stick with the plan, and it pays off for them in the long run.
For help on debunking the myths that keep women from investing go to www.waterstonewealth.com or call 918-272-1120. Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management.
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