A Woman’s World

A study finds women remain calm when the market behaves poorly

When the market takes a wild swing downward, it can be tempting to freak out. While you probably know by now that the best course of action during this time is inaction, keeping a cool head and your fingers off your portfolio can be easier said than done. But there are gender differences. A new report has added more evidence to the notion that when the stock market gets tough, women stay much stronger than men.

The report, from Europe-based robo-advisor Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd., found that when the market is fluctuating wildly, men are four times more likely to back out from investments than women. The researchers studied more than 50,000 UK-based investors over the course of six years. They found that when the market went through “violent price moves” (any time it swung by more than 1.5 times its typical volatility) women remained more steady than men. This calmness during times of uncertainty is a good quality to have. “It’s good to see that female investors are staying the course during periods of market volatility,” Shaun Port, chief investment officer at Nutmeg Services, told Bloomberg. “This is likely to put them in a better financial position in the long-term.”

The Nutmeg report is just the latest study that showed women are better at navigating the stock market than men. Last year, research from Fidelity Investments found that women not only save more than men, their investments earn more as well. Another report, from UC Berkeley and UC Davis professors, found that male investors earn less than female investors annually because the men are overconfident, which leads them to trade unnecessarily. When it comes to the stock market, research has shown women seem to know best.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea

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