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Survey: Men Take More Risk Investing than Women Do

By Dan Weil   |   Friday, 22 Mar 2013 08:31 AM

A new study shows that men are investing more and taking more investment risk than women are.

Men have invested more money in taxable securities, their 401(k) accounts, IRAs and savings accounts than women have, according to the survey, CNBC reports

The only accounts in which women have higher average balances are low-risk/low-reward money-market funds.

Editor's Note:
'It’s Curtains for the US' — Hear Unapologetic Warning from Prophetic Economist.

The report comes from the online debt-management program SaveUp, which analyzed data from account balances entered by 20,000 of the site's users during the past month,

The average man with a savings account has a balance nearly twice that of the average woman, according to the report, while the average IRA balance for a man is 72 percent higher than that for a woman, and men own 30 percent more taxable investments than women do.

The disparity may well widen in the future. "Insufficient market exposure is going to cause a compounding gap over time," Priya Haji, CEO and co-founder of SaveUp, tells CNBC.

There is one financial area in which women are superior to men: debt. The average woman owes $34,645, compared with $42,842 for the average man.

Still, Haji sees women as unwilling to take enough risk. “It's broader than just money. This is an aspect of our nature," she explains

To be sure, there are advantages of being risk averse. If women were overweight cash going into the 2008-09 financial crisis, they came out better than a lot of men. And there will be other times when a large cash position serves investors well too.

Moreover, some of women’s investment shortfall compared with men probably reflects that fact that they’re often paid less than men are and sometimes leave the work force — and a steady paycheck — to have children.

An interesting question for another study might be how happy men and women are about their financial positions. Beyond providing for their needs, it’s difficult to know if men and women on average desire the same amount of wealth.

Editor's Note: 'It’s Curtains for the US' — Hear Unapologetic Warning from Prophetic Economist.

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