Gender Matters: Investing Still a Man’s World

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When it comes to making investment decisions among households with at least $3 million in assets to invest, more than 75% of men believe they are better qualified to decide than their spouses. Only 18% of women say they are better qualified.

According to a survey by the private wealth management arm of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), 73% of men agree that they have more say in investment decisions than their spouses, while only 15% of women claim to have more influence. A company executive cited at CNNMoney said:

The social norm from an investing standpoint has tended to be that men have generally seemed more interested and have tended to take the lead in terms of investments.

That is certainly the case among the boomer generation, but in younger married couples almost half say that investing decisions are shared equally. The Bank of America executive noted:

The younger generation of women seems to have more interest in sharing decisions in general, and the younger generation of men or husbands are interested in their spouses assisting.

As investable assets decline couples share decisions more, likely because their resources are more limited.

Among the well-off, 77% of women believe they play an equal role in household budgeting, while just 52% of the men say that the roles are equal.

The one area in which women inarguably dominate is philanthropy. Nearly 90% of men and women say that the women either makes decisions on charitable giving or is an equal partner in the decision.

Paul Ausick

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