Why Women Are Wary Investors
The main reason why women don’t take investment decisions is that they are safety oriented and reluctant to take risk, notes a survey
It took nearly a decade, truck-loads of ridicule, a smart name-change and numerous spot-on market calls before the world began taking Geraldine Weiss, one of America’s first successful women investment advisors, seriously.
When Geraldine started off as an investment advisor in the 1960s, no one would come to her for advice, despite her education in business and finance. The male chauvinistic Wall Street could not stomach the idea of taking investment advice from a woman. “What do women know about bulls and bears?” they thought.
In 1966, Geraldine started an investment newsletter, Investment Quality Trends (IQ Trends), but sharks and minions of the Wall Street would still not take (or read) her advice. Some quick out-of-the-box thinking and she knew what to do! She decided to sign her newsletter ‘G. Weiss’ – a perfect masculine name to dupe the male ego.
Soon people started subscribing to Geraldine’s IQ Trends. They followed her value-investing strategies which delivered decent returns even in bad market phases. It was only in mid-70s Geraldine revealed her true identity. But by that time, she was a bankable advisor on the Wall Street. IQ Trends is still a widely followed investment newsletter in the US. Geraldine retired from active investment advice in 2003.
That’s the story of an early-bird woman investment professional, who made it big in the big man’s world of stockmarkets.
A 2011 survey by Catalyst Research says that finance is still a male-dominated profession, especially at the top. While women in US account for 55 per cent of professionals in finance, they make up only 16 per cent at executive level and 3 per cent at CEO levels.
Blog entries by various self-styled experts say that women lose their investment acumen when they hit the family road. Some writers have even discovered hormonal links to this premise. The exact reason for lower number of women investment professionals is still a mystery. Even when it comes to their personal investments, not many women are known to take their own decisions.
A recent DSP Blackrock Investment Managers-Nielsen survey, conducted on 4,750 women from India, reveal that about 77 per cent of working women depend on spouse or their parents for their investment decisions. Only a miniscule 23 per cent of the surveyed working women claim to be sole decision makers. Just about 18 per cent single working women make their own investment calls.
Shailesh Menon- See more at: http://www.businessworld.in/news/finance/why-women-are-wary-investors/1017641/page-1.html#sthash.fNZcD52o.dpuf