The investment industry is still a male-dominated game. The vast majority of money managers, analysts and bankers are male. While more women than ever before are achieving success in the business world, some of the world's biggest companies have female CEOs, including PepsiCo, Hewlett Packard and IBM. Even Facebook has a female Chief Operating Officer - Sheryl Sandberg. Women are also making a difference in the investment world. Every year, Barron's publishes a list of the top 100 female financial advisers in the industry. This list is a good sign that women are playing increasingly larger roles in a business traditionally dominated by men.

SEE: The Myths And Realities Of Women In Finance

Are Women Better Investors?
There have been a few publications that suggest women are safer investors. In 2011, a study by Barclay's Capital suggested that women's portfolios perform better than men's do. The study refers to the fact that women, by nature, tend to be more cautious than men, as women generally prefer more buy-and-hold assets over riskier ones. The study adds that women tend to be more protective of their belongings, wear their seat belts more often and put a greater value on self-possession than men do. These attributes suggest that women also care more about safety. This risk aversion likely helps shape the investment portfolios of many female investors.

SEE: How Do Women Compete In A Man's World?

Research shows that most men tend to embrace risk more than their female counterparts when it comes to investing. A study conducted by professors from the University of Colorado in 1996 showed that men were more likely to hold riskier assets and that the percentage of these investments were higher in men's retirement funds than that of women's. In 2009, The Wall Street Journal set out to answer the question of what sex was the better investor. Two finance professors concluded that, on average, a woman's investment portfolio outperformed a male investor by one full percentage point. They determined that women, by nature, put safety ahead of most needs and that this habit carried over into investing. As a group, women are more concerned with avoiding losses than men are.

SEE: Women And Finance: Is There A Gender Bias?

The Bottom Line
The idea that men are more capable than women in becoming successful investors is nonsense. Warren Buffett, perhaps the greatest investor of all time, said that the most important thing in investing is to avoid losses. In other words, Buffett is suggesting that financial safety and risk aversion are important factors in ensuring a successful investment career. Therefore, it seems that many women already have a leg up on men due to their natural aversion to risk.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Why did Wal-Mart's Stock Take a Fall in 2015?

    Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, with a sterling track-record of profits and dividends. So why has its stock fallen sharply in 2015?
  2. Investing News

    Should You Invest in Disney Stock Before Star Wars?

    The force is strong with Disney stock, as it continues to make gains going into the launch of EP7. But is this pricey stock a good buy at these levels?
  3. Investing News

    Silicon Valley Startups Fly into Space

    Space enthusiasts are in for an exciting time as Silicon Valley startups take on the lucrative but expensive final frontier.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Buying Vanguard Mutual Funds Vs. ETFs

    Learn about the differences between Vanguard's mutual fund and ETF products, and discover which may be more appropriate for investors.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 8 Most Popular Vanguard Funds for a 401(k)

    Learn about some of the mutual funds in Vanguard's lineup that are popular among 401(k) investors, and find out why you should consider them.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How to Reinvest Dividends from ETFs

    Learn about reinvesting ETF dividends, including the benefits and drawbacks of dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) and manual reinvestment.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Mutual Funds for Retirement

    Discover the top Vanguard target-date retirement funds with target dates in 2020, 2030 and 2050, and learn about the characteristics of these funds.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Funds that Track the Top 500 Companies

    Discover the three Vanguard funds tracking the S&P 500 Index, and learn about the characteristics and historical statistics of these funds.
  9. Stock Analysis

    Southwest Vs. Virgin Vs. JetBlue: Comparing Business Models

    Compare and contrast the business strategies and philosophies of three anti-establishment U.S. airlines: Southwest Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue.
  10. Trading Strategies

    How to Trade In a Flat Market

    Reduce position size by 50% to 75% in a flat market.
  1. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts?

    While the specific dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts vary by state, all states provide for the escheatment ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does mutual fund manager tenure matter?

    Mutual fund investors have numerous items to consider when selecting a fund, including investment style, sector focus, operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What happens if property is wrongfully escheated?

    If your financial accounts, such as bank, investment or savings accounts, are declared dormant and the managing financial ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center