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He Did What?
I must give kudos here to David Weidner of MarketWatch for his piece on “Women are Better Investors and Here’s Why,” where he discussed the “Weiner Principal.” Yes, you guessed it; Weidner is using ex-congressman Anthony Weiner as a basis for his theory on why women are better investors, hence the Weiner Principle.
Men crack, according to Weidner, or as he puts it, “We men just make bad decisions. We can't help it. We’re men.” I can’t help but chuckle (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha) here, Mr. Weidner, but you’re right about Anthony Weiner “putting us men in a pickle,” and I, as well as many women, do indeed have a beef with this Weiner—his stupidity cost him his time in the spotlight via Twitter and a Smartphone and he’s not alone!
There are others in the finance world—big shots such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in charge of the International Monetary Fund. He’s got not just one woman accusing him of rape, but now two.
Then there’s Todd Thomson, the CFO of Citigroup Inc., who just couldn’t let go of his mistress Maria Bartiromo (of CNBC). Maria came through the affair stunningly where Todd—well he’s really a nobody now, just plain old Todd who probably forgot how to count to ten.
So why do men lose it and women don’t when it comes to investments and finance?
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The Stronger Sex: It's Not Men!
My father had four children—all of them girls. I asked my mother years ago if he had been disappointed he didn’t have a son and she said, “Never!” Of course my mom is still alive at 84 and all my sisters are in great health, but as my husband likes to refer to my father, “Dead Andy never had a chance.”
I remember my husband and I visiting my Dad's grave in Pennsylvania and found to my dismay the tombstone was sinking under the perpetual care cemetery. My husband, the funnier of us two (hmm), offered, “That’s because you women buried him in a non-Catholic Cemetery! He’s trying to get out of Heathen Hollow!” I argued, “Maybe he just wants another crack at taming his women?” But I digress.
Again, according to MarketWatch’s Weidner, a study by Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research (BWLR) found we of the fairer sex are not as confident as men so we just don’t like risky things like the stock market. Hold on here. Those so insightful who offered the study from BWLR also said and I quote, “Men have higher composure than women; that is, they are less likely to believe they are stressed.” The key word here is “believe,” girlfriends everywhere. Men believe a lot of things—and most of the things they believe have nothing to do with the real world. In fact, their decision-making does seem to come from south of the border if you get my meaning.
Weidner mentions other studies in his article indicating that because women are so stressed out, we tend to trade less and we also hold on to investments longer than men so we earn more while the men aren’t happy with the same old Bambi—Oops! I mean candy.
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The Problem With Men Investors
In my opinion, there is a problem with men who invest: they are too quick to make decisions and don’t look at all sides of an investment. They never ask themselves if something is too risky, especially if a cutie red-head with a voluptuous figure tells them to “go for it.” Nope, men jump in without reading the fine print where women read every single word before making a decision. Even if women get investment advice from Robert Redford-types, we aren’t impressed—we want to see facts, historic data and the potential for growth.
Men, on the other hand will invest in almost anything and why not? If they find it isn’t producing, they can always get rid of it and find something new—this is starting to sound like men’s life in general which now scares me. Don’t like the old wife because she has a headache all the time, get a new one. Tired of the BMW because your buddy has a Porsche, get a better car—why not a Lamborghini? Don’t think your biological kids are smart enough? Dump the wife and kids and marry a scholar-type with nerdy kids on the rise in the investment world so you have someone to talk to at night.
These revelations about men when it comes to investing all do seem to appear true really. I mean if you’re single, look at your Dad and if you’re married look at your husband. I bet it will take that female mind less than a minute to remember just one lousy investment they made—nope not less than a minute, less than a millisecond!
My husband and I invest and while I’d like to think it’s a joint thing, he really does his thing with the big boys (Morgan Stanley) and I handle my teeny tiny little portfolio alone with TD Ameritrade. He laughs at me and my penny stocks as he calls them and my ideas behind what to invest in. But you tell me—here’s what I do.
Prior to the start of the NFL season, I buy stock in Riddell helmets. After the holidays, I buy stock in Jenny Craig and so on. I have a plan here people and it works! Percentage wise, although my hubby’s portfolio is bigger when it comes to worth, I’m ahead about 75 percent on the investments I’ve made over our 22 years of marriage and I have no problem selling or staying, if I think the investment is worth it. Nor do I cry quietly into my pillow when I lose a big one (sorry honey but I’m trying to make a point here).
My husband’s plan is to chit chat with his broker a lot, and I’ve always heard him say things like “You do what you think is best” or “What do you think Bambi?” Yep he’s got a women as his investor and he likes her—big time!
One might think this bothers me, but it doesn’t. I know Bambi the investor would never really look at him seriously—I mean she’s a 30-ish babe and he’s well, let’s just say gravity doesn’t help men either. In any event, I never hear him say, “Bambi, I’ve made up my mind and I want 100 shares of this or that!” Nope, Bambi is the queen bee in his eyes.
If your husband thinks he’s better at decision making when it comes to investing, just let him have his day, gals. You know the old saying, “What’s mine is mine and what’s his is mine!” when it’s all said and done. It’s just a shame us ladies have to clean up the financial mess once they’ve moved on to where the grass is greener—or they’re under it.
I’d love to hear from other women out there—what does your man do when it comes to investments? I already know what Martha Stewart thinks and I say rock on, Martha, rock on. Indeed!
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The opinions expressed here are of the writer, and not necessarily the opinions of the site owners.
Weidner, David, MarketWatch (June 24 2011) “Women are Better Investors and Here’s Why" retrieved at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/women-are-better-investors-and-heres-why-2011-06-14
Kalaris, Thomas et al (March 2011) Barclays Wealth Insights: “The Role of Control in Financial Decision Making” retrieved at http://www.barclayswealth.com/Images/BWA-Barclays-Wealth-Insights.pdf
Anthony Weiner - Wikimedia Commons/U.S.Congress
Amazon Woman - Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
I'm With Stupid - Wikimedia Commons/HerAlc