Venus trumps Mars: Women make better investors than men

The testosterone-packed floor of the New York Stock Exchange, filled with investors screaming to buy and sell could use a little more feminine intuition, according to research by psychiatrist Richard L. Peterson.

Peterson, who makes a living off of understanding how emotion plays into the decisions made by investors, found that because women understand their emotions better than men, they are able to control those emotions, allowing them to make better investment decisions.

According to ABC News, Peterson’s findings fight the myth that investments and emotions don’t mix.

“He has found that the role of emotions in investing can actually be positive — if you’re sufficiently aware of them,” ABC News reported. This led me to examine a person’s fear of ramifications from showing emotions, even if it has a positive consequence.

Both women and men are afraid to show moments of anger or sadness because they might come off as weak or unprofessional in front of peers, or those who look up to them.

If a woman cries or has a miniature meltdown at the office, her coworkers might brush it off as women being emotional.

If a man reacts to an event in a similar way, he could be chastised. This is just the odd way that our society views femininity and masculinity.  Men who express their emotions are referred to as sissies or some other derogatory term indicating that they “have lost their man card.”

If a woman slips into a moment of sadness or anger at work it could be a sign of their vulnerability and incompetence.

However, when men have an impulsive moment, they are often perceived as being passionate about the issue. It works both ways. The good old boys certainly don’t want a woman’s crybaby attitude ruining their business.

This research by Peterson, though, has debunked the stereotype that emotions should not be a factor in investing or monetary matters. The suit and tie dominated world of investment banking should make way for flattering pantsuits and pearls.

Throwing out this stereotype for good would open up doors for women. The fear of being perceived as overly emotional may have held women back from filling powerful positions alongside their bosses.

Instead of rushing into decisions based on pride and pressure, men should take a hint from women. Peterson said in the ABC News article that men tend to take more risks and end up over-trading. This is not the pack of gum at the grocery counter; rather this is potentially millions of dollars in stock.

Take control of your emotions in order to arm yourself with great decision-making skills. The outcome is better than a rushed decision without feeling.

With any decision, gather more insight before you take the plunge. Think like a woman.

 

Reach the columnist at tafergu1@asu.edu
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