Men vs Women

Note to the financial industry: women are not men. Even though advisors are tripping over each other trying to woo women’s business, they are talking to us just like they do men. Big mistake.

As Einstein once declared, “If you ask a fish to climb a tree, she’ll always feel stupid.” Same is true with money. If you try to approach finances like a man, you’ll always feel like a fish out of water.

True, money knows no gender. But women think and communicate very differently than men.  Apparently, the financial world hasn’t gotten the memo.

Let me explain 3 important differences between the sexes.

First, our reasons for investing are different. Men are highly motivated by profit, perks, prestige. No matter how much they have, the idea of having more is a powerful incentive.

Not women. Sure we may desire more money. But once we’re financially stable, we’re rarely motivated by money alone. What motivates us is helping others, giving back to our communities, making a difference.

Second, we communicate differently. Men are transaction oriented. They want to focus on the facts, talk about performance, establish status and show independence.

Women are more emotional and ‘other’ oriented. We communicate to create relationships, build rapport, develop trust.

He wants to be right, looked up to and feel in control. She wants to feel understood, accepted and acknowledged.

Third, our brains process financial information differently. Men see the market as an exciting challenge. Women see investing as a threat.

That’s because, historically, men have been groomed to be risk takers. They enter the market like their prehistoric ancestors hunted wild game—boldly, bravely, with the expectation of gain.

Women, traditionally groomed to be care-takers, tend to be risk adverse. We look at the market, see the possibility of loss and hold back in self protection, terrified of making mistakes.

But here’s what’s so cool. This is precisely why women are better investors than men. We trade less, taking a long term buy & hold strategy, which is much more profitable over time.

I believe, if more women understood these differences, instead of trying to do it “their way,” we’d learn to honor our true nature and value the feminine perspective.

Is there a standard bit of financial advise that just never seemed right to you as a woman? Tell me about it below.

Comments & Feedback

  • Suzy

    Dear Barbara
    I’ve been receiving your newsletter for some years now and they are always so rich with wisdom and learning.
    Thank you yet again for a fab newsletter, and most importantly, thank you for your contribution to the equality, safety and development of women in the world.

    • barbara huson

      Thank you so much Suzy. Your comments made my heart smile. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this lovely message! Sending hugs of gratitude. B

  • Mary Stephenson

    Want to thank you for motivating me to learn about investing. It was a journey that I needed to take by myself. I thought about it for a while and somehow came across dividend investing. Which triggered an investment in learning. After a few months I felt I could cash in my CD and give it a shot. Confirming my thoughts, I had a conversation with a family member who was doing very well off of his dividends. He had much more to invest than I did. I have an immediate growth with only in the market for about a month. It is for the long term and I was careful when to get in. A lot of my funds are still waiting to have a buy. With less than $11 of interest on 44 grand a year… I absolutely had to do something. The only problem is I should have started 20 years ago.

    And yes, my hubby thinks entirely different on investing. Jump into make a lot of money, but neither of us had the stomach for options. I don’t like to take risks. The money I am using is mine from a 401K I had to cash out on. I don’t think he agrees with me, but it is my security I am concerned about. So I am working on it, to take care of me if he is not around as long as I am.

    I think we as women absolutely have to look out for ourselves, as usually we are the low earners and everything we can do to combat against that we should try to strife for.

    Your story motivated me and for that I am grateful.

    • barbara huson

      You sound like a very smart and very strong woman, Mary, making very smart decisions. Your approach to investing is much sounder, safer and more sustainable over a long period than your husband. I hope you’ll keep trusting yourself…it will pay off.

  • Lisa

    The advice from Rachael Cruze and Dave Ramsay that if you’re not sharing a bank account with your husband it means your marriage is a sham and you’re both living as roommates never felt right to me as a woman.

    Sharing a bank account can create codependency, discourage interdependence, and personal growth. There’s nothing sexier knowing I have my own funds to privately talk to a counselor or lawyer if I ever need to.

    • barbara huson

      You’re preaching to the choir here, Lisa. I whole heartedly agree to you. I can’t believe Cruze and Ramsey are actually preach that nonsense. Yet another way of disempowering women. I’m glad you’re smart enough to see the truth and think for yourself! Way to go.

      • Lisa

        Thanks, Barbara.

        The most empowering thing a woman can have is her own bank account with some emergency cash in it!

        An Insecure spouse would love to merge all accounts as a form of micro. managing the other spouse – keeping tabs on everything they do with each transaction! A lazy spouse would love this setup, too. They get to work two days a week while withdrawing from their partner’s full time wage!

        The author of Men are from Mars believes women should have something outside there of their husband to keep them happy.

  • Karen Bemmes

    I don’t have any advice that didn’t sit right, but so much of what I want to do after getting our finances where I want them to be is directed at helping others help themselves. I do feel like helping others is part of my DNA and is why I do what I do for a living and love it. For me, any financial plan beyond taking care of our needs must include giving back to make our community stronger in every way. Thanks for helping me put that into words.

    • barbara huson

      Beautiful, Karen. I wholeheartedly agree. It’s important to give back. Thanks for sharing this. You’re a wonderful role model!

  • Colleen

    Hi Barbara,
    This forum and your platform Barbara has helped solidify the fact that I need to hold onto my own bank account no matter what my relationship status.
    I’m spending less, saving more, and investing wisely all the while giving generously (something I learned from you Barbara!)
    Thanks for all the wise experiences and useful information!

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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