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.