Women Are Different Than Men

When it comes to women investing, I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Einstein: “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.

So instead of trying to do it ‘their way,’ it’s time we value the feminine perspective. Let’s look at 5 ways the genders differ:

#1: Our Impetus for Investing

Men are very motivated by profit, perks, personal gain. No matter how much they have, amassing more is a powerful incentive.

Not women. Once we’re financially stable, we’re rarely motivated by money. Sure, we want to profit. But what really inspires us is helping others.

#2: Our Reasons for Giving

Men like to help others too. But for different reasons. According to the University of Indiana’s School of Philanthropy, men give to have a building named after them, pressure from office or peers, or a seat on the board.

Women give to make a difference, pass on family tradition, and give back to community.

What’s also interesting: women generally donate more than men, but they give in much smaller amounts to twice as many organizations, diluting the impact they make.

#3: Our Communication Style

Men communicate to obtain information, establish status, and show independence. It’s all about the transaction. They prefer to focus on the facts, talk about performance, wanting to be right, looked up to and feel in control.

Women communicate to create relationships and make connections so we can build rapport, develop trust, feel understood, accepted and acknowledged.

#4: Our Risk Tolerance

Men are wired to be risk takers. They enter the market, like their prehistoric ancestors hunted for wild game—boldly, bravely, with the expectation of gain

Women see investing as a threat, so we avoid the markets like our ancestors fled from wooly mammoths. Thus, investing can be a very scary, emotional process. Sadly, in the financial world, conversations about emotions are considered too touch-feely.

However, once we women are in the market, we tend to trade less and invest long term, a much smarter strategy (but not a common male strategy) making us more successful than men over time.

#5: Our Learning Styles

Men like to learn through trial and error. Women prefer to be taught about finances, mostly in groups.

According to an Emory University study, “the pleasure and reward centers of their brain light up if [women] can work towards their financial goals in a cooperative way with other women.”

­This is why I created The Wealth Connection, a virtual community of like-minded women, where we openly and authentically talk about our financial dreams and the stumbling blocks that get in our way. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Have traditional financial resources left you feeling like a “fish out of water”? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments & Feedback

  • Lisa


    I thought of you last week!

    I had to negotiable two weeks paid vacation in August. I could feel my inner maid/martyr going to war with my inner Queen! My job is quite intense, so my inner maid was worried about inconveniencing people by taking half a month off. She really thought I was rocking the boat by taking some time off earlier in May and couple days off in June, too. She was even worried about oneday getting fired.

    The fear was real. Going into that meeting room to request time off was like walking into an exam room, but my inner Queen knew I had to do it and reminded me of why I contribute so much value to my job and planned the right way to say it. My inner princess wanted me to have one of those long Summer’s that seemed to go forever – the same kind of carefree summers I had as a child. My inner Queen reminded me of my executive father who took long block leave too.

    I got what I wanted! As what my inner Queen expected, there was a little bit of retaliation, but my Queen always knew our department culture of taking off two days around the weekend was wrong as an annual vacation.

    Barbara, can you please tell me the chronological order of your published books? I’ve read PCIC, I want to read the next one.

  • barbara huson

    I LOVE what you wrote, Lisa, especially how you named the different parts of yourself (Queen, made, princess) and how you explained the process you went through to get time off. So well done. Congrats on your success.

    After I wrote PCIC, I wrote Secrets of Six-Figure Women, then Overcoming Underearning, then Sacred Success, and finally Rewire for Wealth. Thanks for asking.

  • Lisa

    SSFW is the next book I’m ordering, as I seem to be negotiating a lot this year and I’m really noticing certain characteristics between women who financially struggle and women financially succeed.

    You’re so right about doing something that scares you. I would have resented my job if I didn’t do it and as a result it’s given other people permission to do what they want to do including the CEO of my company. He’s now going on a vacation for two weeks!

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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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