Are men better investors than women? Gender differences in mutual fund and pension investments

Abstract

The majority of consumers lack awareness of how their financial situation will be when they retire. Women face a particularly severe situation. One reason is that reformed retirement systems are disadvantageous for women. Another reason is that women are much less interested to manage their money and to make long-term investments. This paper reviews prior studies on gender differences for financial consumers. Results are inconclusive and more research is needed to clarify when and why there are gender differences. This paper also analyses how the Swedish population has allocated their pension investments within the state pension system as well as the results from a nationally representative sample of consumers. There are less significant differences between expert men and women. Most differences are between novice men and women. Men are both more profit-oriented and more motivated to make financial investments than women are.

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Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges the helpful comments made by the Conference and Journal reviewers.

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Correspondence to Rita Martenson.

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Martenson, R. Are men better investors than women? Gender differences in mutual fund and pension investments. J Financ Serv Mark 13, 72–81 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1057/fsm.2008.7

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Keywords

  • gender differences
  • retail banking
  • pensions
  • mutual funds