It’s been documented by several studies that the female brain is physically different from the male brain, and that these differences can lead to varied behaviors and abilities. For instance, the female brain is apparently more inclined toward empathy and visual responses. Whether this is a difference in our brains, or just cultural evolution based on duties like child rearing, is unclear.
It does appear that women in general are less inclined toward statistics and more inclined toward stories with context and a lesson to be learned. Statistics are sound bites, used for an understanding of status and comparison, and valued more by the male brain. Women do value and use calculations, benchmarks, or data but not anywhere near the extent that men do.
Male Language in Football and the Stock Market
Football and the stock market are two concrete examples of statistic overload. Our sports are full of commentators spouting statistics, quite often just to fill dead air. Trevor Noah, a world renowned comedian expresses this very well in the first minute of his YouTube video “Trevor Noah on Sports in America”. He jokes how our country talks about the game before the game, then talks about the game after the game, and injects every statistic known to man during these conversations.
This behavior is also played out similarly with the stock market every single day. Data is presented before the opening bell, there are interviews and commentators during the day talking about market performance, and there are commentators and pundits’ reflecting on the market after it closes. Commentary includes what stocks performed or didn’t, the reasons why, and which might perform the next day. To what end? Day traders may want to use this information to feel like they’re getting an edge, but for everyone else this money talk is pretty useless. One day’s performance in the market is irrelevant. And stock movement cannot be predicted.
Statistics Need to be Useful
Meanwhile, this constant flow of market statistics and constant chatter can be intimidating to the average investor or non-investor. And it can be particularly alienating to women who just aren’t enamored with statistics the way men are. This is very likely one reason why women don’t migrate to investing the way men have – the industry speaks a foreign language.
Ignore the Sizzle. Go for the Steak.
My advice to women – ignore all the TV commentators. Most of these people haven’t outperformed the market in any way, so why listen to them? They’re talking to themselves, trying to build their own brand image. Its information clutter at its best with no useful guidance. Watch actual trends in the stock market.
Holding a diversified portfolio of stocks/bonds/mutual funds and revising it occasionally has proven to yield better results for investors. Just ask Warren Buffet – who apparently invests like a woman.
Related Blog: What is it with Warren Buffet, Women & Money?
Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Behavioral Cents, LLC and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.
BehavioralCents.com is a web site for women to help them understand and change their own money behaviors. Our mission is to better prepare women for financial independence by helping them save more through everyday habits. Thoughts always welcome: email@example.com.