Research suggests that the global financial system would be in better shape if Wall Street's risk taking big swinging dicks were replaced with financially prudent big swinging vaginas; women, it seems, are better equipped to handle investment decisions without making a big mess of things. And the reason women make better investors than men? Their lady emotions. Quick, someone install 500 officially licensed Twilight fainting couches on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange!
ABC News reports that neuroscientist Richard Peterson has spent years challenging the idea that all emotion should be removed from investing. Reacting too emotionally while investing is bad; it's hard to buy stocks when you're crying/laughing maniacally into your piles of money all the time and it's hard to make a profit when every hint of bad news has you on the phone with your broker screaming "SELL!" Similarly, managing investments without emotion is a bad call (plus, it's nearly impossible unless you're some sort of Dick Cheneyesque robot) because the market moves so quickly that by the time the cold, hard numbers line up with an initial gut feeling, it may be too late to get in on the ground floor. In spite of this reality, people still attempt to invest as though they don't have any feelings about what happens to all that coin they're kicking around, and that's where a lot of trouble starts.
When investors think they're making money decisions with the steadfast, logical manparts of their brains, they're actually repressing emotions and harming their overall return, argues Peterson, and because his research found that women tend to be more in touch with their emotions, they're better equipped to identify when they're experiencing what's called "a feeling" and circumventing what it's telling them to do. So, if a woman's ladybrain told her to invest in something with a terrible business model called Kittens, Incorporated, a female investor would be more likely to understand that her desire to own stock in the company was based on the fact that kittens are adorable and that she's ignoring the company's less than stellar P/E ratio. A male investor would be more likely to defend his decision to invest in the company by saying he's impressed by CEO Business Cat's financial acumen when, in reality, he, too, thinks kittens are the world's most adorable growth industry.
Peterson also found that men are also more likely to manage their portfolios pridefully, selling a profitable stock more quickly to access both tangible proof that their buy was totally fucking all star and the ensuing high fives from their trader type coworkers. Women, on the other hand, will hold bullish stocks longer before selling and thus realize bigger gains. Ladies will unload their bad stocks more quickly and men tend to hang on, hoping their bad investment will turn around and prove them right. To sell is to admit defeat, and no Leader of Men wants to admit a mistake.
The belief that women or men are naturally wired to think a certain way is up for debate; a depressing number of people still think that women are "naturally" all sorts of dumb stuff because of the direct telephone line between a woman's ovaries and her smaller, pinker brain. But whatever the cause of women's tendency to take fewer risks and work with rather than against their emotions, Peterson thinks that women would be better off holding more of the purse strings in the future. If only they could be trusted to not spend it all on shoes.