In China, when divorcing couples can’t agree on how to divide their assets, the family home typically goes to the men, even though Chinese women (and their parents) contribute to more than 70 percent of mortgages and 90 percent of cash purchases of homes. Because homes are often registered under the man’s name, the wife forfeits that investment by law.
This is one of the common practices still in existence today that demonstrates the old Chinese saying: “Raising a daughter is like watering someone else’s garden.”
However, the financial world’s dated viewpoints on men and women aren’t just limited to foreign countries. In the U.S., males are often trusted to handle the family investments, something author Meredith Jones says should change in her new book, “Women of the Street: Why Female Money Managers Generate Higher Returns (And How You Can Too).”
Jones writes that women’s specific characteristics can, in some situations, offer higher value. Women tend to be more conservative when it comes to money management, both personally and professionally, and a Vanguard study revealed that during the 2007-08 financial crisis, accounts led by women lost 13 percent, while accounts led by men lost 16 percent.
Women were less likely to sell at or near market lows, and thus yield better returns, in part because of their conservative nature.
Although women, as a whole, currently make less than men, it’s possible that they could out earn their male counterparts over the course of their lifetimes. More women graduate from college than men, and they have longer lifespans. With people living and working longer than ever, it might not be long before women are retiring with more money despite a disadvantage in pay.
All of this brings to mind the story of the tortoise (women) and the hare (men). Perhaps with less flash and more plodding, conservative discipline wins the race. It did in the fable and may be the key to success in real life. Careful financial planning is no secret, and it’s a strategy men should practice as well.
Whether you’re a tortoise or a hare, we’re here to help you determine strategies that can help you feel more confident in your financial future. Give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have.