Investments Not Gender Influenced

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    When it comes to investing, gender differences may be overstated, says a report from the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Institute. Its study of 11,500 investors found that while men and women differ in their approach to investment decision-making, gender is less a determinant of investing success than other social, demographic, and circumstantial factors. It aims to challenge conclusions drawn from research that has found women tend to be more risk averse, are less engaged in investment decision-making, and trade less often. Its research found that men and women who have a similar level of financial knowledge share similar risk behavior. The greatest differentiating factor among investors is their perceived financial knowledge and women are more likely than men to say they have lower levels of financial knowledge. “Our research reinforces the importance of concentrating on the unique, personal goals of each investor. Doing so can identify a deeper understanding of the individual’s concerns and priorities which may better align investments to achieve the outcomes the investor desires,” says Michael Liersch, head of behavioural finance for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.