Cash battle of the sexes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am


A study conducted by a fund manager shows men are more active accumulators of wealth than women.

Fidelity Worldwide Investment has published the Fidelity Men's Wealth Management Study, which examines Hong Kong men's investment behaviour and attitudes towards investment and retirement planning.

The study is the latest in the company's Investor Education Series and aims to analyse men's self-perceived investment strategy and explore areas of opportunity where Fidelity can help better plan investments or control finances.

The study interviewed 530 men aged 25 to 54 last month.

Fidelity says the study showed that men earn more than women on the whole, while there is a big difference in earnings between married men and women. There are more men than women who earn in excess of HK$40,000 a month. Thus, their investment attitude and behaviour are comparatively influential.

The study also shows that men are more active accumulators of wealth, owning on average more investment products than women (3.9 to 2.5), and with a higher propensity to invest (HK$3,000 v HK$2,000 per month), aiming primarily for wealth accumulation, followed by retirement protection.

Men also tend to grow wealth by reviewing investment portfolios more frequently and investing more actively compared to women, with 72 per cent reviewing their portfolios at least once a month and more than a quarter reviewing them at least once a week. Additionally, 32 per cent of men perceive themselves as aggressive investors, who are ready to accept considerable volatility and even negative fluctuation in their investments, the study showed.

Among the other aspects of the study were the fact that men's investment behaviour and even investor performance divide into distinct bands according to personality types.

'Workaholic' and 'money-oriented' men have the highest expectations of their investment returns, with more of this type going for very short-term investments. Prudent and conservative investors, meanwhile, are more likely to be 'family men'.

The 'laid-back' personality, though, tends not only to be impulsive investors, but also have the highest chance to lose, with nearly 70 per cent having lost in investment in the past two years.

Their investment losses are substantially higher than for the other personality types.

Men of this personality also review their investment portfolios less often than others, with 36 per cent reviewing their retirement portfolios only once a year. They are also more reliant on online platforms when making investment decisions.