It seems overconfidence may be causing men to make bad decisions -- and proving that women constitute the more successful half of the species.
A new study, conducted by Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research, has apparently shown that women are less likely to take risks, at least on Wall Street. According to TIME, this risk-adverse mentality keeps female traders from making rash decisions.
The study made waves when the Wall Street Journal's David Weidner centered his column around it.
From Weidner's column:
The study supported previous findings that women tend to make more. A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. Moreover, an academic study in 2009 found women made 1% more annually.
Other studies have also backed up these results and even shown that during the height of the financial crisis women were more likely to buy and hold, as compared to men.
More recently, in 2009, a study by the mutual fund company Vanguard involving 2.7 million personal investors concluded that during the recent financial crisis, men were more likely than women to sell shares of stocks at all-time lows, leading to bigger losses among male traders. It also meant fewer gains when some of the stock values began to rise again.
The reason for this risky overconfidence in men might come down to biology. According to The Guardian, some studies have suggested that testosterone actually surges in men during winning streaks, and could potentially drive them to make rasher decisions.
The phenomenon is very similar to the so-called "winner effect," which is most often associated with athletes, and specifically, steroid use, according toTIME.