There was an interesting and surprising piece on Forbes.com about women’s greatest financial fears. Reportedly (the article didn’t actually say how it came up with its list), women’s top ten financial fears include finding themselves suddenly destitute (“the bag lady syndrome” – the article noted that even Katie Couric suffers from this fear), being unable to support themselves if they don’t marry, not being smart enough to learn about money, asking for a raise, falling for a financial scam, being a burden on their families, diminishing their career potential if they opt to be home with their kids for a while, having to support an aging relative, not having enough cash for emergencies, and letting someone down through a bad financial decision.
Wow, that’s a lot to worry about! There are all sorts of fascinating differences between how men and women deal with money (I’ll have a lot to say about this at the upcoming MoneySmart Marriage workshop). Among the most noteworthy research findings, men tend to be more comfortable taking on higher levels of investment risk, but women have better track records as investors (men are more likely to buy a “hot investment” without doing any research whatsoever!). And, while men often overstate their income, women often overstate how much debt they have.
Bottom line? Women should give themselves much more credit as money managers. Then again, maybe it’s the fact that they are not overconfident that serves them so well. What do you think?