Monday, January 30, 2006

"The Testosterone Factor in Mutual Funds"

Male and female portfolio managers behave differently.

That's according to "The Testosterone Factor in Mutual Funds," Mark Hulbert's "Strategy" column in the Jan. 29
New York Times. His article reports on the findings of an academic study, "Sex matters: Gender and Mutual Funds" by Stefan Ruenzi and Alexandra Niessen.

The bottom line?

The two groups performed comparably
on a risk-adjusted basis. The women excelled at style consistency and keeping turnover low. The men delivered higher absolute returns.

Do these findings make sense to you?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes sense, but part of me is disappointed that women aren't bigger risk takers.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bigger question is why aren't there more women portfolio managers?

10:08 AM  
Blogger SusanW said...

Good question!

Does anyone out there have a hypothesis about why there aren't more female portfolio managers?

Also, does anyone else out there get the sense that there are more female fixed income managers than equity managers?

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the reason why there are not more female portfolio managers is either:

1. They are not employed to a greater extent because they do not deliver better (or worse) performance than men, but they generate much lower inflows for fund companies (for whatever reason).

2. There are actually more women in portfolio management, but they are 'hidden' in teams, because management companies think diversity improves performance and/or they do not want investors to know about it (because of No. 1).

Not sure about these things, but what surprises me is the finding that the share of female fund managers did not even rise a little bit over the last 10 years.

5:36 AM  
Blogger SusanW said...

Your comment suggests that male managers are more marketable to the fund-buying public.

It does seem as if there are more male "talking heads" on TV.

9:29 AM  
Blogger SusanW said...

On a related note, "The Difference Between Men and Women Revisited: It's About Competition," an article by Hal R. Varian, appeared in the March 9, 2006 New York Times.

Varian says, "If men prefer more competitive environments than women, then there will be more men represented in areas where competition is intense."

Could this explain why there aren't more female portfolio managers?

9:59 AM  

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