When it comes to investing, men and women might not see eye to eye. A recent RBC poll showed that while both sexes take an active role in managing their investments, the way they do it—and the reasons they do it that way—differ. Let’s take a closer look at RBC’s Direct Investing Poll Summer 2012 to get a better idea of each sex’s investment habits:
Men: Working Toward a Monetary Goal
When it comes to investing, men tend to think in terms of pure numbers. RBC’s poll found that men are driven to invest in order to measure their financial progress—i.e. how much money they have now versus what they may need in the future. Men continue to profess confidence in their investments: 61 per cent of men surveyed agreed that they were good investors, and 36 per cent agreed that they are likely to study up on opportunities before making investments. These statistics suggest that men are willing to be aggressive and take risks with their portfolios in order to meet their investment goals.
Women: Working Toward Life Events
In the poll, women reported that their investments are rooted in successfully saving for major life events—a child’s college education or their future retirement. They also cited wanting to have “peace of mind” about their finances, suggesting that they worry more than their male counterparts when it comes to finances.
In addition, women reported feeling less knowledgeable and confident about their investments: only 47 per cent agreed they were good investors (again, compared with 61 per cent of males), while only an astonishingly low 27 per cent of women felt knowledgeable about investment-related topics.
Meeting in the Middle
While men and women may cite different motivators when it comes to managing their investments, both sexes agreed that having control over their future finances was their ultimate goal. So are the two philosophies really that divergent, or just articulated by each sex differently? After all, a child’s education (life event) will cost x (monetary goal) amount of dollars, just as x amount of dollars will ensure that a couple enjoys financial security after retirement.
The biggest difference, it seems, is that men tend to be more aggressive in their investments in hopes of meeting their financial goals. These risks, of course, can pay off. Women are generally less confident, and therefore, more conservative. But those traits may also lead them to ask more questions and consider their decisions more carefully, in turn leading to smarter investments.
Optimistically speaking, both genders can learn from and help one another to boost their portfolios. Of course, the best way to start building a more secure financial future is to get rid of debt. Compare mortgage rates and credit card rates at RateSupermarket to pay down your debts and help you meet your financial goals faster.

Jake Evans
Jake Evans