Male investors score better than females on a test of investment knowledge, according to new research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation).
The U.S. self-regulatory organization’s investor education division reported that research conducted with the George Washington University School of Business’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) found that men outperformed women on a 10-question quiz.
One-fifth (21%) of male investors answered eight of 10 questions correctly, compared with just 8% of female investors.
Moreover, 40% of female investors got less than three questions correct, versus 26% of male investors.
“There is a notable difference in investment confidence between male and female investors, and this difference persists even when education, income and investment wealth are taken into account,” said Dr. Andrea Hasler, assistant research professor of financial literacy at GFLEC.
“Our research shows that there is a strong link between investment confidence and knowledge, so investment confidence may influence the investment knowledge gender gap,” she said.
FINRA Foundation also reported that female investors “are less likely to be confident about: long-term opportunities in the U.S. financial markets, their own investment knowledge and making investment decisions.”
It said that almost half of male investors say they’re comfortable making investment decisions, compared with just over one-third of women (34%).
“The recent market volatility related to the global spread of Covid-19 sheds a spotlight on the importance of understanding investments and markets and why raising the investment knowledge of both men and women is essential,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation and senior vice president of investor education with FINRA.
“The data show that male and female investors who have a high level of investment knowledge are more likely to have positive outcomes — like planning for retirement, feeling less anxious about their finances and saving for emergencies,” she said.