When Nancy Havens-Hasty first started out on Wall Street in the early 1970s, she noticed a few key discrepancies between how men and women approached their work.
“There were guys who got so angry they’d bang their phones on their desk and break their fingers,” says Havens-Hasty, who went on to become the first female employee on Bear Stearns’ board of directors and now manages Havens International Enhanced Fund, the third-highest performing merger arbitrage fund over the past five years, according to the Hedge Fund Journal.
“I never understood why that was a better reaction that just bursting into tears," she adds.
As it turns out, it’s not. A growing body of research shows that men are more emotional than women in ways that can be detrimental to their success as investors — and women generally make better money managers, even in the highest-risk folds of the industry.
In 2001, researchers at the University of California, Davisanalyzed the stock investments of 35,000 households and found that men traded 45 percent more than women, racking up more transaction costs and netting returns that were 1.4 percent lower. The numbers were even more pronounced for single men and women: 67 percent more trading and 2.3 percent less in returns.
A study conducted by Hedge Fund Research between 2000 and 2009 showed that funds managed by women significantly outperformed those run by men, with 9 percent returns for women and 5.82 percent for men.
Most of the explanations for this gender discrepancy point in one direction: Testosterone.