I seldom splurge on books at the airport. There’s enough reading material in my carryon for the entire flight and more… but, the title caught my eye. I couldn’t resist finding out how “Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too.”
Hmm, I thought, is this the real Midwest secret to success or just plain common sense? Turns out, it’s a bit of both. Author Louann Lofton offers the reader both the statistical and anecdotal evidence that women’s admirable qualities such as collaboration, commitment, nurturing, and inquisitive temperament are the perfect ingredients for a winning investment strategy. The reader not only gets insight into how Buffett parlayed his meager investments, starting when he was a teenager, into the “largest and greatest investment portfolio in human history,” but also validates what psychologists have known for decades that women have the kind of temperaments that help achieve long-term success in business and investing.
The two investment traits that resonate with women are consistent and persistent returns – not spectacular but not in the cellar, either. For example Hedger Fund Research, Inc. traced the annualized performance of female-managed hedge funds from 2000 to May 2009. In the 2008 financial meltdown, women-managed funds dropped 9.61 percent compared to 19.03 percent for other primarily male-managed funds. And in good times, funds managed by women returned an average of 9.06 percent compared to just 5.82 percent averaged by a weighted index of other hedge funds.
So what’s the bottom line? There are eight feminine traits, according to the authors, that both men and women can use to improve their investment performance. Bet you can name most of them without reading the book – and if you included having less testosterone – well, that makes nine.