Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gender Differences in Financial Communication

Do men and women communicate about finances differently? It's and interesting question to ponder and one that is inspired by I Will Teach You To Be Rich. In his post title Look How Men and Women's Magazines Write About Money, he examines the different messages and how they are delivered.

Money magazines are written with the male audience in mind because that is the larger percentage of subscribers. Women's magazines will include a finance writer but will discuss topics on spending more often that investing. Men are encouraged to take risks and focus on savings in terms of a portfolio. Women are encouraged not to fear money and to evaluate the emotional side of savings.

Points that aren't addressed include the fact that when women do invest they tend to have better returns because they research more and take less risk in choosing stocks. Women are expected to spend more on image than men including more expensive clothing, make up, regular trips to the salon, and shoes. Even dry cleaners charge more to women many times for the same articles of clothing.

There has been a definite changes from our mothers and grandmothers generations when men were expected to take care of the finances and invest. Unfortunately, women are still encouraged to spend rather than save. Young women see credit cards as status symbols and don't often understand the ramifications of their actions on future plans.

Our consumer driven society for the first time ever have a 0% for savings and most are living longer lives. Baby Boomers are starting to retire. This is the last generation that was taught Social Security will take care of them in retirement. Gen Xers don't believe Social Security will be there when they retire. Gen Y hasn't begun to consider retirement. No matter what the generation we need to take responsibility for our choices now and move away from the instant gratification lifestyle.

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