"Men and Women Investors -- The Differences"The investing behaviors and attitudes of men vs. women investors are as different as men and women are in general, and many of those differences are detailed in Spectrem Group’s gender-based Perspective report, Attitudes and Behaviors of High Net Worth Women versus High Net Worth Men.

From personal and national issues such as paying for children’s education to political unrest, to financial behaviors about using advisors or investing details, men and women investors have widely divergent attitudes.

“The interests and concerns of men and women affect their financial decision-making and the way they process information,’’ said Spectrem Group President George H. Walper, Jr. “Advisors need to be fully aware of those topics about which the attitudes of men and women differ most significantly.”

Spectrem’s Perspective looks at investors from three wealth segments: Mass Affluent (net worth of $100,000 to $1 million Not Including Primary Residence), Millionaire ($1 million to $5 million NIPR) and Ultra High Net Worth ($5 million to $25 million NIPR).

The report shows that women express greater concern over almost all personal and national issues, while men are more involved with investment matters on a daily basis.

Other significant findings in the report include:

  • Women are more concerned than men about maintaining their financial position.
  • HNW women place more importance than men on track record, social responsibility and a company’s reputation when selecting an investment.
  • Men are more likely to credit luck or good timing as contributors to their wealth.
  • Women are more engaged in social media, while men are more engaged in investing decisions.
  • Men and women share similar expectations for their future financial situation.

Additional insights from Spectrem’s latest Perspective include:

Spectrem Group publishes numerous reports throughout the year, providing unique research on investor behaviors and relationships between investors and advisors. Its Wealth Segmentation Series examines investors based on net worth. Spectrem’s Perspective Series is a sequence of timely market insight reports focusing on niche topics of special interest to advisors. There are regular reports on ethnic segmentation, 401(K) rollover options, and retirement income gap solutions.
About Spectrem Group
Spectrem Group (www.spectrem.com ) strategically analyzes its ongoing primary research with investors to assist financial providers and advisors in understanding the Voice of the Investor.

About Spectrem’s MillionaireCorner.com
Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner website (www.millionairecorner.com ) provides information for investors about investors. With its Find an Advisor service, investors are able to search for financial and investment advisors to assist in growing their wealth.

Invest in “relationship activities.” Couples who have strong levels of dedication are more likely to be happier, more open, and have less conflict in their relationships. They’re more likely to take steps to improve and sacrifice for their relationship. That’s because couples’ needs change over time. Intentionally addressing your relationship makes space to invest in the commitment you share.

“Reading a book on relationships can spark new ideas for growth and improvement,” Furrow advises. “Sharing these ideas and participating in exercises provide practical resources for growing a stronger bond. Or you might attend workshops and retreats for couples. These retreats give couples time away to focus on each other and strengthen their commitment.

“Other couples find less formal opportunities to focus on their relationship,” he adds. “David and Joy have a commitment to spend one weekend a year discussing their relationship. They call it their ‘summit,’ and they use the time to discuss the year ahead and important decisions they need to make as a couple. On one of the nights, they give themselves a relationship ‘checkup.’ Each person has time to talk about his or her joys, concerns, and needs.”

Celebrate milestones—even if that’s not really your “thing.” Planning and remembering special days like anniversaries and birthdays mark the importance of people and relationships over time. Making a special effort to express appreciation for your partner communicates how important they are in your life. This strengthens your bond. Oh, and just because you grew up in a family that didn’t make a big deal about these occasions, don’t assume the same is true of your partner.

Find an interest you can share. Familiarity and boredom are intimacy killers. Securely attached couples find time to play together. Attachment rituals should be life giving to both of you. If not, it’s time to find a new ritual.

“Vital couples find fun activities to share,” asserts Furrow. “Having fun together is a source of renewal and refreshment for them.” For example, physical activity can be energizing and provide you an opportunity to stay fit and healthy. Hiking, dancing, or sharing a sport offers you a chance to organize around activities that combine leisure time and companionship.

Serve others. Taking time to help others or give to those in need offers couples a unique opportunity to invest in their relationship. Serving a common goal helps a couple find a deeper sense of unity by transcending their personal interests. When you make a shared decision to dedicate your time or resources to others, you make a joint expression of your values.

“Couples find many ways to serve,” says Bradley. “Some couples focus on caring for the environment, while others get involved in efforts to conserve and improve their communities. Volunteering as a couple expresses a common purpose that others see and affirm. Many couples share in religious and spiritual activities that include serving others. These activities may also benefit a couple by allowing them to be faithful to deeply held values.”

Make time for hugs, handholding, and—yes—sex. Making love is an important ritual of connection. Sexual contact in a relationship of care, trust, and vulnerability communicates a deep level of intimacy. Couples who keep a focus on each other and expressions of sexual affection find a greater meaning in these rituals than those who focus mostly on their sexual needs. Keeping romance in sex often requires couples to find ways of being intentional about expressing both their physical and emotional desires.

“Of course, you don’t always have to have sex to show affection,” notes Furrow. “Everyday moments of sharing physical affection, like hugging, kissing, and holding hands, show partners that they’re important and special. Deliberate acts of affection are subtle and effective reminders of care and kindness and a demonstration that you hold a special place in each other’s life.”

Remember that rituals, by definition, need to happen regularly, not sporadically. That means you need to do them even if you don’t necessarily “feel” like doing them—but not to the point that they become a dreaded chore or interfere with even better things.

“It’s better to postpone or reschedule than it is to skip your ritual altogether,” says Bradley. “Be careful to both agree on resetting the ritual. Inconsistency breaks the power of ritual, but flexibility is necessary to make consistency a reality.”

About the Authors:
Brent Bradley, PhD, and James Furrow, PhD, are coauthors of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy For Dummies® .

Dr. Bradley is president of The Couple Zone (www.couplezone.org ), a center for counseling, counselor training, and research in Houston. He is a former tenured associate professor of family therapy and a published scholar/researcher in emotionally focused couple therapy.

Dr. Furrow is professor of marital and family therapy at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. He is executive director of the Los Angeles Center for EFT and a certified emotionally focused couple therapist, supervisor, and trainer.