Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hedge Fund Exchange: Women Hedge Fund Managers Outperform Men

Hedge Fund Exchange: Women Hedge Fund Managers Outperform Men:
"Women also, apparently, make better money managers according to another study by two professors at UC Davis [3]. That study found that overconfidence caused men to trade stocks 45 percent more often than women, thus lowering their net portfolio returns by 2.65 percent per year (compared with 1.72 percent lower returns for women traders). Moreover, several studies show a link between profit and gender. Companies with several high-ranking women at either officer or director levels tend to have higher earnings per share, return on equity and stock prices than competitors with few or no senior women."
The article mentions other studies as well and I know the evidence suggests strongly that there are differences between genders when it comes to risk financial risk taking.

But I am still not totally convinced. Why? Well there is some conflicting evidence. For instance, Olivares, Diaz, and Besser report that gender differences in risk aversion appear to be driven by wealth differences.

Moreover, even if there is a difference in performance (which I by no means doubt), is it based on gender?

An alternative explanation might be based on the relative numbers of male and female money managers (or board members). For instance, supposed that 80% of board members (or portfolio managers) are male. Further suppose that an equal proportion of males and females are "good at being money managers (or board members). If we assume that on average the more qualified managers get jobs first, then it would be the case that females would outperform. Which MAY be entirely different than the risk aversion explanation.

It does however lead to at least more questions as to the view that markets are efficient and that any money manager is as good as any other.

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