When it comes to making investments, women are the ones to worry about

When it’s time to make a decision, women should always be the first to know what’s going on. 

If the market for a stock is up, the next person to know is the investor, and vice versa. 

But that’s not always the case. 

In fact, women make up less than one percent of the workforce, according to a new study by the Women and Emerging Markets Center at the Brookings Institution. 

The reason: women are less likely to hold stock portfolios than men, according the report. 

A 2014 study found that women hold fewer stocks than men in the US. 

So, while women are more likely to own stocks than their male counterparts, the market has not changed as much in the past 15 years. 

Why? 

The Brookings study found the biggest drivers behind this gender gap in stock investing were the same reasons that men are less interested in buying stocks than women: “Women are more attuned to risks and more likely than men to invest in equities, bonds and cash.”

Women are also less likely than their peers to invest solely in individual stocks, as well. 

“The lack of equity exposure, coupled with the gender gap, limits women’s ability to diversify their portfolios in terms of stocks and bonds,” the report says. 

To be clear, women’s stock portfolios do not represent the entire market. 

Women also have a lower net worth, which could be a deterrent to buying stocks. 

According to the US Census Bureau, women have a median net worth of $10,000 compared to men’s $60,000. 

While the gender gaps in wealth and income are not universal, they do illustrate a point: women’s wealth is less than their men counterparts, according a new report by the Brookings Institute. 

It also suggests that when it comes time to buy a stock, it’s best to consider the company and the person you’re buying into. 

This is a lesson the Obama administration is hoping to reinforce in the coming months as it moves to overhaul the federal securities law. 

Since the Obama White House last year, it has pushed for a rule change that would require financial advisers to make sure their advice is accurate. 

With this new rule, financial advisers would be required to tell investors that women are underrepresented in the investment world. 

Financial advisors who don’t adhere to the new rule will face more scrutiny and fines, according. 

What do you think about the disparity in the stock market?

Do you think it’s the result of gender stereotypes?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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