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The TIME to Give the Business World an Oestrogen Jab is Here

“Women are the most underutilized resource on the planet!” Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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The TIME to give the business world an oestrogen jab is here … Its now…
“Women are the most underutilized resource on the planet!” Hillary Rodham Clinton
The clichés and beliefs which are entrenched in all our minds need to change. The financial world, the business world has been pretty much a boy’s club and it is time for the fairer, more beautiful sex to stand up, to be respected and to be followed. I have recently been involved in a male dominated financial environment. I was the only rose amongst a bush of sharp thorns and so wished that the bush would begin to bud! Ladies, spring is around the corner and the time to bud, to blossom and to bolster your finances, your family’s finances, your city’s finances, your country’s finances and Africa’s finances has arrived. We no longer sit around waiting for our men to bring home the bacon, we are involved and have to break the myth that the financial, male dominated society cannot be broken into.

Sitting at a stock market trading desk, I have found myself observing the male species. I have noticed how emotions gyrate like a rollercoaster amongst the stronger sex … The one thing they have in common with the stock market is that same rollercoaster ride! The years of involvement with both male and female investors and stock market traders have taught me that we are better, more profitable traders! Unfortunately, studies amongst traders have shown women to be less confident in our knowledge than men. In a recent case study, 60% males have rated their financial knowledge and understanding of the stock market as good or very good while only 40% females had the confidence to give themselves the same rating. Ironically, a large sample of approximately one million private portfolios show that women traders did 12 -15% better than men at trading the stock market!

Stock market traders fail because they do not recognize that there are predictable and repetitive stages which shares follow and also that share movement depends on feelings, emotions and sentiment. Those who believe share performance depend exclusively on company earnings are quite narrow-minded. Behavioural finance research confirms that the rollercoaster ride and volatility on the markets is driven by testosterone…..and not only men produce testosterone … women produce testosterone as well. Men however, produce 15 x more testosterone than the fairer sex. Obviously, the high production of testosterone is linked to increased aggression, hostility, dominance, sensation seeking and competition with mates! Observing the behaviour of the male colleagues in my working environment confirmed this! Additionally, the destructive effects of an increase in cortisol can reduce a person’s inclination to take risks. Cortisol, the hormone that plays a role in how we respond to stress and in the case of male traders a rise in cortisol levels can be associated with higher market volatility. Male traders take more risks and are likely to take a “punt” without complete knowledge. However, place a few women in their presence and their irrational choices in trading choices are prevented!

Studies have shown that male testosterone levels increase more than usual on profitable days compared to quieter days. This has lead us to assume increased testosterone levels are the reason why traders are more confident and have a bigger risk-taking appetite. Additionally, the same studies showed that too much testosterone and prolonged elevation leads to impulsive decision and extreme risk-taking, turning potential profits to losses.
Women take less chances, are less impulsive and respond very differently to stress. I have therefore, come to realize that we have to retain our identities in this world and not be one of the boys! The only way that the male dominated culture of the market will change by women being more involved and more confident in trading. It is a question of thriving in a male dominated world and not just a question of survival! Ladies, our presence, our involvement, our contribution will lead to a different outcome to world economies. It is time to break the barriers in an ego-inspired male -dominated world!
Let me teach you how to trade the stock market, to understand the psychology of trading. Contact the writer on helenalpino@thestocktradersclub.co.za

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