Recent Merrill Lynch research found, that while gender differences among investors exist, that they may be less prominent that has been popularly believed. The research found that differences tended to be shaped more by factors such as education, employment, and financial circumstances than by gender. The research was based on a Merrill Lynch Investment Personality Assessment taking by 11,500 people, including approximately 5,000 women.
The study did find gender differences in the way men and women invest. The most significant gender difference is the self-reported level of financial knowledge. More than 50% of the women participating in the survey reported knowing less than the average investor, compared to a little more than 25% of men reported feeling the same. The researchers drew two possible conclusions about the information, either women participating did know less than the men in the survey or that the women lacked confidence in their knowledge.