The Gender Agenda

With Blue Wealth participating in Movember 2014, Australian male life expectancy reaching 80, and the Sydney Morning Herald reporting on gender disparity in net wealth all occurring within the first 10 days of November, it seems too appropriate for us to ignore in our discussion today.

Did you know:

  • If you were born in 2013, you were 51 per cent likely to be male. By reading this you’re also very advanced for your age.
  • If your age met or exceeded triple digits as of 2013, you were 79 per cent likely to be female.

Health writers Laura Blue and Hallie Levine have identified sources of life expectancy disparity:

The testosterone storm of the late teens and early 20’s

Males are three times more likely than women to die of assault, twice as likely to die in a car accident, five times more likely to be hit by a car and twice as likely to overdose on illicit substances between 15 and 24 years of age.

Male suicide attempts are more likely to result in death

Male suicide represented 3/4 of all Australian suicides in 2012.

The female frontal lobe (risk-aversion part of brain) typically develops much faster than males’

An experiment found women were far more likely to accept a ‘flat rate salary’ than to take a lower salary that would increase above the flat rate depending on their competitiveness.

Men are far less likely to seek medical help for physical or mental health problems

An English study found that men were four times less likely to seek medical attention for symptoms.

There is a consistent pattern among the four points listed above. For various reasons men are statistically far less risk-averse than their female counterparts. The negatives that the apparent risk-aversion deficiency has on our male population is evident, but how does this work in the world of economics?

Well, the traditional school of thought is that risk-aversion has ushered female investors into ‘less risky’ asset classes that by default tend to return less; think ‘high risk, high reward’. Risk specialists FinaMetrica have found that in 85 per cent of married couples, the husband will be seeking a higher risk profile than the wife.

So what the research analysed by the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend actually finds is that the increased disparity of asset value is largely due to young single males’ proclivity to invest in property that has seen handsome rewards.

At Blue Wealth, we have a proud track record working alongside clients of all shapes, sizes, genders and ages to achieve their goals into the long term.

Why is property so pivotal in the size of an individual’s asset portfolio? Blue Wealth valuable lesson #2: the power of leverage!


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