Women in trading
It may seem strange that in the 21st century, the trading markets are still a male-dominated field, in which chauvinism and prejudice can dissuade women to invest their time and money. However, that hasn't stopped a number of women flourishing in the market, with various experts putting forward a very strong case that women are often better traders than men.
Getting past prejudice:
The first step women take into the market can often be a difficult one, as most firms worldwide are staffed by a majority of men and some female traders may have difficulty being accepted into the working environment. In an interview with the New York Times, Ilene H. Lang, president and chief executive at Catalyst, described some of the difficulties women face as they try and tackle their work aggressively:
"Women who behave in those macho ways are […] perceived as being very masculine, and that's considered very unattractive. While men are aggressive, women are labeled with the 'B word.' It is behavior that's admired in men but despised in women."
Lang, who is very prominent in the market, proves that results cannot be argued withand a successful trader will soon earn the respect they deserve from their peers, no matter their gender. Indeed, there have been studies showing that female traders are generally better equipped for the job.
What Makes Women Better Traders?
The psychiatrist, Richard L. Peterson, stated that the fact that many women are more in contact with and in control of their emotions, they often trade without acting on impulse and as such do not follow trends blindly. Peterson observed that men tend to be less willing to admit defeat, watching a stock plummet and hoping for it to recover, whilst a female trader is more likely to cut her losses. Male traders often choose to ignore their emotions, but act on them subconsciously and are therefore more likely to take more pride in their profits and be ashamed to admit their defeats. Peterson states:
"Mistakes happen when there is too much emotion, causing investors to overreact to new information by buying or selling when they shouldn't. We see this in the brain imaging. But we also see that mistakes occur when there isn't enough emotion."
It is not only the opinion of psychiatrists that women have the upper-hand, but also professional traders. The "hedge-fund boss" Lex van Dam said in an interview with Forbes:
"Women tend to be more patient and trade less frequently than men. That's why they end up paying much less commission to their broker - which makes a significant difference to performance. And that is why they are often better traders."
This calculation of risk and reward suggests that women often make a better return in regards to percentage. It also shows that each investment is weighed up carefully and not taken on due to impulse.
The two paths
There are two paths and potential trader can pursue, either as a professional, or a part-time trader, who molds their work around their everyday life. Even for those with a busy home life, trading is still very much a viable option and that can be squeezed into one's free time. Tradimo user, LadyDale, explained how she has managed to incorporate trading into her daily schedule:
"If you have time to at least trade in the morning, you can choose a strategy that fits this time window. Trading the way I do it makes me much more flexible than most people think. You can decide relatively quickly where you to want to go and choose a type of trading that is right for you." (http://en.tradimo.com/news/Interview-with-LadyDale---Mother-and-trader_34062/)
With markets such as Forex being open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, it obviously gives those with a busy schedule more opportunities to work within the financial market.
Regardless of the above observations, ultimately, whether you are a female or male trader is all but superfluous. Each of the quoted experts have stated the importance of patience, consideration and moderation, traits that Richard L. Peterson may argue are typically more common in women, but that isn't to say they are qualities exclusive to female traders.
Everybody has an equal opportunity to benefit from trading, and the rewards are waiting for those willing and able to collect them. For now, companies may be dominated by male traders, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is a trend that will not last forever and there is no doubt that more women will be entering the financial market.