Women are far more conservative when it comes to investing, according to Charles Schwab’s first quarter 2003 self-directed brokerage account (SDBA) report. Looking at SDBAs and 401(k) plans, the report includes gender-specific data for the first time.

"While both women and men tend to invest conservatively in SDBA’s, women appear to be more risk averse, which may also explain the significant difference in the overall rate of utilization of SDBA’s among women and men," said Jim McCool, senior vice president, Charles Schwab Corporate Services. The Schwab data indicates that men using SDBAs outnumber men by nearly three to one. Their SDBA account balances are also higher; $104,000 versus $48,000.

"This behavior is consistent with general investing strategies we see between women and men," said Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Corporation Foundation and founder of the Schwab Women’s Investing Network. "Previous research has shown that women tend to be more conservative and less confident about their investing abilities, so it’s not surprising that women seem to prefer using the core funds offered in their retirement plans rather than SDBAs."

Charles Schwab Corporate Services provides individual investing support services through employers, including employee retirement and stock option plans, IRA rollovers and individual personal accounts.

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