It’s the age-old battle: Boys vs. Girls. Now this battle has entered the financial realm. Charles Schwab accidentally discovered differences between men and women when it comes to financial management in a recent retirement study.

Originally planning on researching how investors 50 and older related to finances, the financial services corporation instead discovered differences in how men and women approach financial management.

The survey polled 642 Americans ages 50 and over and was conducted over the phone during a period spanning five days in mid-December. When it comes to varying financial decisions there was a noticeable gender difference:

Approach to FinancesMenWomen
Trust only themselves47%32%
Made more financial mistakes vs. smart decisions29%20%
Still have a lot to learn about managing finances successfully35%28%
Will turn to friends or family for advice17%30%
Taking a passive approach to finances44%37%

* Percentages based off of Schwab Retirement Study Press Release

Women vs. Men: Who Reigns Financial Victor?

According to this survey which gender does a better job managing money is debatable. Arguably, women have a better handle on their finances considering they feel more confident about their management skills, are more willing to get second opinions and are more active about finances.

As always, there are outliers or individuals that do not follow the norm, but is it the bank’s responsibility to cater to all of these individuals, or should they create programs that speak to as many people as possible? This provision also raises the issue of stereotyping. Financial planning tools solely based on the users gender runs the risk of perpetuating gender stereotypes our society has worked so stringently to avoid.

There are clear differences in the way males and females relate to money and these differences may be at the heart of financial arguments certain couples are prone to having. As many banks move to alleviate financial stress by providing more personal finance management tools, studies such as this one provide an important insight to the consumer.

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