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Money is men's business

von Dr. Nikolaus Braun

Money is deeply entrenched in our language with masculine undertones. Most of the terminology and values associated with currency are unmistakably coded with traditional male roles: power, prestige, and status. Money often stands as the antithesis to concepts classically perceives as feminine like social care and relationships. Not that this paradigm can't shift, but that's where we stand today.

Money: One of the last strongholds of patriarchy

So, it's almost always men who have awkward money chats at parties, usually via less covert detours. Hence, it’s hardly surprising that the financial sector remains one of the most male-dominated industries, especially at its top levels. Being a banker is not a social profession in the narrow sense of the word, rather the opposite. Whether it's a conservative private bank, a big bank or a (seemingly) innovative fintech – once you look beyond the assistant level it's a men’s world.

My observations as a fee-based consultant:

While couples usually make the most important financial decisions together, our contacts in the "day-to-day business" are mostly like us: (old) (white) men. Many women seem content to delegate the stressful topic of money, often operating under the misguided notion that their spouses possess superior know-how. Consequently, men take over this realm, sometimes reluctantly, often without enthusiasm, but always, inadvertently sidelining their partners.

Gentlemen, stop monopolizing the financial narrative!

You might occasionally have a better idea, but is that always beneficial? If something goes wrong or the capital market simply collapses again, why do you want to take the blame all by yourself? Especially as it has been proven that women are much better equipped to succeed in the capital market.

Women are much less likely than men to suffer from an inflated ego. As a result, they move their portfolios much less and generally avoid highly speculative gambles because they have nothing to prove to anyone - not even themselves. On average, women therefore achieve better risk-adjusted returns.

True, up until now, finance has been largely a man's game. But the task to change that narrative shouldn't be left for women alone.

Best wishes,

Nikolaus Braun
Forty-Nine Fee-Only Advisors

PS: Please feel free to send any questions, criticism or comments to

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