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We Always Knew Women Are Better Than Men

Women are a lot less confident than men when it comes to retirement investing, but are in fact better investors than men.

Among college-educated, not-yet-retired men with self-directed retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, 60 percent say they’re comfortable in managing their investments, according to a Federal Reserve survey released last week. That compares with 35 percent of female bachelor’s degree holders — a smaller share than the 41 percent of men with a high school degree or less who are comfortable managing their accounts.

Of course, having confidence is not the same as investing wisely. A 2017 study by Fidelity Investments shows that on average women performed better than men when it comes to investing by 40 basis points, or 0.4 percent. At first glance this may appear to be a minor difference, but can have a significant impact over time.

It seems that humility and actual investment returns go hand in hand, while overconfidence and investment success do not.