Differential Investment Performance In South Africa Based On Gender And Age

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Gizelle Willows
Darron West


Gender, Age, Men And Women, Behavioral Biases, Trading Frequency, Variances Of Return


Behavioral finance shows us that individuals do not always behave rationally, owing to certain behavioural biases. A certain bias known as overconfidence has been found to incite increased trading frequency which in turn, reduces the overall return earned. Behavioral biases manifest differently amongst men and women of different ages. Men and more overconfident and women are more risk averse, whilst the young hold more volatile portfolio’s and the more experienced display fewer of these biases. A sample of 19,021 individual investors from a South African investment house was analysed over five years in order to draw conclusions on the trading behaviour, returns earned and variances in these returns earned by men and women of different ages. The results showed women over the age of 60 years earning statistically significantly higher returns than men and older investors having lower variances in return. For investors of younger ages, no statistically significant difference in the returns earned by men and women are noted, however men were found to have higher variances of returns. Whilst the trading frequency of men is statistically significantly higher than women for the total sample of investors; this result is not consistent amongst the different age-groupings analysed.


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