Why women are natural stock pickers

"Invest" - NARA - 512667

“Invest” – NARA – 512667 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the stock pickers, analysts and pundits in the investment world are men. But I think  men are the worst stock pickers for consumer & retail stocks. Why? Because it’s the women in their lives who do the shopping.

But I don’t want to be completely sexist here. I also think women would be great technology and business stock pickers. Sheryl Sandberg urges women to Lean In to their careers. I say, Lean In to stocks, too. You can manage the family budget, hold down a demanding full time job, hug & guide your kids and still be a damn fine stock picker.  How do I know this? Because that’s my life.

These are the characteristics of good stock pickers:

Intellectual curiosity. Do you read many different websites, magazines, books? Talk to your business and social contacts about a wide range of topics? Then your brain is absorbing a whole lot of data that you may not realize is important. However, your subconscious mind is always making connections. You just need to tune in.  Are you hearing a name brand come up in conversation or hearing excitement about a new development in your field? Check out those stocks. My first place for research is Yahoo Finance. They have all the basic data on every stock and they also publish relevant articles written about a given company.

Shopping savvy. Women do the bulk of the family shopping. Even the big ticket items like cars. Because in successful families, the mantra is “If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” So what brands do you love? What new store is coming to your town? Which stores are crowded? Want to know if Apple  (AAPL) still has it? Check out how busy their local store is.  Will Lululemon (LULU) come back from its ” transparency” problem.  Check out the store and how packed their free classes are.  Is Whole Foods (WFMI) still a buy? I don’t know about yours, but my local store is busy selling lots of “whole paycheck” products!  If you shop, you can be a stock picker.

Intuition.  Women are famous for their intuition. Use it to buy stocks…and to sell them.  There’s so much information available about any stock but how do you know which to trust? There’s a few sources that tend to be reliable but they don’t REALLY know. They are making educated guesses mixed in with their intuition. And if your intuition tells you that someone’s hot tip is too good to be true. Trust your intuition!

I’d bet my intuition against the experts any day. When the entire stock market tanked in 2009, I took whatever cash we could get our hands on and started buying stocks I thought would lead the recovery. Either the world was coming to an end, which many nattering nabobs of negativism predicted or we’d recover. And if we did, we’d need to build stuff again. So, I bought Rio Tinto Mining (RIO) and Cemex (CX) because you need natural resources to build stuff. I bought GE because it’s so diverse, it was surely too big to fail.  I even bought some stock in those big, bad banks who created the economic meltdown. I bought all these stocks so damn cheap– under $10/share for all and under $5 for many because people were scared to get back into the market.  I picked a few losers, too, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . However, it didn’t take a lot of money to buy all those stocks, it just took guts. Or intuition. And that intuition paid off. As for the losers, I sold them, took the loss and used it to write off some of my profits!  No one is a perfect picker. Not even Mama.

Stamina. Women are notorious for their strength of will to protect & provide for their families. We are Grizzlies, we are Lionesses. We are natural stock pickers.  We manage the family budget, pay the bills, make the doctor appointments. We try to put a little money away for a rainy day.  And we should put a little of that rainy day money into stocks. Buy 10 shares of something you believe in. If it goes up buy more. If it goes down a little and you still believe in it, buy more. But if you lose half, sell and then get back in the next time you see an opportunity. That’s my best advice. Use your stamina to hang fast when others start panicking.  Trust your gut, keep being curious.

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