Ronald Wilcox has a fine little piece in the State of our Unions report that I have been blogging on this week. In many couples, he controls the long-term investments, while she controls the daily finances. This division of labor, Wilcox says, has some costs.
Men are overconfident investors, and are more aggressive in trading the household's stocks and bonds. They do worse than the average woman would, because women generally are more cautious and better informed about investment.
Women are confident shoppers. They are generally better informed than men about what products are and where to get them. Partly as a result, they tend to be more aggressive in shopping, spending more time seeking bargains and buying things.
Wilcox suggests that most couples would be better off combining these tasks, if not swapping them altogether.
I personally am a cautious investor and a reluctant shopper. The message I take from Wilcox's report is that all couples would be better off if they did less buying.