Tricia Carr; Luxury Daily  January 4, 2013

Forty-one percent of women with a household income of more than $250,000 believe that the U.S economy is doing better today than it was 12 months ago in comparison to 54 percent of men in this income group who believe the same, according to a new report by the Shullman Research Center.

The new Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse survey found that 48 percent of U.S. adults with a household income of more than $250,000 believe that the economy is doing better today than it was one year ago, with women reporting less optimism for a better national economic future. However, 34 percent of total respondents, 42 percent of female respondents and 26 percent of male respondents believe that the economy is doing about the same today compared to 12 months ago.

“I do believe that there are certain innate differences between the two genders,” said Bob Shullman, founder/CEO of the Shullman Research Center, New York. “The reality is that when you look at how the world operates, women, in a certain respect, are more pragmatic.

“You see this in how women operate when they get above the glass ceiling,” he said. “Men have more of an aggressive approach and are more risk-oriented, whereas women are more pragmatic – they think about it a little bit more.

“Marketers today should recognize this as women are getting more into the world of business.”

This Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse is based on 508 surveys among 276 men and 232 women that were conducted online Oct. 30-Nov. 9.

The segment of adults with a household income of more than $250,000 represents approximately 3 percent of all adults in the United States.

Men are from Mars

Male and female survey respondents expressed different levels of optimism toward the U.S. economy.

Forty percent of all survey respondents are very optimistic or optimistic about the economy going forward.

Of these, 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women are very optimistic or optimistic.

Also, 76 percent of those surveyed reported that they are financially stable, including 78 percent of male and 73 percent of female respondents.

Men are more positive about their foreseeable financial situation as well.

Seventy-four percent of men and 64 percent of women believe that they will definitely or most likely be better off financially one year from now.

“These statistics reinforce women’s pragmatism,” Mr. Shullman said. “They have a more conservative point of view.

“The women see more clouds on the horizon than men,” he said. “There is such a differential between men and women as to how they take in information, process it and conclude.”

Women are from Venus

The Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse also polled consumers on how they plan to spend and invest their finances.

Ninety percent of those surveyed will spend more or about the same as they have been in recent months as long as the economy continues to improve.

But there is a discrepancy between men and women respondents. Forty-three percent of men and 36 percent of women will spend a lot or slightly more.

The financial goals of men and women also clash.

Sixty-three percent of women compared to 41 percent of men are concerned about saving for retirement.

Indeed, the most common No. 1 financial goal for women is to have enough income for retirement since 32 percent of female respondents said this.

The No. 1 financial goal among men with a household income of more than $250,000 is remaining financially independent since 17 percent of males surveyed chose this response.

Also, 48 percent of women said that they will focus on saving for retirement when polled on their financial plans for the next year. Other popular responses include charity donations, save for a “rainy day” and save for college expenses.

On the other hand, 37 percent of men plan to make a donation to a charity or non-profit. They also plan to save for retirement and invest in stocks and mutual funds.

In terms of investing, more men reported to be a do-it-yourself investor while women are more likely to seek professional advisors or brokers.

Both genders are conservative and cautious toward financial and investment risks, but men reported to be slightly more aggressive.

It is imperative for financial service companies to understand the difference between the two genders when approaching affluent consumers, per Mr. Shullman.

“Women are more conservative,” Mr. Shullman said. “If it won’t be a guaranteed outcome, they are not as open to taking the risk since the reward to them is probably not as worth the risk.

“Clearly in the financial services industry when they are servicing these people, they really need to give a good explanation of what they are offering and what the risks and rewards are,” he said. “A lot of people today have trust issues, and what creates more trust issues than money?”Mr Monopoly

// View Gallery