Rice U. research finds Conservatives make the best investors

When it comes to investing, conservatives may have a built-in advantage, according to a study by business scholars at Rice University, the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the University of Bath and Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Researchers consistently found that conservatives tended to employ riskier investment strategies as their self-confidence increased because they want to make more money.

On the other hand, the tendency for liberals to make riskier investments remained the same as their self-confidence grew.

Study co-author Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business, said conservatives typically favor self-investing rather than government-regulated options that lower risk and reward.

He said Republicans and conservatives who are confident in their investing skills do so like Warren Buffet invests.

"Rather than buying bonds or putting money in cash, they're likely to buy stocks and a little bit more riskier investments, which in the long run also maximizes their return," said Mittal.

He said when it comes to social issues, typically, conservatives are less risk-takers than liberals.

"If you want to make risky choices, it might be more aligned with this idea that you want more control of your investing and I think that's part of the reason why Republicans may also favor privatization of long-term retirement funds," said Mittal.

For more information about and insights from Rice Business faculty research, visit the school’s Rice Business Wisdom website, https://business.rice.edu/wisdom

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