Angela Merkel enters a room, and it is clear, like a good mother, she will set things straight. Now America contemplates being led by a woman who embodies the experience to handle all the “bad boys” of the world. But in business, only 23 women lead companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, and at least a quarter of them have fallen into the cross hairs of activist investors. Andrew Ross Sorkin in his NYT DealBook column points out studies that suggest female chief executives are more risk-averse, which may make them more likely to outperform their male counterparts in an economic downturn. I ask myself, even in these best of times, is being risk adverse so bad? Consider Warren Buffet vs the Hedge Funds – with less than four years left in the ten-year bet, Warren clearly appears to be winning with his Standard & Poor’s 500 Index SPX, +1.07% purchase made in January 2008 through a very low-cost index fund, no matter what risks the hedge funds are willing to take. And Warren definitely is “The Man”.
February 11, 2015