Recent research in the financial-services industry shows women to be better investors than men. On aggregate, women still invest less than men, but apparently, when we do invest, we fare better. Among the reasons noted are:

  • Women are less likely to take unnecessary risks and are less reactionary.
  • Women tend to implement a long-term strategy and tie their investments to their particular goals.

I wasn’t too surprised by this news for something in the Torah’s portion of Ki Tisa had cued me into this female investment acumen.

There we learn about the biggest investment blunder the Jewish people made in their history. Women are less likely to take unnecessary risksDriven by volatile emotions and the influence of “market noise” (instigated by the eruv rav, or the mass multitudes), the Jewish men fell into what the financial experts would call “reactive investing.” Overtaken by a sense of panic since Moses had not (yet) come down from the mountain, the men “hedged” by investing their gold in an idol. This was no Ponzi scheme; they knowingly invested their gold in the making of a Golden Calf.

This reminds me of the anxious investor who asks his financial planner whether he’s worried about the markets’ volatility.

The planner replies, “I sleep like a baby ... ”

The surprised client says, “Really? With all this upheaval and market fluctuation?!”

The financial planner replies, “ ... I sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up and cry for the rest of the night!”

Amid the panic that led to the Golden Calf, we can’t help but note the female response. Not only did the Jewish women not panic; they refused to pay heed to the hot investment tip of the day. They refused to contribute a penny to their husbands’ investment scheme—one that was sure to tank. And tank it did. Big time!

Our sages praise the women’s stronger faith, which protected them from falling prey to the men’s feverish gold rush. As a result, G‑d rewarded the women with the holiday of Rosh Chodesh, the day that marks the reappearance of the new moon. Rosh Chodesh parallels the Jewish women’s understanding that, despite the ups and downs of life (or the market, for that matter), renewal will always come, and a full moon awaits. Always.

Now, don’t assume that women avoided this faulty investment scheme because they Our sages praise the women’s stronger faithwere less inclined to investing. For in the same portion, the Torah mentions a notable investment where all the women did chip in. The women contributed their valuable copper mirrors to make the water basin for the holy Tabernacle that was used by the Kohanim before starting their daily service.

Investing in G‑d and holiness? A long-term, goal-based investment with guaranteed returns. Even Wall Street might agree this was pretty savvy on the ladies’ part.

While men and women suffered through two centuries in idolatry-steeped Egypt, only the men were quick to trade at the hint of a downturn. The women knew when and where to invest their valuables, demonstrating their unshakable faith and trust in the only One who guarantees returns: G‑d Almighty.

And that, my friends, is how women invest!