March 28, 2012
Evidence, though scant, suggests that financial shortcomings may be related to birth order.
In addition, a financial study published last April on birth order, “The Influence of Birth Order on Financial Risk Tolerance,” found that uber-responsible firstborns tend to be more conservative investors, putting 40 percent of their portfolios in stocks. The authors, John Gilliam at Texas Tech University and Swarn Chatterjee at the University of Chicago, found that younger siblings, who can be loose cannons, put 60 percent into stocks. Whether this would be a good or bad strategy, a financial planner would say, may depend on the clients’ time horizon: for example, a younger person has more time to ride market ups and downs, with the goal of coming out ahead.