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Surprise: Many Men Would Rather Manage Money Than Watch Football

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The Denver Broncos beat the Miami Dolphins last week, but your male clients may have missed it. A report released Tuesday by ING DIRECT, a subsidiary of ING, and Men’s Health found that 42% of men spend more time working on their personal finances than they do watching sports.

“A surprisingly large number of men surveyed are saving for retirement, paying off their mortgages and watching their finances more closely, things that simply were not happening just five years ago,” Arkadi Kuhlmann, president and CEO of ING DIRECT USA, said in a statement.

Overall, men appear to have pretty good money management habits, the survey found. Almost one-third of men have more than six months of living expenses saved in cash and 40% said they would likely put an extra $1,000 into their emergency fund rather than their retirement account. Over half said they always or usually pay their monthly credit card bills in full.

Just 11% of men spend between $100 and $199 per week on drinks or dinner. Most spend no more than $49. Of those who own a home, 56% of men surveyed said they are current in their payments; 35% own their home in full.

In one of the survey’s more cryptic findings, 91% of men are willing to spend $1,000 to make sure “what happened there stayed there” at a bachelor party.

ING DIRECT and Men’s Health surveyed 1,000 adults, 500 of whom were men, for the survey. A survey of calls made by employees to a financial help hotline by Financial Finesse, also concluded that men have a good grasp on basic money management principles. Eighty percent have a handle on their cash flow and 65% regularly pay credit card balances in full. Sixty-one percent have an emergency fund that will pay bills for “a few months” if they lose their job.

Furthermore, Financial Finesse found that men have a good understanding of investing in general. Eighty-four percent said they have a general knowledge of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Forty-one percent said they’re confident their investments are allocated properly. Both of those measures are up from a year ago when 73% said they had a good understanding of investments and 39% said they were confident in their asset allocations, Nancy Anderson, Think Tank director for Financial Finesse, told AdvisorOne on Thursday.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, let the experts pick,” she said. “There’s so much information out there, it’s hard to pick through the noise.” In addition to presenting themselves as experts, advisors can also provide a second opinion to “capture the do-it-yourself market.”

Finally, Anderson recommended that advisors encourage their male clients to treat financial planning the way they watch sports. “Think about checking your investments just once a week, even if you don’t make any changes.”

“Instead of watching the pre-game, the game and the after-game,” Anderson joked, clients should carve out some time to check on their finances.