Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finger length may predict financial success

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID,AP Science Writer AP - Tuesday, January 13

WASHINGTON - The length of a man's ring finger may predict his success as a financial trader. Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England report that men with longer ring fingers, compared to their index fingers, tended to be more successful in
the frantic high-frequency trading in the London financial district.

Indeed, the impact of biology on success was about equal to years of experience at the job, the team led by physiologist John M. Coates reports in Monday's edition of
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The same ring-to-index finger ratio has previously been associated with success in competitive sports such as soccer and basketball, the researchers noted.The length ratio between those two fingers is determined during the development of the fetus and the relatively longer ring finger indicates greater exposure to the male hormone androgen, the researchers noted.

Previous studies have found that such exposure can lead to increased confidence, risk
preferences, search persistence, heightened vigilance and quickened reaction times. In a separate study last year, Coates and colleagues reported that the hormone that drives male aggression and sexual interest also seemed able to boost short term success at finance.

They studied male financial traders in London, taking saliva samples in the morning and evening. They found that those with higher levels of testosterone in the morning were more likely to make an unusually big profit that day. Testosterone, best known as the male sex hormone, affects aggression, confidence and risk-taking.

In the new study, the researchers measured the right hands of 44 male stock traders who were engaged in a type of trade that involved rapid decision-making and quick physical reactions. Over 20 months those with longer ring fingers compared to their index fingers made 11 times more money than those with the shortest ring fingers. Over the same time the most experienced traders made about 9 times more than the least experienced ones.

Looking only at experienced traders, the long-ring-finger folks earned 5 times more than those with short ring fingers. While the finger ratio, showing fetal exposure to male hormones, appears to signal likely success in high-actively trading that calls for risk-taking and quick reactions, it may not indicate people who would do well at other sorts of financial activities, the researchers said.

Some traders require additional skills on dealing with clients and sales workers. And the advantage may even reverse for some, Coates team said, such as traders taking a more analytical and long-term approach to the markets.

One study, which looked at average finger ratios in university departments found that faculty from math, science and engineering exhibited longer index finger ratio, rather than ring finger, they noted.

Quote cards for today

Animations by Charity & Co.

The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and the things
he has written in our hearts are not doubts or opinions, but
assertions - surer and more certain than sense or
life itself.
Read 2 Timothy 1:7

We often become mentally and spiritually
barren because we are so busy.
Read Proverbs 21:5

Talk with God. He longs to hear from you.
Read Psalm 34:4

Faith is to believe what you do not see:
the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
Read 1 Peter 1:8-9

Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.
Cowardice represses fear
and is thereby mastered by it.
Read Isaiah 41:10

Few things fire up a person's commitment like
dedication to excellence.
Read Proverbs 22:29

His hand on me is a father's hand, gently
guiding and encouraging. His hand lets me know he is with me, so I
am not afraid.
Read Isaiah 41:10

Only one life, "twill soon be past".
only what's done for Christ will last.
Read Philippians 3:7

One day God will right every wrong.
Read 1 Samuel 25:32-39

If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible
to him who believes in Him.
Read 1 Peter 1:8-9