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In High-Stakes Stock Trading, Finger Length Matters
Date:1/12/2009

experience, Coates and his associates concluded that having a relatively long ring finger (meaning more testosterone exposure in the womb) appeared to be equal to experience as a harbinger of greater financial success in high-frequency trading.

They stressed that in other financial arenas, the testosterone effect might not be as central. But in the specific world of high-frequency trading, having a lengthy ring finger relative to the index finger definitely appeared to translate into both higher long-term profitability and a longer period of time in which the person remained in the high-frequency trading field.

"We're the first study to look at this, but the results are just unbelievably strong," Coates said. "Economics generally has overlooked the body. But this shows that hormones actually play a huge role in the market, that the body and mind work together and that the body influences economic life."

More information

For more on testosterone, visit the National Institute on Aging.



SOURCES: John M. Coates, Ph.D., research fellow, Judge Business School, and department of physiology, development and neuroscience, University of Cambridge, England; Jan. 12-16, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


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