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December 12, 2021

Do taller people really make better investors?

Taller people, especially among men, earn more than their shorter colleagues, says Andrew Leigh, an economist at the Australian National University. Being six feet tall raises annual income by almost $1,000, compared with men two inches shorter, he maintains.

AdThis may be because tall people in today's society have greater self-esteem and social confidence than shorter people, researchers suggest.

The biggest link between height and salary seems to appear in sales and marketing positions — careers in which customer perception generally has a major impact on success.

Height can also be a predictor of how individuals choose to manage their money, says University of Texas professor Alok Kumar. 

In fact, the effect of height on our financial decisions is second only to actual wealth, Kumar suggests: "It is known that wealthier people will hold riskier assets and take more chances. Some have thought that after wealth, age or education would be the next-best predictor. Height, however, beats all of those."

Although it may not seem that way recently, there's lots of research to suggest that those who maintain a significant tilt towards stocks come out ahead eventually. So, taller people have an edge here, it seems.

Rather than being a single predictor of behaviour, Kumar suggests, height is essentially a proxy for all of the other positive life experiences that individuals expect to have if they've got a few inches on everybody else.

"For example, someone pats you on the back as a child, offering reinforcement," he says. "These small things can lead to better self-confidence, self-esteem — all the things that are associated with being tall."

Does being taller really make that much of difference? Perception, or have you found that it actually translates into $$?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money





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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...