Search

Earning power linked to finger size

PUBLISHED: 17:26 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:48 07 September 2010

Men who have a shorter index finger relative to their ring finger proved to be better at high-stakes, fast-paced stock trading than men with relatively longer index fingers, according to a new study. John Coates, the

Earning power linked to Finger size

Men who have a shorter index finger relative to their ring finger proved to be better at high-stakes, fast-paced stock trading than men with relatively longer index fingers, according to a new study.

John Coates, the lead researcher of the stock trading study was initially uncertain that digit ratios would tell him anything useful. "I didn't put much stock in it to tell you the truth, until I saw the results, I almost fell out of my chair," said Coates, of the Judge Business School and department of physiology, development, and neuroscience at Cambridge University.

In the study, researchers measured the right hands of 44 male stock traders who were engaged in a type of trading that involved large sums of money, rapid decision-making and quick physical reactions, some of whom earned more than £4 million a year.

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 nine times more than the least experienced ones.

Looking only at experienced traders, the long-ring-finger folks earned five times more than those with short ring fingers. Coates said he turned to the digit ratio because he was searching for a convenient marker for a person's sensitivity to testosterone.

More accurate physical markers of testosterone sensitivity include a measurement in the inner ear, and the "ano-genital" distance, but Coates thought stock traders were more likely to offer up their hands to measurements than their rear ends.

Exactly how or why is unclear, but studies have shown the relative length of the ring finger is related to the amount of testosterones present in a baby's body during the 8th to 19th week of pregnancy. The same ring-to-index finger ratio, which is determined in the womb, has previously been associated with success in competitive sports.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express