By Medha Rijal
If you were to take a leaf from the past, it would not surprise you to conclude that even though women are in charge of looking into the day to day management of the house, majority shy away from taking responsibility of managing their own investments. By stating this I am not talking about stashing money under the mattress as that does nothing to beat inflation nor does that fetch you any profitable returns. Let us see why women should take their own investment decisions?
When I talk about investments I mean operating a demat account, interacting with your respective relationship manager at the bank for investing in a mutual fund or even something as basic as operating an already full functioning bank account.
Having worked as a sales professional in the BFSI space, I can confidently state that one in every three women blindly rely on their spouse or any other male family member to to take their investment decisions for them.
Taking your own steps to financial independence
With the advent of increasing financial awareness and a gradual shift in the workforce dynamics, it does not go unnoticed that women have moved towards achieving financial independence.
We come across women working in the BFSI space, the airline industry, the manufacturing sector, the e-commerce space, defence, politics and sports. However, a significant portion of these financial independent women shy away from committing to taking responsibility for their own investments.
It makes it imperative for women to not only be financially independent but to also manage their own investments. Here are a few reasons that would motivate and urge women to take care of their finances :
5 key reasons why women should take own investment decisions
1. Financial Empowerment & Equality
Investing for yourself gives you the authority and liberty to manage your finances and grow your wealth. It helps build better financial contribution within the family which gradually results in a happier household and independence for the woman.
This encourages women to decide and choose which reduces liabilities from their spouses or any other family member. It puts women on an equal podium as men. This acts as an impetus to boost confidence and take better charge.
2. Family well being
A woman operating Demat accounts, renewing fixed deposits and managing their bank accounts is in a better position to manage themselves and make better decisions for their family.
It is delighting to note that the Indian urban economy has experienced a dynamic shift in employment during the last 30 years.
In the year 1977-1978, only 35.7% of women were working in comparison to a whooping 60.7% of women employed in the workforce between 2017-2018. And this has resulted in the economic upliftment of various families in lower and middle classes in India.
However, as per a survey conducted by DSP Winvestor Pulse in 2019, statistics revealed that only 33% of women take their own decisions in comparison to a whopping percentage of 64 for men.
Further, a study conducted by ClearTax in 2018 concluded that 65% of the women between the age group of 26 and 35 had no idea as to how to go about their investments.
With the comfort of digitization, it is imperative that more women can adopt independent investment decision making for the well being of their family.
3. Self preserving & Conservative Approach
Women are cautious and self preserving inherently. They are by nature conservative and hold on to their investments for a substantial period.
In a study conducted by California Berkeley, researchers analyzed stock investments made by men and women across 35,000 households for the period between February 1991 and 1997. This study was given the title”Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence and Common Stock Investment. As the name suggests, the findings confirmed that men traded 45% more frequently than women. In addition, it has been noted that women outperformed men by 0.94% every year.
If you were to look at more recent statistics, the Warwick Business School conducted a study between April 2012 and July 2016. It was observed that women outperformed men in the study by 1.2% annually.
Women are more steady investors than men. As quoted by Warren Buffet, “The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect”. The kind of discipline and patience women have makes them better bets to invest on.
4. Meeting financial emergencies
A man is not a financial plan. Women need to focus on planning ahead and diversifying their risks in a systematic manner for the future. To start with, women should be aware of the kind of financial instruments they have the choice to choose from.
However, if you were to look at past data, very few working women have life insurance policies.
As per data collected in 2019 by Business Standard, around 30% of working women in India do not have a life insurance policy.
However, 83% of working male employees had a life insurance cover.
The study also brought to light that only 3% of women went online to take up life insurance policies.
This leaves huge space for women in India to contribute towards planning better to meet financial uncertainties.
5. Achieving Financial goals
For a woman integrating the goals of the family holds more importance than just beating the stock market benchmark.
Cleartax has reported that there has been a significant rise in the number of women investors between the periods of 2017-2018. The average investment that women have engaged in has increased by 133% in the last two years.
Women in India are slowly adopting investments to shape their finances and build wealth. It is only a matter of time before we experience a wide shift in investment habits. Indian women are looking smarter and there is hope of a shift in investment patterns.
Getting educated & earning an income is just one part of the story. Women need to take a step towards financial independence & well being of the family by taking sound investment decisions. Emotionally and skill wise, there are quite a few positives for women. These can be leveraged in the digital world to lead the well being of family.
Also feel free to write us at [email protected]
This article is authored by Medha Rijal. She is an active blogger and writes about topics such as financial planning, investments and wealth management.
To read further about financial literacy of women in India, check out – Awakening the female financial literacy in India.