Women are matching footsteps with men in all the fields, but when it comes to making a decision for doing a good financial investment for themselves as well as their family, are they at par with men? Maybe not. A financial literacy survey done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE) shows that women display lower financial knowledge than men in a large number of developed and developing countries.
There is no denying the fact that in recent times, women have emerged as successful entrepreneurs, pilots, engineers, doctors, managers, artists etc and are doing very well in all the fields which were previously dominated by men. In fact, gone are the days when the sole earner of the family used to be a man and securing wealth was typically associated mostly to a man, keeping woman-centric to only household chores.
“Improved education, advancement in technology, the changing mindset of the society, modernisation, and focusing more on gender equality have greatly contributed to women empowerment. Educated women are managing their home and career successfully, but less educated ones are also not behind. They too are engaged in businesses with unique concepts, coming out with great ideas to earn from home in order to help the family financially and making end meets,” says Anand James, Chief Markets Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
Still, when it comes to managing their finances or making a decision for doing a good financial investment, a majority of women don’t appear to be at par with men. It may also be because working women, who are married too, may have lesser time to manage their finances as they have to take care of their home and family also. Whatever be the reasons, “working women need to manage their finances very judiciously as they would always have a shortage of time,” says Ashish Kapur, CEO, Invest Shoppe India Ltd.
Here are some investment and personal finance management tips particularly for working and married women:
1. The investment options for working mothers have to be easy to manage and monitor. Hence, the option you chose for investment should be transparent and investor-friendly. Generally financial assets these days have all got digital investment and tracking options.
2. You also need to carefully define and understand your investment objectives and goals. Once understood, they should be written and saved at a safe and accessible location. That will make it easier to track and achieve your objectives.
3. A working woman usually has to make huge sacrifices in terms of time and commitment. “Value for money in her case is usually much higher than in case of women who are homemakers. Hence make sure that the advisor who helps and manages your investments should be both very competent as well as trustworthy,” says Kapur.
4. Try to be in the right social group that encourages discussion on financial topics.
5. Show interest in your family’s tax planning, as the case may be. This will give an understanding about investment needs, that is beyond returns.
6. Always try to be informed. So much information is free and easily available. There are news apps that can keep you well updated without any hassles or fees.
7. For beginners it may be better to start with mutual funds, which lets your investment be managed by professionals. “Else, if individual investment is preferred, stocks in benchmark indices like Nifty or Sensex may be ideal,” says James.
8. If you have a steady stream surplus that is available for investment, SIPs may ideal, either in mutual funds, or your preferred stocks, individually.
9. If you are taking care of your family alone, then keep aside 3 months’ emergency funds in liquid mutual funds or FDs for unforeseen expenses.
10. Lastly, avoid too much chop and change based on the discussions in your social groups.