Can women invest? Are women capable of making the right financial decision? Can a woman take risks? In India, it is a general assumption that a man runs the house and so has to make all the financial decisions as well. From my own experience and observations over the years, women do make a great difference to money and can prove to be great with money mechanics. Here is why:
1. Savings is a natural habit: Women are frugal and no one can beat a woman in her bargaining skills and yes we can save, it comes naturally to us. Finance companies, regulatory bodies and the government have over the years created awareness about investing across categories. Be it mutual funds, insurance, equities or simple fixed deposits, there is information available from the basics to the most advanced levels. Forums, conferences, social media and simple tutorial formats have immensely helped educate women on investing. Since savings come naturally to women, women have immense potential to channelize their savings through investments.
2. Frugal is Good: Women are generally frugal and will look to reduce costs in every way they can. This trait is, therefore, very helpful when risks have to be taken while investing. Women tend to take calculated risks and this is a very good sign. There is thought and logic put to investment and the risks that come with it. We women are just good with risks!
3. Me Vs Us: As a woman, we are tuned to think about the family; again it’s the way we are conditioned. Its always about US. Again, a very beneficial trait when it comes to money matters. Every dime invested is long-term and short-term goals. Children’s education to the daughter‘s marriage to planning for the next child, a woman plans well. In fact, I would advise women to set a corpus for them just to indulge. As women, we deserve it, don’t we? So splurge once in a while, buy that favorite dress you have been wanting for so long.
4. Up the Finance Quotient: Currently, companies across finance categories are investing in educating consumers about the various aspects of finance. At Cigna TTK, we have our own awareness program where we leverage Facebook. Called the Financial Vaccination series, we have experts who come and answer questions on tax, investing and insurance. We have over the sessions observed an increasing number of women participating in our sessions. That’s not all, our latest consumer data shows an increasing number of women buying health insurance products, i.e. 44 % women have a health insurance policy in 2017 over 41 % in 2016.
5. Be Financially Healthy: We cook healthy meals, we look after the well-being of our family, but we miss out on being financially healthy. This is where a woman has to take charge and be more involved in money matters.
All in all, it is not just essential but imperative for a woman to be as ‘aware’ about the essence of financial investments and hence making the right financial decisions!
(By Jyoti Punja, Chief Customer Officer, Cigna TTK Health Insurance)