Amid Covid-19 pandemic, women flock to stocks

Amid Covid-19 pandemic, women flock to stocks

The Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai. PTI file photo

As financial anxiety brought on by the pandemic continues, people are flocking to stock trading, with Indian stock brokerages seeing a significant increase in their client base, especially female participation.

The surge in numbers comes against the backdrop of increased investment in equity markets in the last four months, despite the pandemic wreaking havoc.

Since March 23, the BSE Sensex has recorded a whopping gain of 47.5% to touch 37,877 points on Friday.

The investor wealth of equity holders has seen a growth 50.1% to touch Rs 152.9 lakh crore. It had dropped to Rs 101.87 lakh crore on March 23.

Online stock broker Zerodha has seen a 41% jump in the number of clients to 3.1 million from 2.2 million in February. The number of women clients on the platform went up by 59% from 3.2 lakh before the pandemic.

The average age of women clients on the platform till the end of February was 36 years. However, it went down to 33 years as of now.

Stockbroking firm FYERS also witnessed a surge in women traders.

The firm has seen a 50% growth, with the number of traders on its platform touching the 45,000-mark during the three months of lockdown. Pre-Covid, there were only 3% active women traders of the total customer base at the company, which has now increased to 10% in the last four months.

Women, however, are more inclined to invest than trade, said Tejas Khoday, Co-Founder & CEO, FYERS.

“The duration of their trades tends to be slightly higher and they have wider stop losses,” he said.

“This is based on the observations of our risk team. In terms of expectations, they want high profits in a very short period of time without too many entry/exits. But this could also be because most of them are first-time investors.” 

Another brokerage firm UpStox has seen a growth of 53% in active female customers from April to June 2020, as compared to the period between January and March 2020.

“We have seen a growth of 32% in account opening by women from April to June 2020, as compared to the earlier quarter, of which 70% consists of new-to-market investors,” said Ravi Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, Upstox.

“While the lockdown has given a lot of us the time to relook at our investment portfolios, what has brought more women into trading is the increased awareness of different investment avenues, growth in internet penetration, affordable online training solutions, and easy-to-use trading platforms.” 

Out of the overall number of active female customers on Upstox, 55% are traders, whereas 45% are investors (those that invest in equity delivery).