Women and investment: Tips to get financially engaged

Women and investment: Tips to get financially engaged
Women empowerment is everyone’s favourite topic. For any country to grow, it is very important that women in that country be treated with respect and should be at par with the men. And financial empowerment is the only way for true women empowerment.

But, when it comes to financial know-how, even our urban females lag way behind and leave it all to the man of the house. As per IJSER research, 90% of working women rely on their husbands for taking investment decisions. Studies show women lack a great deal of confidence when it comes to investing.

When you come to think of it, it is women who manage household budget beginning from buying groceries to kid’s school fee and not to forget the savings which she does from that budget also.

As you can see money management is deeply rooted and imbibed in women.  So, why do women refuse to embrace this very trait of theirs.

Here are few tips that may help you become more financially engaged:

 Get your basics right: To start with anything you are not confident about, you need to prepare yourself about it. Start with the very basics. Initiate money related discussion with your spouse, financial advisor, office colleagues to understand their stance on investing. Attend financial planning seminars or workshops which can add to your knowledge. There are also multiple tools and articles available on the net which can help you in this. Know about different types of assets one can invest in – equity, debt, gold, etc.

Trading is not the only investment avenue: Most of us think investing means only stock trading. But that is not true. Investing means much more than stock trading. It includes products like mutual funds, bonds, fixed deposits, and much more. Remember, if you invest in equities for long-term they will give you much better return than any other asset class you hold.

Know what you have: You must already be having some investments of your own which somebody else would have completed on your behalf.

Understand your existing financial products and decide if they are worth keeping or not. Calculate your net worth and also the percentage of similar types of assets you hold i.e. your asset allocation. Your assets should be well diversified.

Do ample research before making an investment decision: Before buying any investment product, you should research about it thoroughly.

There are so many products available these days that one tends to loose the objective and gets side-tracked. Ask your financial planner about the product, if it has a lock-in period, what the risks are, for how long you should be investing the money for, any charges or commission, if the product’s investment strategy matches your risk appetite and your financial goals.

Work with a financial planner: You should take help of a Sebi registered financial planner when it comes to investments.

Doing investment research on your own is good, but after some point of time it might become confusing for you. Having a financial planner will help you in the process and make the implementation easier.

Choosing a right financial planner is also a herculean task, so you should be careful while choosing one for yourself. For instance it is very important to know the planner’s fee structure and qualifications before signing any contract. And his reviews/feedbacks are a must.

Invest in what you understand: There is no need to put money into investment products which you don’t understand. When it comes to investing, one should follow the phrase – “Keep it Simple”. There are many structure products in the market which have so many intricacies and complex algorithms that they become difficult to understand but look very interesting to invest your money in. You should rather avoid them if you don’t understand them. 

It doesn’t matter if you are single or married, working women or a homemaker. You need to take control of your financial matters. After all, women do outlive men!
(The writer is Managing Director, Sinhasi Consultants)

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