On interaction with several women, we found that women tend to keep a significant amount of cash lying idle in their checking account or worse, in their home. And no, we are not talking about Rs 30,000 – Rs 50,000, but as high Rs 10,00,000 – Rs 20,00,000. Let’s talk about gender distinction – it is true that even men have ideal cash lying around. But, the percentage of wealth kept aside is significantly higher in women. It’s not that women don’t understand the possible downfalls of keeping so much cash in hand, the biggest being losing the ability and potentiality to earn significant returns. Then why do they continue to not invest this ideal amount of money. The biggest reason being this significant balance acts as a security blanket to these women. However, this insecurity did not just come out of the blue. There’s an underlying reason for women to feel so. Around 60% of the married or partnered women who work with financial professionals feel that their partners are treated as exclusive financial decision-maker in the household. This is irrespective of the amount of income earned by females. Single women are not left untouched to this problem. They face similar issues while dealing with financial advisors. They feel patronized and unworthy of their own decisions.
Through countless conversations with women of varying age and demographics, it is clear one of the biggest factors leading to a missed opportunity of accumulating significant wealth in a women’s life is lack of understanding about financial topics. So, what should one do in such scenarios?
It’s time for women to stop playing small in the financial arena and up their game. Firstly, it would make more sense to include women in the financial decision making. Secondly, women can do their own financial planning by investing in investment options that best suit their financial portfolio. If you are too scared with the volatility associated with stock markets, you might consider beginning your investment journey through mutual funds. Mutual funds provide investors with the much-needed professional management to their investments along with the desired rate of returns. If you want, you can make a lumpsum investment in mutual funds and invest all your savings in one go. However, if you are uncomfortable with allotting your entire savings in one go, you might consider SIP investments. Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)allows an investor to invest a small, insignificant amount in their desired mutual fund schemes for a defined period on a regular basis.
Understand the importance of investment and invest in different investment options based on your portfolio. Make sure to align your investments with your financial goals and objectives, risk appetite, and investment horizon. Let’s together build wealth that can significantly impact our own lives while also making a bigger impact on the lives of girls and young women coming up behind us who will continue to rise financially after us. Happy investing!