Women and Investing
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1 out of every 2 new clients who sign up with us are Women
At FinEdge, we understand that money is a means to an end – so we help you plan for your goals, not chase returns. We are Financial Educators who empower, not sales people. Come, take charge of your Financial Future with the investing experts.
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A Financial Planning Checklist for Women
Whether you’re single or married, working in an office or as a homemaker, here’s a simple money checklist to help keep you firmly on course towards the attainment of Financial Freedom. The more points you can tick off, the better.
#1: You’re “money aware”
While the evolving role of women in today's society has empowered them economically, a huge percentage of them still do not take their own investment decisions, and are heavily reliant on their fathers or husbands for the same. Indeed - while there’s no need to spend all your waking hours browsing business news channels, a basic knowledge of financial products is absolutely vital.
Women often don't understand various aspects of saving, investing, or borrowing - and are thus seen as soft targets for being duped with wrong financial products. To prevent this, apply three simple rules. First, make sure that you understand the risks and rewards associated with all your investments. Second, don’t shy away from asking questions before you sign up for anything new – if it sounds too complex or “too good to be true”, avoid it. Third, get involved in your household’s investment matters and actively participate in the investment decision making process.
#2: You’re building an emergency fund
A safety net in the form of an emergency fund is absolutely critical for any person, and this assumes a higher level of significance for women. Unfortunate incidents such as the sudden death of a spouse or a divorce has the potential to severely derail your personal finances, and readiness is key.
Without an emergency fund, women might be forced to sell or mortgage assets, or avail loans at high interest rates. In fact, married women should maintain separate emergency funds for themselves. If things go deeply wrong in their married lives, women should be able to make decisions based on factors other than money. To avoid financial strife later, its critically important to put away meaningful sums of money on a regular basis, into an easily accessible financial instrument such as a liquid fund.
#3: You’ve got things covered on the risk management front
If your family members are financially dependent upon your future income stream, you may require life insurance. If you’re a single mother, you should be especially conscious about the need for having an adequate life insurance coverage, or you may end up compromising the quality of your children’s future.
Be careful not to let your natural risk aversion push you into purchasing one of those low yielding, opaque traditional plans that provide negative real returns. If careful deliberation reveals that you do require a life insurance cover, fulfil the need using a simple term plan.
In today’s age of frighteningly expensive medical care, it’s vital that you have a comprehensive health insurance plan in place too. Besides having yourself included in your family floater Mediclaim, you may also want to consider purchasing a women-specific critical illness or health insurance policy that includes maternity benefits, or lump sum pay outs in the event of your contracting a disease that could temporarily hinder your earning capacity.
Having a well thought out risk management plan in place will go a long way in safeguarding your savings, so don’t take it lightly!
#4: You’ve got a blueprint for your future
A robust Financial Plan is the cornerstone of long term, sustainable wealth creation. But for women, Financial Planning assumes even higher significance. A woman’s nurturing instinct and risk averse temperament are perfect for goal-based planning. These traits encourage her to think long term and prevent her from making rash and speculative investment decisions.
Despite the above, the odds are heavily stacked against women when it comes to creating wealth – considering that they (on average) earn lesser than men, take frequent career breaks, quit working earlier, live longer and incur higher healthcare costs. Considering these challenges, a well-constructed Financial Plan that’s flexible enough to accommodate life-changes, becomes a neccesity for women investors. At FinEdge, we understand this need.
Financial Planning is essential for extrapolating the implications of one’s present actions into the future, so that corrective steps may be taken today in case retirement or other goals appear to be getting compromised. If, for instance, a woman plans to take a career break, she can immediately see how such a move will impact her financial independence - and then decide on whether to actually take the break or not. Our DiA (Dreams into Action) platform at FinEdge is perfect for mapping out such scenarios and helping you take informed investing decisions.
If you haven’t got a Financial Plan in place already, it would certainly make a lot of sense to get started with one right away.
5 reasons why Women can make better investors than Men!
They have a great investing temperament
In general, women tend to be a lot less prone to panic and short-term decision making with respect to their investments. For this reason, you’ll find a lot less self-induced churn in their portfolios, resulting in better portfolio returns, lower transaction charges, and higher tax efficiency in the long run. Women tend to be more passive investors than men; resultantly, they’re better geared to staying with their planned asset allocations instead of succumbing to greed or fear driven decision making.
They tend to be more strategic
While men tend to be more prone to chasing returns aggressively, women tend to be more grounded and rational when it comes to their intent. Women tend to invest keeping their future goals in mind, and hence their asset allocations tend to be a lot better aligned to factors such as heir investment time horizon and liquidity constraints. Men, by nature, are more speculative wjereas women tend to be more strategic with their investments and invest keeping the larger picture in mind.
They check facts more thoroughly
While men often jump into new investments without checking facts thoroughly, women tend to be a lot more thorough when it comes to conducting their homework, and hence they’re more likely to be saved from getting locked into regrettable investments. A woman’s natural inquisitiveness, coupled with her heightened power of perception, also helps her draw smarter conclusions about whether to deal with a particular investment professional or not.
They are more relationship centric
Women tend to be more relationship centric than men, and hence – over the long term, we see a lot of them building trust-based relationships with their Financial Advisors. Since they’re less inclined to ‘try out’ new Advisors, they reduce their chances of being taken for a ride by sales people/ You’ll very rarely see a woman investor dealing with multiple advisors or shifting from one advisor to another for no reason unless their trust has been broken!
They are more conservative – and this can work in their favor
While a woman investor’s natural conservatism often keeps her stuck in low-yielding investments, it can also lend an air of solidity to her investments. For instance, women are less likely to dabble in crypto, leverage in F&O or chase trends. If properly channelled, a woman’s conservatism can work in her favour – as she’ll be a lot more likely than men to stick to a goal based plan or worry about the returns that her family or friends are earning! At FinEdge, we understand that an investing expert can help women understand risk and reward properly and strike a balance between conservatism and risk taking for long term goals.
What Women want – from their Financial Advisors!
As a group, women are earning more, living longer, and controlling a larger proportion of discretionary spends and household investment decisions than ever before. And yet, global experts^ suggest that 5 out of 6 women feel that they aren’t being well served by the Financial Services industry. At FinEdge, we did a deep dive to figure out the top five things that women expect from their financial advisors! Here they are.
When it comes to dealing with a Financial Advisor, women greatly value transparency which is a natural precursor to trust-building. For this reason, women clients are far more likely to be put off by sales people in disguise.
Women work better with reliable and trustworthy advisors. Most women look for safety of capital, even if the growth is moderate. Besides giving the right advice and working in their interest, reliability is also about following through on commitments in terms of service queries and follow ups. At FinEdge, we understand that the best way to demonstrate reliability is through honest and proactive communication around financial goals.
Empathy & Sensitivity
Money management is a sensitive business; involving the entire spectrum of emotions ranging from greed to fear.. Hence, women investors are a lot more comfortable with Advisers who adequately address the human side of personal finance, instead of running away from it. Women need their advisers to be humane and understanding in their approach to wealth management. At FinEdge, we understand that the success of the advisor / investor relationship here depends on the capability of the advisor to be able to address this emotional need.
A 2015 study conducted by Fidelity Investments titled Money FIT Women^^ confirmed that women are eager for information about financial planning and investing. In fact, 75% of those surveyed expressed their desire to “learn more about money and investing”. The facts clearly suggest that women investors are on the lookout for an advisor who will patiently educate them on the nuances of investing and provide solutions thereafter, instead of bulldozing ahead and pushing products.
“When in doubt, leave it out” is the approach women take when it comes to making investments. A lot of women lack the confidence in their knowledge and understanding of financial products. An Advisor who doubles up as an educator will also help bridge the confidence gap that holds many women back from investing. All our experts at FinEdge are fantastic, patient educators as well!
While women aspire for portfolio returns just as much as men, they tend to view the process of investing more as a “means to an end” or a goal achievement tool, rather than something to brag about at pub! Very few women invest just to multiply money aimlessly. For most of them money is a means to something more. If there is no specific goal, financial independence itself becomes a goal.
Resultantly, being a sales person of financial products is unlikely to impress women investors too much. Instead, Advisors need to hone their skills as 360-degree Financial Planners who have the ability to identify and plan for life goals, manage and mitigate personal risks, and help their clients plan for their retirement. Women like to see the big picture and align their investments to their financial goals. Once their confidence – both in themselves and their financial advisor is built, they are open to all kinds of investments and make very successful investors!
FAQ’s – Women & Investing
I am a home maker. Do I need life insurance?
Given that a homemaker usually doesn’t contribute to the family income, there’s no need to have a policy in your name, however much your agent insists! Rather, it would be your responsibility to ensure that the primary breadwinner is adequately insured so that your family is safeguarded from the financial strife arising from his potential loss of life.
Do women need an emergency fund?
If you’re a woman investor, establishing an emergency fund is necessary. The actual size of the fund will depend upon your monthly fixed expenses. Once you’ve paid off your expensive debts, aim to put away at least 6 months of your fixed expenses in an emergency fund. Park this money in a liquid fund or a fixed deposit than can be liquidated with ease.
I just received a large cash inheritance. Should I invest the funds in a single or joint name with my husband?
If you’re married, you need to start by deciding whether you intend to continue holding the money in your own name or jointly with your husband. This is a sensitive issue and either decision could have long term ramifications. In the end, this is a personal call that will hinge upon your own beliefs and situation. A balanced approach is the key as it always makes sense to have sizeable assets that you can call solely your own, if your situation permits.
I just became a Mom. What should I keep in mind with respect to my financial planning?
Avoid the common mistake of being so over enthusiastic about planning for your new-born’s school and college tuition that you compromise the ‘bookends’ of your Financial Plan – namely your short term emergency corpus, and your retirement. Your retirement might be a long way off, but it would be foolhardy not to understand how inflation will create the requirement for a large corpus at that stage of your life! Plan for all your life events in a balanced manner and remember the loan option (although ill advised!) will be available to fund at least part of your kid’s college tuition.
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