Investment has long been considered a key component of personal finance. Putting money into strategically chosen assets, funds, and/or markets helps to protect you for the future and potentially develop streams of passive income on your behalf. Investment is also something that people are generally advised to start doing as soon as they’re able to spare the funds. This is because, in many cases, the longer an investment is active, the greater the potential return it will be able to generate.
Despite all this, a recent report on investment indicated that virtually half of all Indian women are not practicing this vital personal finance measure. Specifically, surveys determined that 49% of Indian women are either unaware of their investments or are not investing at all. This finding was attributed primarily to the fact that many Indian women are adhering to the outdated notion that men are more effective at managing money. Priti Rathi Gupta, a woman involved with the organization that compiled the report, said, “Women work hard at earning and saving their money but usually stop there.”
The report indicated that many of the women surveyed “believe that the man should be the decision maker” and specify that their husbands or fathers take care of family finances. This mentality, it was suggested, makes women “unsure of stepping into the game,” essentially trapped by the stereotype of finances being the domain of men.
In short, even among Indian women who work and bring in their own income, many believe it is simply not their role to manage that income. By extension, these women struggle to determine their own financial goals and, in some cases, may not be certain of how they would even go about investing if they decided to.
These are all understandable issues and sentiments brought on by outdated perceptions of societal roles. Because investing is such an important component of personal financial management, however, what matters now is for Indian women who want to take control of their finances to avoid becoming part of that 49%. So, what can Indian women today do to reverse the trend and take control of their personal financial futures?
Take Advantage of Online Opportunities
The first step for Indian women who want to invest is to figure out where and how it can be done. And these days, that means taking advantage of online opportunities.
For some, this will mean exploring traditional trading platforms –– which, incidentally, is something that more women in the country are beginning to do. In 2021, an article on women’s investment noted that women throughout India are not only finding reasons to invest but doing so in the stock market. 50% of women surveyed sought out trading opportunities in order to “achieve personal goals,” while 43% did so in order to “add to household income and support family.” Most interesting of all, though, was that these motivations had driven a meaningful surge in women’s investment in the stock market. A single brokerage firm cited had seen the number of women on its investing platform jump from 3.5 lakh to 7.2 lakh in a single year’s time.
At the same time, alternative methods have also arisen for those women who might not feel comfortable operating through traditional brokerage firms. Today, reputable digital platforms supporting online trading operate essentially as apps, and are equipped not only to handle trades but to advise and support users. Through a platform like this, an Indian woman entirely new to investment can make use of analytical tools, up-to-date information, and a range of accessible markets. Deposits are secure, withdrawals are instantaneous, and processes are simplified. In short, these online trading environments make for less intimidating environments for newcomers and make it easier to independently put money away for the future.
Draw Inspiration from Inspirational Women
Online investment platforms provide opportunities for Indian women who choose to put their own money away for the future. For those who are still struggling with the decision of whether or not to conduct personal investments, however, inspiration can also make for a useful starting point.
On this point, it is worth looking once more at some of the women entrepreneurs that have been highlighted by us in the past. These women were not singled out or profiled because of their prowess as investors. Nevertheless, their determination to control their own professional and financial lives and futures serves as a strong reminder that finance and business are not the purview of men alone.
Consider Upasana Taku, for instance, who founded MobiKwik to democratize access to digital payment platforms. Or think instead of ShopClues founder Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, who has worked to bridge the digital divide faced by small-business entrepreneurs in remote areas. Again, these women are not renowned for reasons relating to investment. They have, however, taken control of their own financial lives to the extent that they were able to strike out on their own and form successful, impactful businesses. Their examples should inspire women who are hesitant to invest to start taking control of their personal finances.
Start Soon But Small
Finally, it is also important for Indian women who are prepared to start conducting personal investments to start soon but small. In the same report that discussed the fact that 49% of Indian women are not investing, Prithi Rathi Gupdta provided some financial advice for women who want to reverse the trend. Most notably, she recommended that such women “start investing early, even if it’s a small amount.”
The rationale behind starting soon, or early, is that many forms of investment involve compounding interest or funds. In such investments, the amount that is put away grows at a more substantial rate as time passes –– which means that the earlier that amount is put away, the longer it has to grow. At the same time, though, that initial investment does not have to be substantial in order to be effective. In fact, for any newcomer to financial markets –– even one who has considered the matter carefully and done research, as all newcomers should –– it is wise to start small. This enables a new investor to get comfortable with markets and processes before putting more money in.
For several years now, reports from around the world have indicated that more women are beginning to invest on their own. In India, only about half of women have joined the club. By following the tips above, however, and studying relevant investment markets with care, more Indian women can start putting away money for their futures.
We hope that this has encouraged you to explore the idea if you’re a woman interested in investment. And for more inspiration concerning women in business and finance, we hope you’ll return to our site again soon!