While young women in India are today working hard to make their presence felt at the workplace, there is a pressing need for women to be educated rather early in their lives about investing, to enhance their standing from just being good savers to great investors. Women need access to the right professional financial advice, says Aditi Kothari Desai, Director and Head (Sales, Marketing and e-business), DSP Investment Managers Pvt Ltd.
Voicing her dismay over DSP Winvestor Pulse 2019 survey findings, which indicated that women are being guided more by their husbands and not fathers about investments, she said, “One, it should start early; and, two, the desire to build a strong foundation for their future should be accompanied by a rising need for independence. Women can be apprehensive about taking charge of their investment decisions — due to lack of early financial education or believing that it is not their domain, but this should not deter them from taking bold decisions, albeit with right professional financial advice.”
The survey was conducted as part of DSP Mutual Fund’s Winvestor initiative, a programme that encourages women to take charge of their investment decisions and instils confidence so they don’t depend on someone else to control their finances.
The survey was conducted in partnership with Nielsen, across eight cities, covering over 4,000 women and men in the 25-60 age group.
Findings revealed that only 33 per cent of women took independent investment decisions as compared to 64 per cent men and many of these women were encouraged by their respective spouses as compared to parental advice.
The study found that the top goals for men and women were similar: child’s education, dream home, child’s marriage, debt-free life and a good life. Women seemed slightly more inclined towards child-oriented goals.
The findings revealed that men dominated with regard to investing in a car or home, while women played a major role in buying of jewellery, day-to-day household purchases and durables.
“Only 12 per cent of the women said that investment in market-based instruments (such as stocks, MF and equity) was solely theirs.”
Preference for women advisors
While most men said they were gender-neutral in considering financial advisors, six times more women preferred women financial advisors than men (19 per cent women vs 3 per cent men). Kalpen Parekh, President, DSP Investment Managers observed that women as retail investors have been a largely ignored segment for the investment industry, despite a large proportion of the industry workforce including some senior professionals and fund managers are women. DSP is focussed on building this segment, he added.