Women are still letting their husbands handle financial matters in 2018. Why?
A new report from UBS discovered that 56% percent of married women leave decisions on investments and financial matters to their husbands. Among them, 61% are millennial women, who do this more than any other generation.
Ladies, what’s going on?
Ideally, financial planning should be gender agnostic considering both men and women today are equally educated, independent and in most cases even equal breadwinners of a family. But women’s aversion to active decision-making in this regard may stem from numerous causes: lack of awareness, lower risk appetite, or lower confidence. In fact, the same report showed that 85% of married women stay out of long-term financial decisions because they believe their spouses know better.
This has to change. Women need to step up, take the reins of their financial future and be equal partners in money matters. If you can launch rockets, win Olympic gold and run major companies, there is no reason you cannot have complete control over your money.
In fact, financial planning is not remotely new to Indian women. Our mothers and grandmothers have been saving, investing and planning their finances for generations. They often saved aside some money from daily household expenses, hidden for use during an emergency. This kept them partially independent of their husbands, and demonstrated a practical mindset.
In actuality, financial planning is more than manageable if one adheres to these simple guidelines. You work hard. Make your money work harder for you.
Take the plunge: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Although you might lack the knowledge in the beginning, trust yourself and take the plunge. You could start small but its essential to take the first step towards financial planning. With finances, it is better to be an inch wide and a mile deep. So once you have invested, educate yourself on building a portfolio.
Emulate an advisor you like: While you increase your financial vocabulary, you’re bound to stumble across advisors. Find the one you think resonates with your ideas and then emulate them. It’s always better to have a guide to follow than simply shooting in the dark.
Think long term: Set your financial goals by determining what you want to achieve. Say you want to own a house or start a business, you’ll need to calculate an approximate target and invest accordingly. Investing in financial products like HDFC Life’s ULIP plans help you get a head start as well as earn heavy returns through compounding. Depending on your risk appetite, even if you invest Rs 15,000 per month, you will be able to build a corpus of at least Rs 18.2 lakh from insurance which could go up to Rs.25.3 lakh if the return is 8%. Think long term and invest early.
Don’t simply run on autopilot: Review your investments at least once a year to know where you are headed. You could increase or decrease the amount you invest in various financial products, depending on your income. Also, it is wise to stay abreast of market changes. This will help you further understand where next to invest and how much you can reap.
Teach other women: Once you have gained confidence in your investment skills, help other women do the same. This not only gives a boost to your confidence, but will also help your friends become financially independent. Once you have the knowledge, pass it on.
Start small, but start. Don’t let doubt stop you from being the master of your financial fate. There are endless resources for educating yourself, both online and offline. Stay true to the aforementioned guidelines, and you will find yourself making the right calls in no time!
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