8 Smart Investment Ideas for Women | Bajaj Broking- InveStree ep.1

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You may be surprised to know that in the modern world in which we live, where digitisation is reaching new and advanced ways of living and working, there is one aspect of life that is far from advanced. Gender equality remains a concern for most global economies, and this pertains to India too. One of the World Health Organisation’s aims to reach sustainability is, in fact, gender equality. Although women play central and pivotal roles in the economy and in general life, in areas like education, healthcare, politics, entertainment, corporate life, and the workforce as a whole, women may yet lack financial acumen. Money management and money investment ideas may not come to women as naturally as they come to men.

Why is Financial Literacy an Issue?

India, until recently and still in some parts, has always focused on a patriarchal society and economic culture. Largely, Indian women are steered away from finances or any financial decisions. The reasons for this may be circumstantial or derived from a lack of education and awareness. Women may manage household budgets well, seeing to the day-to-day allocation of expenses, but this does not translate to financial independence for women. Women in India may fear investment and money matters in general so it is crucial to introduce safe investment options in India. 

The behaviour of Indian women may also have a large part to play in the indifference towards finances or the lack of financial literacy. Where marriage is concerned, Indian women tend to compromise more than men, be it as a result of giving up a career to raise children or run the household. This turns into a vicious cycle in a way, as this leads to financial insecurity. Nonetheless, if more women were financially literate, they would not have to compromise and could take steps toward financial independence. 

Financial Challenges

Among the many challenges faced by women in finance is primarily the fact that Indian women live in a largely patriarchal society and culture. However, the government has launched several investment schemes for ladies. Still, here are the key challenges that women face in terms of finances in India:

  • Gender-Induced Pay Gap

A 2020 Index Report displayed that Indian women earned 19% less than Indian men in the workforce. Although women may be as qualified in terms of experience and education (or even more qualified) as men, their pay scales significantly differ. 

  • Gaps in the Career

Women, due to circumstances, have to necessarily take breaks in their careers due to family emergencies or pregnancy. As a result of this, they tend to lag behind and lose periods of experience compared to their male counterparts. 

Women and Finance – Investment Options

If you are a woman who wants to take hold of the financial reins in her life, then you should know the key investment choices available to you. Depending on your appetite for risk and your income, you may choose investments accordingly. You must also have clearly defined goals so that you know what investments to opt for to achieve your financial objectives. Your choices are highlighted below: 

  1. Liquid Funds

In case you have cash on hand and wish to invest in a channel that grows your capital, you can invest it in a liquid fund. Instead of letting your capital lie in the bank at a low interest rate, a liquid fund could potentially grow wealth. Liquid funds allow you to withdraw your assets when you wish and simultaneously grow your capital while it is allocated to the fund. As far as money investment ideas go, liquid funds are good for people who may want cash on an urgent basis without notice. 

  1. Real Estate

The real estate industry is always on the path of growth in India. When you begin your career, you can invest in real estate, be it a residential property or a commercial property, and later you can earn rent from leasing it. Nonetheless, it is important to note that real estate is an asset that is low where liquidity is concerned. 

  1. Bank Deposits

One of the safe investment options in India, bank deposits like fixed deposits and recurring deposits may give you low returns, but provide you with a steady income. At current interest rates, financial institutions and banks give you interest rates that range between 5% to 7%. Although returns may not be as high as you get from other investment instruments, like say, stocks, you get a low-risk steady income. You can also withdraw your principal at any time in case of emergencies. 

  1. Stocks and Shares

When you think of investing for women, you may not think of the stock market initially. However, for those women with a high appetite for risk and a desire for potentially high returns, stocks may be considered investment instruments. Depending on how and where you invest, you face a considerably moderate to high degree of risk, but your potential returns may be high. Under the umbrella of equity investment, you could also consider mutual fund investment which mitigates your risk to some extent. 

  1. Gold

Indian women probably possess more gold than their hands can hold. In terms of the physical metal, you may have a large amount of gold, but you can also make investments in digital gold. You may buy gold ETFs or invest in Sovereign Gold Bonds. These are easily invested in and may give you more in terms of returns than physical gold. 

  1. NPS

You can invest in schemes like the National Pension Scheme (NPS) which is a government-backed scheme and may be considered if you want to build wealth for retirement. 

  1. PPF

You can invest in schemes like the Public Provident Fund (PPF), also backed by the Indian government that gives you a decent rate of interest. PPF gives you compound interest and this grows your wealth over time. This may be considered for long-term wealth creation. You may think of this as potentially the best saving scheme for ladies as it works to grow wealth on the basis of compound interest. 

  1. Emergency Funds

Setting up a special fund to meet any of life’s emergencies is also a good way to be financially independent. With an emergency fund, you remain stress-free and in control of your life, financially. 

Clever Financial Management

You can be clever at finances or choose to remain ignorant, but gaining knowledge about your finances only helps you to attain financial independence. While understanding finances and investing, it is important to allocate some of your money to insurance like health insurance and life insurance. Being financially educated may take you some time and effort, but once you are you can be rest assured of financial independence.

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