...was the fo­cus of the fi­nan­cial plan­ning work­shop, which urged them to take stock, plan and in­vest

The New Indian Express - - EXPLORA - ● Dia Rekhi

On an av­er­age, women out­live men by at least three years. This was the first piece of in­for­ma­tion shared at the fi­nan­cial plan­ning work­shop by I Thought Fi­nan­cial Con­sult­ing ex­clu­sively for women. Set­ting the con­text for the rest of the eye-open­ing ses­sion, the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial plan­ner, Samyuk­tha Vibhu, and in­vest­ment strategist, Rash­mika D Prasad, spoke about the need for women to take own­er­ship of their fi­nances and be aware of their in­vest­ment op­tions be­cause at some point they would have to be re­spon­si­ble for their own fi­nances. There is also the fact that men tend to stay longer in the work­force than women which means women live longer with lesser time to earn to sus­tain them­selves af­ter re­tire­ment. A study con­ducted by a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory firm found that women earned 0.4% higher re­turns than their male coun­ter­parts when they un­der­stood how to go about in­vest­ing. In an In­dian con­text too, most women leave the re­spon­si­bil­ity of han­dling the fi­nances to their hus­band, father or brother. The com­mon per­cep­tion is that men deal with money bet­ter. How­ever, it has been found that women are more dis­ci­plined in­vestors and that once they start, they are more dili­gent about their in­vest­ments than men. The ad­vi­sors at the firm also ad­mit­ted that they had no­ticed nu­mer­ous times that women tend to have a pos­i­tive im­pact on in­vest­ment de­ci­sions made by their part­ners. Yet, women of­ten hes­i­tate to take own­er­ship of their fi­nances be­cause they ei­ther do not have enough knowl­edge or don’t get the time. Fur­ther, there is also the added con­cern in cases where they are home­mak­ers and feel it is not their money and so they do not have the author­ity to take those de­ci­sions. There is also a loom­ing fear of mak­ing a mis­take that com­pels them to hand over the re­spon­si­bil­ity of their fi­nances on some­one else. The work­shop strongly ad­vo­cated for women to ed­u­cate them­selves more by tak­ing stock of their ac­tions, un­der­stand­ing their as­pi­ra­tions, plan­ning and set­ting goals, prefer­ably with the help of an ad­vi­sor who could un­der­stand their needs and risk ap­petite bet­ter to be able to guide them. The ad­vi­sors em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of plan­ning as a tool that helps to re­view cash flow, as­sess one’s net worth, op­ti­mise tax ben­e­fits all the while man­ag­ing risks and help­ing to meet fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments and as­pi­ra­tions.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Ta­pas Ran­jan

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