A crisis usually forces us to focus on priorities. The Covid pandemic has done that for many investors and savers in terms of financial planning. A study by digital wealth management services company ScripBox finds that women’s investing habits and financial goals have undergone some change. The trend of women taking greater control of their money is increasing, accelerated by the economic impact of the pandemic. One in five women (22 per cent) stated that they have started to invest for the first time during the pandemic; and only 10 per cent said that they resorted to revenge shopping.
The survey was conducted digitally with 750-plus women across India in February 2022. Women’s communities on social media were among the participants.
As many as 70 per cent of the respondents said that for them financial independence is equivalent to confidence. While 44 per cent said they have prioritised creating a financial plan, 40 per cent claimed to have increased savings. Only about one-fourth (23 per cent) said, they had upped their investments.
Anita Chandrakant Maniyar, Sonali Pal and Aparna Mohan have learnt to control the reins of their own and their family’s finances. Read about their journey here.
Safety seems to be a priority when it comes to choice of products. This is evident from the fact that as many as one-third (34 per cent) of the women respondents said they prefer fixed income products such as fixed deposits, public provident fund (PPF), and insurance policies for saving and investing. Mutual funds were the second choice (22 per cent), followed by stocks (14 per cent) and gold (10 per cent).
Understanding the importance of financial strength and stability, the women respondents said they were proactively educating themselves on money matters, and among the most preferred sources of information was digital investment platforms for financial planning and investing (30 per cent). However, a fairly large portion (20 per cent) depends on friends and family, while articles on personal finance are the medium of choice for 15 per cent.
More and more women are becoming equal stakeholders in the family’s money-related decisions. According to the study, 32 per cent of the respondents said they are independently managing their own money while 38 per cent said they are actively involved in financial decision-making along with their spouse. Compared to last year’s survey, 11 per cent more women are independently managing their expenses today.
Creating a financial plan was the No.1 priority as per the study’s participants. But what are the main goals for which women are savings and investing? The study finds that, unlike earlier, retirement is now a major goal (20 per cent) along with children’s education (20 per cent). Perhaps, owing to the pandemic, building emergency funds has also become a top goal (15 per cent). The study found that while women under 35 years wish to make more money as their next financial goal, women over 35 years prefer to create an emergency fund.