Press Trust of india

COVID-19 prompts women to take ownership of money, invest more: Survey

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New Delhi: A greater number of women in India are taking ownership of their money and investing more as compared to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the economy and hit household budgets, according to a survey.

The percentage of women who actively invest has risen by 10 percentage points since last year, the survey conducted by Scripbox, a digital wealth management service firm, ahead of the International Women’s Day found.

The survey involving 778 respondents from across the country was aimed at “examining aspects of financial preparedness, investment behaviours and challenges around money matters of women”.

“This annual survey records a clear progression in women investing more and taking greater control of their money over the last year as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“The percentage of those who actively invest has risen by 10 per cent since the last year,” it said.

Women who would earlier leave the financial decisions to their husbands, or other male members of the family have, over the course of the past year, reclaimed control of their finances and by extension, their well-being.

“Sixty-seven per cent of women make joint decisions with their spouses and 21 per cent of women say that they handle them independently.

“The number of women who say that they have an equal say in money matters along with their spouses has doubled since last year, from 33 per cent to 67 per cent in 2021,” the survey said.

For non-metro women, financial decisions are largely left to the parents, it added.

For a large section of the respondents, getting involved in financial planning decisions lent them a sense of confidence that encouraged them to take risks.

Women continue to be avid savers, with over 50 per cent preferring to squirrel away their money in fixed deposits and 36 per cent choosing to invest in mutual funds.

Twenty-one per cent of women are investing in stocks.

“Nearly 60 per cent of women save more than 20 per cent of their income every month. Fifty-six per cent of women prefer fixed income products such as Fixed Deposits, Public Provident Funds, and other tax-saving schemes,” the survey said.

Sripbox founder Atul Singhal said embracing systematic long-term investing helped create a greater sense of well-being among women. It was promising to see more women taking the reins of their financial future.

“Women tend to prioritise long-term growth over immediate returns and look to achieve life goals. Their long-term view of wealth creation lends ideally to investing which requires and rewards that perspective,” he said.

The survey showed that saving for retirement is the foremost financial goal for women (58 per cent) in the country. Other goals include children’s education (52 per cent) and creating an emergency fund (50 per cent).

“Expectedly, among single women, their top financial goal was to save for travel (51 per cent). Saving up for a home was also among their top four financial goals,” the survey said.

While women have come a long way in terms of achieving financial independence, there is still a long way to go.

According to the survey, at least 50 per cent of women admitted to having low or no confidence in their financial decision-making and investment acumen.

“One out of two women say they don’t have enough knowledge and are confused about financial planning. One out of every five women in non-metros say that they do not have enough money to put towards their savings,” the survey said.

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