For most women, working or stay at home, investing money is one of the most intimidating and complicated tasks. It seems easier to earn money, than investing it to give you desirable profits. Which is why we are very cautious about making investments, but this attitude only makes us more prone to making mistakes, most of which can be easily avoided.
Truth is men are no wiser than us, when they begin dappling in investments. They learn as they go
Showing no confidence in yourself: This is the very first step where most women go wrong. We have all been conditioned to believe that women are poor in managing money. That making investments is better left to men and thus we end up with little or no confidence in our capabilities as investors. Manisha Gadre, a housewife from Pune reasons, “If anything goes wrong with the investments, then I can incur losses. Secondly, I am not up to date when it comes to new schemes, which is why I am constantly in doubt, if I am investing at the right place or not, hence I trust my husband with this responsibility.”
But the truth is men are no wiser than us, when they begin dappling in investments. They learn as they go, and even make mistakes which result in bad investments. Which is why women should stop feeling intimidated by the task at hand. So stop believing in outdated notions which dismiss an entire gender as bad investors purely on basis of bias, and be confident.
Knocking the wrong doors for help: Ask a group of women, who takes care of their money, and a majority will name a male relative. We think it is wise and natural to trust brothers, fathers and husbands with our finances. But we forget that they are humans too. They are prone to making the same mistakes as us. Also as women our priorities and risk appetite are prone to be different. So isn’t it better to turn to a professional, in case you need help? It is about time to end this dependency for your own good and rather train yourself while you can. So many women realise the cost of putting money matters in someone else’s hands, when they are too old and habituated to take it upon themselves.
Should you take a leap of faith based on your friends’ experiences? Hearsay?
Investing Blindly: So your friend has told you about this great investment scheme which gives amazing profits in a very short duration, or perhaps she or he has gotten unbelievably good results investing in certain policies or stocks. Should you take a leap of faith purely based on their experiences? Should you copy your friend’s investment strategy simply because it worked for them? No. Because there is no such thing as one size fits all, when it comes to investments. Your investments should be based on your vision of your future, your needs and your earnings and finances.
Another bad decision is to invest blindly on someone’s word, without reading the finer print. You should always know the whats and hows of where you are putting your money. Also, there are a lot of exclusive investment options especially for women. Sadly, women do not find out about them simply because we do not ask. So do a thorough research of all available options before you even start investing your money.
Many women often feel that there is no point in making short term investments. Why spend it on indulgences when you can save it for old age?
Not setting proper goals: When you plan investments, your aim shouldn’t be just saving up on your taxes or for your old age. You should have a set of specific goals in your mind, as to why and when you’ll reap the benefits of investing your money. So make a list of short term and long term goals, and guide your money’s growth accordingly. Short term goals could be anything from planning for a Europe trip to buying a luxury item, whereas long term investments can be about carefree retirement or education fund for kids etc. Many women often feel that there is no point in making short term investments. Why spend it on indulgences when you can save it for old age? However, living your life today is as important as planning your future. Besides if you do not want to spend whatever you incurred from short term investments, you can put it in the system again.
Putting all your money in one place: It is as scary as it sounds, but I have seen people do it! When one investment scheme shows a promise of great returns, people often put all their money in one place. Author Dipali Taneja says, “It makes sense to invest in terms of security, liquidity, and returns. Balancing these major factors requires one to select more than one investment option. Therefore, it makes sense to divide ones investments between different modes. Wisdom lies in a wise distribution overall.”
Sangeeta Irani, partner at Cubic Communication seconds this, adding, “There is a need to have a diversified portfolio to hedge against the fluctuations in the markets.
While putting all your money in one investment scheme may make things less complex, it doesn’t seem to be worth the risk. It makes more sense to invest in chunks and it reduces the risk, because let’s face it, losses are as much part of the procedure, as are profits.
As Product Strategist Monica Jasuja sums it up, “Read up, learn and equip yourself to understand how to diversify after meeting your basic needs and investing any surplus + your retirement fund into a good mix of debt, equity and pension based on your plan and specific needs. Remember two fundamentals
1. Where ever attention goes, energy flows hence focus on learning and you will
2. Your retirement is not guaranteed to be happy and without dependence unless you plan now.”