“Men Manage Money Much Better.” This deep-rooted orientation has created a huge barrier in the minds of women – a belief that money management and investing are complicated concepts that only a male brain can decipher. NOT TRUE!
Traditionally, men have been the bread earners in the family. Hence, matters of money have always been left to men, starting from saving to investing. Although participation of women in the workforce is rising, there is very little emphasis on how managing your money and investing is the only path to wealth creation. Hence, women work hard at earning and saving their money but usually stop there. While the society around women is changing and making way for a more progressive work culture, women themselves need to adapt and take charge of their finances.
Women have differentiated financial needs from men; they have a different earning potential, which is subject to the gender pay gap, different career peaks; they tend to take more career breaks, they have a longer life expectancy and a different approach and mindset toward financial planning. It is thus imperative for women to take charge of their money through smart planning and investing, best suited to their personal needs.
As per the DSP Winvestor Pulse Survey 2019 conducted by Nielson, only 33% of women make independent investment decisions, as opposed to 64% of men. Yes, the number resounds like an echo. One that we have strived to change and accelerate in the past few years through our platform LXME, India’s first financial platform for women, which aims to bridge the gap between women and finance with a community-led, expert-backed, hassle-free platform curated for women. I believe that financial independence is an essential life skill every woman should be well equipped with in order to be truly independent. Financial freedom is the topmost privilege for any woman and LXME helps inspire that. The goal of the platform is to empower women across life stages to invest and take charge of their money.
Many Indian women continue to leave investment decisions on their male counterparts putting themselves at a massive disadvantage – of being unaware of family assets or investments. This stems from lack of confidence in self with managing money. This lack of confidence is a big barrier for women to even take the first step.
To quote the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Investing could feel like a bit of work initially, but once you see your money grow, there will be no going back. Fortunately, there is plenty of information available out there to help you get started on your investing journey.
Whenever faced with questions regarding how to invest, please remember that one of the best things you can do is ask for help. There are no stupid questions, and the doubts you have today were once, in all probability, the same as those that others had when they were first starting out. What matters is starting. As a woman, you hold the power to invest your money patiently, smartly, and efficiently, which will not only help you reach your financial goals but also lead you down a path of growth and opportunities.
Women are born money managers. When armed with the right attributes of being risk-aware, disciplined, making informed decisions, and staying calm under stress, women can shift effortlessly from managing home budgets to being smart investors. When women begin to invest and grow their money, they carry the potential to bring about societal change, because they begin by investing back into their community and children. The future of financial freedom for women is the onset of an evolutionary change, and it begins with the simple adaptation of money management as a life skill.
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead January 2022 issue.
Priti Rathi Gupta is the founder of LXME, a financial planning platform for women. LXME is a fast-growing, robust community-led financial management, planning, and education platform for women. The platform aims to inspire a wave of financially fearless women to actively manage their money and achieve their dreams. With over 75,000 women in its ecosystem at present, the target is to build a community of up to 5 million financially independent women over the next five years.
Priti is also Managing Director and promoter at AnandRathi Group, which offers financial and advisory services including wealth management, investment banking, brokerage and distribution of equities, commodities, mutual funds, and insurance.