Article by Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager – Research, Avtar
It was a pleasant afternoon. Our team had gathered at the lunch table and were enjoying passing our delicious lunch boxes to each other. Neha, one of our teammate joined us a little. I checked with her, whether all was fine. Neha replied with a big smile “Yes, I had been to the bank to close my fixed deposit as it dated for maturity and also wanted to check for other recent investment plans.” Wow! we working women have come a long way.
Women are always great with money. We really know how to save every penny. But it is important to know that SAVINGS is not equal INVESTMENT. They are different. Saving is setting aside a sum of money from our income, for future, predominantly for any unforeseen contingencies. Whereas, an investment is an asset or item accrued to generate income either for short or a long term.
Till a few years back, women relied on their fathers or their spouses to go about their investments or financial plans. Times have changed. Now, there is increased access to obtain knowledge about financial planning and advises from experts through the web world, social media and awareness sessions at offices. The digital wave has ensured every working woman her financial independence and surged confidence in her investments. Working women tend to take career breaks for motherhood or elder care at least once. It is critical being at ease with financial investment by choosing the correct investment tool. So here are some investment tools, listed. The listing is a blend of traditional and more dynamic avenues methods of investments for you to consider:
• Public Provident Fund is one of the most popular investment plans in India and has tax benefits.
• Employees’ Provident Fund is considered as one of the best investment options for working women as it allows tax benefits and gathers tax-free savings.
• Life & Health Insurance cover provides much needed financial security for you and your family. Remember, as your income increases you should increase the insurance cover.
• Government schemes Kisan Vikas Patra is one of the best short term investment plan as the maturity value doubles the principal amount. Sukanya Samridhi Yojna was launched specifically for the welfare of the girl child.
• National Savings Certificate is considered as one of the safest investment schemes that can be availed at the post offices.
• Post-Office Time Deposit/Monthly Income Scheme is considered to be eligible for child investment plans, where a single mother can invest a certain amount for her child’s education and healthcare.
• Bank Fixed Deposits is another good investment cum savings options that can be availed in both public and private sector banks.
• Mutual funds are a unique investment pooling entity which enables investors to invest in a wide range of securities in a single platform.
• Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a facility offered by mutual funds to the investors to invest in a disciplined manner.
• Gold is contemplated as a good investment in Indian society. It is important to note that only invest in gold coins and bond from RBI authorised dealers and banks can be exchanged for higher whenever needed. Purchase of gold jewellery cannot be considered as an investment.
So how can you start your financial planning?
It begins with your annual and monthly aligned budgetary allocations. It is important that your family needs to be alerted periodically keeping in mind future expenses – buying a house or accumulating capital for a business idea that you always dreamed etc.
Next, reduce impulsive spending. Shopping and entertainment are the two biggest impulsive spends. This is largely influenced by pester power (the ability of a child to pressurize its parents to buy a product/item, largely influenced by the advertisement in the media).
Eventually, in due course of time, you will be enabled to channelise your hard-earned money to fulfil your financial goals.