Ahead of the International Women’s Day, a survey to understand the savings and investment drivers and barriers for women in India has revealed interesting statistics.
A report by LXME, a social fintech and a financial platform for women, found that an overall 33 per cent of women were not investing their money in any manner whatsoever and the share of such women is higher at 39 per cent in the 21-25 age group.
“The ill-informed fear, that investing is for the rich, turns out to be true among the respondents as the highest 39 per cent women stated low funds to be the reason for not investing their money. This is followed by lack of financial awareness at 12 per cent and fear of losing savings at 10 per cent,” says Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME.
Incidentally, the report, which has been exclusively shared with Business Today, further found that 22 per cent women did not know about their investments while only 13 per cent of those who were investing did it independently – there was a major dependency on family and partners.
In terms of savings, the survey found that 14 per cent of the women did not make any investments at all while 17 per cent invested less than 5 per cent. Further, 25 per cent of the females saved between 6 per cent and 10 per cent of their money.
Further, across all age groups, savings were kept in normal savings bank account though a move towards investing in different financial instruments was seen in women in the 21-25 age group category.
In terms of investment products, gold and fixed deposits topped the list with mutual funds and stocks featuring in the bottom half though their share is on the rise amongst working women, as per the report titled ‘Women & Money Power 2022 Study’.
The survey reached out to around 4,000 women from across the country in the age group of 21 and 45. More importantly, it included women across categories like salaried, business owners and unemployed women across life stages - single, married and with or without kids.
Further, the survey was not only limited to the metros or the leading towns but also reached to Tier 2/3 locations including places like Trichy, Vizag, Surat, Indore, Kochi, Guwahati, Patna and Ranchi among other destinations.
“There has been a dire need of understanding the money habits and mind-set of women. Women have differentiated financial needs; differentiated earning potential, career peaks and breaks, longer life expectancy, and a different approach & mind-set towards financial planning. It is thus imperative for women to take charge of their money through smart planning and investing,” said Gupta.
Interestingly, a high 92 per cent of the women surveyed mentioned that they do not access any financial investment related websites even as more women in non-metro cities were investing independently through ‘self-learning’ when compared to those in the metros.
Further, while the awareness level for traditional instruments like gold, fixed deposits (FDs), recurring deposits (RDs) and National Pension System (NPS) was higher amongst women in non-metros, they scored better even for assets classes like stocks, digital gold, derivatives, commodities and even cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, as many as 67 per cent of the women surveyed prioritised family security and children education as the primary drivers for investments whereas, self-security, retirement and starting their own business stood at only 12 per cent.
“Financial planning should be taught as a life skill and the earlier women start managing their money the better for their future. This is very critical as the study shows that in the age group of 21-25, 40 per cent women were not investing all, which was higher than average,” said Gupta while highlighting the fact that 82 per cent women in metros and 74 per cent in small towns are looking for a platform to make investments easier.
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