Investing is a leveller. Immaterial of the gender of the investor, the return on investments is higher if proper care has been taken to make a studied investment. Having said this, women investors need a slightly more different approach to investing when compared to men as the roles and responsibilities of a woman in our society are different from that of men. So, ladies (and gentlemen!) read on to know some of the important factors to be considered by women before they start make any investment.
# 1 Health is wealth: Health is wealth for everyone, but more so for women because their bodies undergo a plethora of hormonal changes. The first investment that a women investor should make must be in buying a health insurance cover. Regardless of the men (dad, husband, son, partner) in your life having a cover for you as a part of their health insurance, go ahead and purchase a health insurance cover which is tailored to woman-specific needs such as maternity, child-birth, new born baby cover, cover for critical illness specific to women et al. Most leading health insurance providers like TATA AIG, STAR, HDFC have health insurance plans particularly for women beneficiaries. Pick and choose the one most suitable for you depending on your age, salary, marital status, and other responsibilities.
# 2 Investments for Tax Planning: Choosing from a slew of investment choices available for tax planning, women investors need to pay heed to what their needs are. Remember that investments which give Income Tax benefits can also be made to yield a substantial return and serve as additional income down the years. So, the best thing to do is to chalk down the likely expenses that you will incur in the upcoming years, and smartly use income tax planning to cater to these. Also, ladies, remember to take a life insurance plan to insure your life. It is important and your life is precious! Your first investment for tax planning should be a life insurance cover which can be customized to become an investment for: your retirement, your child’s college expense, a holiday with family, your own or your family member’s wedding and so on! There are enough investment options available for tax planning, and you can happily mix and match them to suit your needs!
# 3 Invest in Women Centric Options: Whether it is insurance or investments such as Mutual Funds or deposits, keep a look out for women centric plans. At least once or twice a year, most leading fund houses and insurance agencies will launch schemes specially for the woman of a family. Read through the conditions and terms, and invest in these as they will provide additional benefits. Similarly, the Government also launches woman specific investment schemes in the form of bonds, insurance, and deposits. Watch out for these and invest in them if you can!
# 4 Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Investing is both a science and an art. The scientific aspect of it requires you to make plans, set targets, and meet them! So before investing, always plan. Plan on the minimum returns that you expect to make out of the investment, plan on the number of years that you intend to stay invested, plan on if you are going to meet a specific expense in the future by using this investment, plan on how you will track the progress that this investment makes, and plan on a contingency in case this investment does not take off. This way, you are not investing blindly but with a vision and hence you will accomplish it!
# 5 Investment is no longer a male bastion: This is a tenet which every lady must read, acknowledge, and reiterate to herself! It is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the sea of information which is available on investing. It is even more easier to give in to the age-old belief that men understand investing better simply because they have been doing it for ages now! Yes, you may make mistakes, but so do guys! So, every time you get fazed by the investment world, take a deep breath and gulp a glass of water. Self-belief leads to better decision-making which augments your self-confidence and translates into smarter investing. When in doubt, keep it simple by reading up more and acquiring more knowledge, which will equip you to invest better.
Summarizing this article, women investors just need to keep these few pointers in mind to buck the trend and make wise investment choices. This wide world of investing is waiting to multiply the wealth of the shrewd investor: no gender bias there. Happy Investing Ladies!
Anil Rego, CEO & Founder, Right Horizons
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