Posted On Monday, Mar 05, 2012
We live in a world that functions as per the beliefs and assumptions that govern us. And in the world of finance, men and women think differently, especially about money. The standard cliche is that men are financial wizards while women are the needy, shopping fanatics. The war of the genders is a never-ending tale. While it is difficult to arrive at a politically correct result to end this debate, we are busting a few myths about women and their financial capabilities.
Reality: Women are multitaskers. Their hands are always occupied - with responsibilities towards the family, career and finance too. Women generally run the household and hence play a major role in making consumption decisions for the family. Due to their shopping habits - household or leisure, they tend to be more aware of price changes compared to men.
Reality: It is true that women look at money as an emotional investment. They tend to be more cautious about their investment approach compared to men. Actually, this approach is an advantage since this causes them to put more effort in relating with the product. Hence, they make better investment choices than men do.
Given that women tend to outlive men, and major instances where they also earn comparatively lesser, they tend to take financial decisions. Some call this kind of investing as `fear based investments` since women tend to invest in products where risk is lowest. So, while they may be emotional, they want to be sure that their savings are safe and can be used for emergencies or to reach their goals.
Reality: This notion can`t be proved since there is no real evidence that women are less capable of understanding math concepts. Moreover, financial planning is very different from maths. While math skills can only give figures, financial planning involves the knack of sensible decision-making. With the countless number of financial products available, finding reliable information and making an informed investment is more important than solving math problems.
While the misconceptions will take years to erase, we are slowly getting there. It is really only in the 20th century that women have managed to bring down the glass ceiling in a male-dominated financial world. In India too, it is encouraging to see top posts in the financial fields being assigned to women who will lead the industry and facilitate avenues that will help women invest and save better. Women are much smarter and they understand the financial challenges they may face in the future much better, and plan accordingly.
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