Society and its gender roles have gotten one thing wrong: it’s not women who are overly emotional, it’s men. Owing to this fact, women approach investing more strategically and are a lot more grounded in their money decisions than men.
Women are more patient and less likely to make impulsive trade decisions based on ‘hot tips’ or temporary market changes — research found that men trade 45% more often than women do. You may think that this constant tracking of the markets and excessive buying and selling of stocks to hit the sweet spot may earn male investors more returns, but it’s just the opposite. As per a report by Fidelity, over the last ten years, women investors outperformed, on average, their male counterparts by 40 basis points.
All the things that should be kept in check when investing — risk appetite, impulsivity, and confidence vis-à-vis knowledge — men fail to do. They are biologically wired that way, it’s all that testosterone, says Dr William Bernstein, neurologist turned investment guru. According to him, testosterone decreases fear, increases greed, and contributes to overconfidence. This leads to men overestimating the precision of their stock market predictions, holding unrealistic beliefs about the returns they can earn, and having riskier portfolios as compared to their degree of risk aversion. They tend to get emotionally attached and take longer to offload loss-making investments compared to women.
Despite everything pointing at the fact that women are inherently better investors than men, the participation of women investors is considerably low in India. Here are three major reasons why.
- Women are too cautious with their investment decisions
Women in India don’t think of investments the same way men do. The moment you say ‘investment’, men will inevitably think of the stock market. Conversely, women are a bit too cautious. A survey revealed that 58% of women prefer to invest in fixed-income securities such as fixed deposits and public provident funds or just let their money sit in their savings account.
In fact, as of 2021, only 21% of all Indian stock market investors were women — less than the global average of 24% at that time. This, despite the fact that India is the world’s sixth-largest stock market.
- Women don’t feel confident to make investment decisions
Historically, it was men who dealt with money matters — women didn’t earn any income so they didn’t have anything to invest. So, there was no reason for women to bother themselves with investment jargon or the workings of the markets. Now, times may have changed, but the gap between the financial knowledge and confidence of women is still too wide.
A survey conducted by DSP Winvestor Pulse found that only 33% of Indian women make independent investment decisions. The survey also revealed that 40% of the women were introduced to investing by their husbands, while 28% were introduced by their fathers.
- Women feel they don’t know enough to get started
This perception formed due to societal conditioning that investing is a man’s world is not just the case with India. Globally, too, women are yet to be as active as their male counterparts with their investments. It’s not like women don’t want to take charge of their money, they just don’t know where to begin. In the survey conducted by Fidelity, 65% of women stated that they would be more likely to invest, or invest more, if they had clear steps to do so.
That’s understandable: nobody wants to feel like they have been pushed into a whole intimidating world without any maps or directions. If you feel the same way, here’s how you can get started.
How you can be in control of your financial destiny
The first step is to ask yourself what your financial goals are. It’s only when you do that can you look at different investments and know which ones you should consider investing in based on their risk, estimated returns, time period, etc,. Once you list down your goals and learn the basics, you can start building your investment portfolio.
At Appreciate, we make investing easy for you. Tell us your goals and invest regularly with our Systematic Investment Plan (SIP). Our AI-based software will pick the right investments for you at the right time and help build a strategic portfolio that allows you to meet your financial goals seamlessly. To begin your investment journey confidently and make informed decisions, sign up at Appreciate.