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Women take more financial decisions now

Women in India have come a long way — from being a saver for the family’s contingency needs, they are now fully involved in the financial decisions of the household, reports Sandeep Singh.

business Updated: Mar 07, 2010 22:35 IST
Sandeep Singh

“When I visit my clients now, often the wife sits along with her husband and actively participates in the family’s financial planning. This shift has been happening gradually over the past few years and sometimes, the woman takes the investment call now,” says Surya Bhatia, a Delhi based independent financial planner.

Women in India have come a long way — from being a saver for the family’s contingency needs, they are now fully involved in the financial decisions of the household.

It does not stop there — they are more disciplined and involved than their spouses and are working towards attaining financial security and independence for the family, say experts.

“There has clearly been a change over the past three years, with increasing involvement of women in financial decisions. Both partners sit and decide jointly on the financial options now,” says Nitin Rao, EVP, private banking group, HDFC Bank.

Experts also say that women ensure that their investments are made on time and they periodically review their portfolios.

“Observing our women customers, it is clear that they are more disciplined on their investment process,” said Vikas Agnihotri, CEO, Religare Macquarie Wealth Management.

“They are relatively less aggressive on their investment decisions and at times take more moderate calls on where the money has to be deployed.”

While they clearly score over their husbands on attention to detail, women continue to be slightly more conservative in their investment approach and are more focussed on providing safety and security to the family, which reflects in their portfolios.

“They look at capital protection in the long term,” says Rao.

“But they are not frightened of entering into equities, in which we are seeing a gradual increase.”

In keeping with her traditional role of ensuring family security, the Indian woman looks to adequately insure the family, especially with “health insurance, which we’ve seen more in demand from this segment,” says Rao.