Indian women don’t see gold as investment

Indian women don’t see gold as investment

– Financial Chronicle

Though Indian women have a craze for gold, they do not usually see it as an investment, say financial planners. Also, among the limited number of women who take investment decisions in India, most want to keep gold out of the purview of investment.

Moreover, even in the middle and upper middle class, the number of women who take to investments is minuscule, says Renu Maheswari, co-founder of Inscholaz, who conducts investment advisory workshops for women. Even among working women, only around 20 per cent would be actively taking decisions as to where and how to invest.

Among them a good majority are single women – spinsters, widows or divorcees. Wives who take investment decisions for the family are largely those who earn more than the spouse. However, their investment decisions are not skewed towards gold.

“Women buy and use gold in jewellery form, but most of them are not keen to buy gold bars and coins or gold exchange traded funds for investment purpose. They do not want to load gold in their portfolio beyond five to 10 per cent. The subdued returns in gold in recent times too have made them mistrust gold from an investment standpoint,” said Maheswari.

“Women buy gold as consumption material and they do not want it to be included in the list of investments,” said Suresh Sadagopan, founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisories. “These purchases are comparable to men’s buying of electronic gadgets. Women are not too keen on gold ETFs either,” he added.

Awareness among wom-en in the affluent category about equities and mutual funds is very limited. It takes a little longer to convince women about the need for different investment instruments. Most of them go back to their family or friends for second opinion. But once they are convinced, they are very regular and committed towards investing, said Sadagopan.

He finds that investment behaviour might be different in rural areas vis-a-vis small towns or cities. But there is not much difference in behaviour in urban settlements across regions.

“However, the family and cultural background influences the investment behaviour. Women from communities in which girls are educated and have inheritance rights, are more inclined towards taking investment decisions. Women from business families are not averse to equities,” said Maheswari.

However, when it comes to risk tolerance levels, there are not many gender differences. Once they have a better understanding, they do not mind going for higher risk instruments.

According to Sada­gopan, the number of women who are active in taking investment decisions would be less than 20 per cent of the clientele who approach financial planners. But the numbers would definitely grow in coming years, with more women joining the workforce and becoming economically independent