Investing money is not only a possibility but a necessity for securing one's financial future. Traditionally, hard work has been the primary means of accumulating wealth, but with investment options now available, money can yield a better return in less time. This is especially important for women who carry the dual burden of managing both their family responsibilities and a full-time job. They often bear a greater share of household duties and caregiving responsibilities.
In many cases, women may also need to manage their finances during career breaks, making investing a valuable tool for establishing a stable passive income stream. By making prudent financial investments, women can take charge of their financial health and achieve their long-term goals.
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When should you start?
If you were given a gift of a tree, would you wait to plant it until next year, or would you plant it immediately to start enjoying its benefits sooner? The same goes for your investments - the more time you have, the greater the opportunity for your money to grow through the power of compounding.
How to begin your investment journey?
Any woman can confidently begin an investment journey with these simple options. Starting small and steady is a smart approach when it comes to investing. Among the most effective choices for those who are new and uncomfortable with volatility is Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), which automatically deducts a certain amount monthly from your salary.
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Fixed Deposits (FDs) and Recurring Deposits (RDs) can also be considered for those who prefer traditional investment options. Another cost-effective investment vehicle to consider is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which offers the combined benefits of mutual fund diversification and the simplicity of stock trading.
Another attractive investment choice is Public Provident Fund (PPF), which provides a tax-free maturity value and a tax rebate on the annual amount invested under Section 80C. Let's take an example to see how it works. If you invest Rs. 1.5 lakhs per year in PPF starting in 2023 at the current market rate of 7.1%; you will have an astounding sum of Rs. 1.5 crore, all to yourself in just 30 years! By choosing the right investment options, even small amounts can accumulate substantial wealth over time.
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Once the decision to invest has been made, the first step is to open a bank account and an investment-linked demat and trading account if you don't have one. Opening a PPF account is also a simple process, which can be done online with just your PAN and Aadhaar details.
You can also seek advice from a professional if you're new to investing or need more time to understand the nuances of investing. Fortunately, many online tech-based solutions and guides are available to assist investors in making informed decisions.
At first, investing may seem daunting, requiring a lot of effort, but witnessing your wealth grow will make it hard for you to turn back. Undoubtedly, if women had been encouraged to organise their finances earlier, they would be more empowered today and more financially stable. Yet, there is always time to start planning for your financial health.
Investing can be a powerful tool to help you reach your long-term financial objectives and secure a financially stable future for yourself and your loved ones, whether it is just the start of your career or you are already established. So, start your investment journey confidently by taking that first step right now. Remember, starting early, staying disciplined, and being calm is the mantra!
Sreepriya N S is the Director and Chief Operating Officer at Entrust Family Office.