Guwahati, Monday, January 18, 2010
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Women must develop habit of investment for better future
GP Baroowa
 TO BEAT THE INFLATION, it would be mandatory for a person to invest first in mutual fund.

The traditional habit of saving money by the people helped the country to withstand the global financial crisis. Though government plays a vital role through its policies, it is our habit of saving money which helped the country to remain unaffected during the financial meltdown.

Saving comes naturally to us; India has one of the highest savings rates of any economy in the world. What we don’t do as well is invest. A very large part of our investments languish in physical asset, like gold while a great portion of our financial investments lie in savings or fixed deposits.

Perhaps we were never really taught how to manage money, or maybe we simply avoid thinking about it because the situation is so dire. In order to see things really turn around for the long haul, we need to incorporate some simple money-saving habits.

Now a days women are heading organizations like Coco cola , HSBC bank and also insurance companies. Many women have become successful lawyers , doctors , advocates and teachers. In a recently conducted survey revealed that women are more of a spender than saver. In India, at the end of ninth five year pan 26.1% of the population was living below poverty line. In the rural area 27.1% of the population was living under poverty. The overall unemployment rate is estimated to be 7.32%. The female unemployment rate is 8.5%. The rate of growth of women unemployment in the rural area is 9.8%. This is because of the low growth rate of new and productive employment.

In a 2008 survey of more than 1,300 workers or retirees over age 25 by nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Matthew Greenwald & Associates, 68% women and 76% men said that they “had” saved for retirement; 59% women and 70% men said they were currently saving; and 58% women and 64% men said they were contributing to a workplace retirement account. Two recent studies of participants in large-company plans show similar results. This is not only the case in India. Even in America women save lower than men. The Vanguard, a mutual fund company that also manages retirement plans in USA, reported that in 2007 the average account balance of more than three million participants in their 401(k) plans were $56,723 for women, compared with $95,447 for men.

What should women do? They need to invest and save early and judiciously. Where women need to invest ? The investment in EPF is a must. Those who do not have EPF they should start saving in PPF surely from the beginning of their career. PPF can be started with Rs 500 per annum. Investment in PPF would not be enough. To beat the inflation it would be mandatory for a person to invest first in mutual fund. Investment in mutual fund is not as safe as the bank fixed deposit. But women must learn to take little risk in case they want to lead a satisfying life style through out their life. Which are the mutual funds they need to select and how long they need to invest?

It would be prudent to study investment journals. The banks have their own investment desk. SBI has its wide range of products and business correspondents. I would highly recommend that all investors should try to study the website of ‘Money’ and ‘value research .com’ and invest in four star and five star mutual funds. Women above

45 years of age should avoid full diversified equity funds to minimise the risk. They need to subscribe at least sixty per cent of their saving in debt fund. Alternatively they can opt for balanced fund so that risk can be divided.

Considering the situation and rising food inflation women living particularly in the rural areas of the State should know properly about their savings for their better future. To become self-reliant, it is very essential to invest in the right areas.

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