Women help the family stick to ‘the plan’

14 Oct,2021



This is the eighth in our 10-part fortnightly series where Shaziya Khan focuses on the allyship of brands for financial savviness of women and girls. Link to the first seven parts: https://www.mxmindia.com/category/columns/shaziya-khan/


By Shaziya Khan


Shaziya KhanA fantastic and progressive attitude shift is that women should be financially savvy. This holds several opportunities for allyship for brands to whom women’s empowerment matters. We’ve learnt there exist deep seated barriers – roles, expectations, social conditioning that often hold women back from being actively involved in personal finances.


Interestingly, there are also encouraging signs on women’s prowess in investing.


In the context of changing financial needs of families, investing contribution and support is a welcome input from women (wives, daughters, sisters, aunts etc.) for their families.


Family – New dreams. New needs.

The family as a unit is funding new dreams and new needs. In addition to the usual family household budget, there are new experiences to provide for as well (travel, entertainment, social engagements etc.). Experiences cost money. But dreams apart, needs too demand careful thought, especially in an uncertain context.


Unlike other markets where “revenge consumption” is being spoken of, commoners as well as experts believe that the Indian mindset, will be continue to value conscious, in fact more so.


Thus, both for the sake of new dreams and new needs, additional financial contribution to the family unit, is relevant. More than ever, the Indian family is thinking of financial planning for a secure future. Double incomes are more relevant today than before across families.


Investing is a contributor to the family income.

Investing is a kind of passive income. Investments can be a contribution to the family kitty. Several of our panelists encourage looking at investments as “contributors”. A simple and powerfully metaphorical story shared by a panelist was about two farmers having to water a far-away farm every day. One carried two pails of water every day, the other dug a trench to lay pipeline for watering.  Implying that investments are like a long term pipeline of contribution to the family unit. A pipeline can ‘water”  (fund) the farm (family) even on days when it is not possible to carry pails of water (work/earn/travel).


Women are good investors – patient, goal-based.

Studies, in evolved markets, show that women investors outperform men investors. Qualities like “tend to research more”,  have a “long term orientation” are a few of the innate qualities of women that make them better suited at making and maintaining investments.


We learnt that the best financial planners and consultants, in our market, insist on speaking to the husband and wife together. “Wife helps a family stick to the plan”. This short statement highlights the vital role women of the family play in wealth creation. In laying the investment pipeline and maintaining it, to serve the family’s needs and dreams.


Our panelists shared that typically women have a patient, long term, goal based perspective on investing. For instance, goals like funding family education, retirement etc. Women help the family unit prioritise and patiently adhere to the plan. (In contrast, men are excited by the ups and downs of the market). Thus, women can be a great moral support, in family investments.  Actively involving women of the family in investing, aids in creating wealth for the family.


Global data suggests men trade 45% more than women do. Women get better returns by trading less, and saving on transaction costs. Women as investors tend to be more studious, sceptical and reasonable.


Role for Allyship – Stick to the women to help the family stick to ‘the plan’.

Allyship from brands, can educate, encourage, nurture, sponsor women being actively involved in family investments. Earlier attitudes of mainly addressing the ‘chief wage earner’ or believing “investing is not for women” are both, less relevant and less true. Women’s input in investing is especially vital in a time of changing family needs and dreams.  Actively wooing women investors for the family’s wealth creation is an idea whose time has come. A book title nails it “Warren Buffet invests like a girl and why you should too”.


Shaziya Khan is National Planning Director, Wunderman Thompson. She has won the Jay Chiat Grand Prix  for Strategy and Three WPP Atticus Global Awards for ‘Original Thinking in Marketing Communication’. Her views here are personal. 


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