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Words of Wisdom : "Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost

Unique Investment Ideas For Women (Is the Biggest Hoax)

Articles on investment advice for women, are nowadays quite common. Business channels routinely telecast special programs on financial planning for women. In fact, in US many books on personal finance specifically target the women readers (India is still a very small market for finance books. So, in India writing a book on money matters for a specific segment, is a losing proposition.)

Personally, I find this whole idea as misleading, deceptive and fallacious.

There is no such thing as "special" financial advice for women.

In my opinion, it is a pure and simple marketing gimmick:

Until recently, the female gender formed only a tiny percentage of the total working population. Second, even those who were employed, suffered from inferior pay scales as compared to men. Third, it was normally the man of the house (first the father and later the husband) who held and controlled the purse strings.

So, the money-in-the-hands-of-women was limited. Hence, women were not a profitable target segment for the sellers of financial services and products.

This trend is changing:

Nowadays, more women are employed. They earn better salaries. And, they manage their money too.

Therefore, companies in the business of financial services and products, now find it worthwhile to directly address the women in their marketing, advertisements and promotions.

This explains the recent spurt in the 'women-specific' personal financial and investment campaigns in India.

Of course, as mentioned earlier also, this is all humbug.

Why?

The answer is plain and simple.

financial-planning-for-women
The universe of personal finance and investments is gender-neutral.

-  Gold prices will not move up or down differently, if a women has bought gold.

-  Property prices will not appreciate faster when the owner is a woman.

-  There are no special tax breaks for women. In the eyes of the law, both are the same.

-  Women don't get higher interest rates on the bank or company fixed deposits.

-  Bank charges, credit card fees, home loan rates, etc. are all same for men and women.

-  Yields on bonds and debentures are no different for women or men.

-  Stock prices won't double or triple just for the women only.

In short, all of personal finance is gender-neutral.

There is nothing in the world of personal finance and investments, that gives preference to women (or, for that matter, the men). When it comes to money matters, there is absolutely no distinction between a man and a woman.

[Note: There is one exception to this rule... Life Insurance Policy. Women enjoy better life expectancy than men. Hence, with all other things being equal (such as age, insurance cover, medical conditions, vocation, etc.) the premium for women is somewhat lower than men. But, if people buy the right life insurance policy i.e. the term insurance, this difference is too small to make any significant change to the overall financial planning. So we can safely ignore this exception.]

Therefore, as a smart investor, you would surely appreciate the fact that all this drama about "women-oriented" financial advice is nothing but an emotional trap.  

Hence, my sincere advice to one and all would be plain and simple... Avoid.

Avoid any such so-called specialized products. More often than not, they are the most expensively designed ones. Don't fall into the trap of smart advertisers.

[On similar lines, child-specific financial products and services too are sugar-coated bitter pills].

In fact, I have time and again mentioned that, we all are "unique" individuals with "unique financial profile". 

It is the many factors such as our assets, liabilities, commitments, incomes, expenses, investment time-frame, risk-appetite, liquidity needs, tax profile, etc. — and not the gender — that determine which, among the multitude of investment opportunities, are suitable for a given person.

No two people (whether a man or a woman) have the "same" set of the above listed parameters. Consequently, no two people (whether a man or a woman) will have the same investment plan.

Therefore, to say that women form a 'uniform' group and hence can have a 'similar' investment strategy, is absolutely wrong. 

In short, all personal finance advice too SHOULD BE gender-neutral.

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