Lady Luck ”˜n Stocks

By Ritu Ghai

Women and money is a complex combination. Ennobled as Laxmi ”“ the Goddess of Wealth, she is ironically often kept away from it and rarely become a primary stakeholder in matters of finance. Due to societal pressures, she finds it hard to rebel. Jostling between her role as a home-maker essentially and the raging urge to be financially saavy, she actuates to break the rules.

Today, she is reconfiguring her role and stepping into areas where her role is usually seen as secondary such as Stock trading and Investments.

Ritu Ghai talks to a few women who have embraced the stock market, honed the craft and are actually enjoying the thrills of their equity investments.  

Meet Bhavna Kohli, a practicing lawyer and homemaker based in NOIDA for whom stocks and investments was a completely unfamiliar territory. She makes no bones about confessing that she was completing unaware of the market till April 2020. “It so happened that I wanted to close my demat account that had been lying unused for years. Instead of going through the laborious process of visiting the office to close the account, I decided to invest in a few shares with my own savings. I started by following the market on Internet, TV channels like Zee Business, CNBC without a break, read the newspapers, annual reports and also took tips from brokers. I learnt how to study charts and made a list of shares that showed a steady growth. Also during the lockdown period of Covid, I had plenty of time to study the market and single out some future rich stocks that looked like safe bets. Finally, I took the plunge and bought some value driver shares that paid off well within a short period. Now I regularly make investments but I am a safe player. Maybe when I gather enough confidence, I might take the plunge for larger investments.

My favourite are ITC and Wipro but I also have great faith in Pharma companies, Cement, Paint, PSUs etc. The thrill of navigating my investments is very satisfying. In my opinion success in stocks rests on patience and long-term investments in companies with strong fundamentals and growth prospects that are sure to garner profits”, she says sounding like an expert.

Women investors are indeed carving a niche for themselves in the investment sector. She is eager to explore the multiple options, study the market, make decisions and see her booty multiply. Ofcourse there may be risks and unpredictable results but then what is life without a little risk.

Here is Alka Jindal, a home-maker based in Ramprastha Greens, Vaishali and a committed stock investor since a few years. “In today’s world most of the women are well qualified and many are professionally qualified as well.  Majority of these women keep a part of their earnings in bank deposit or invest in gold jewellery. But I invest in stocks. Mainly because my husband is an equity research analyst and regularly invests in stock and shares. Most of the understanding I have about shares is from him. Blue chip stocks like Hero Motocorp, Reliance Industries, Maruti, ITC, HUL, etc are familiar names for me. During the Covid outbreak, all these stocks came down to an abysmally low level. Their low rates attracted me and I decided to take the risk, ofcourse on the advice of my husband. The gamble paid off and soon I made some good gains from my investments.

I feel women must break free from their risk averse attitude and keep an eye on the blue-chip stocks which are financially sound and rarely affected by adverse market conditions. One can also invest in public sector behemoth earning more than 10,000 crore annually. The dividend yields on these stocks is very good like Coal India, NTPC, Power Grid, etc. Even better than bank fixed deposit interest rates and then one has the brilliant chance of capital appreciation in future. Simply an icing on the cake”, concludes Alka Jindal while emphasizing on why every woman must script her own financial success.  

How to make good Investment decisions”¦.

Analyse a stock thoroughly before investing. One should have a clear picture of the company’s financial position and its growth potential. Technical analysis of stocks involves studying price charts to predict how the stock will move in future. Usually the price of the stock always moves in the direction of the trend.

Fundamentally analysis of a share helps one find the intrinsic value of a stock.   By reading company’s annual reports, balance sheet, profit & loss account, related news one can look at the PE ratio, EPS, Dividend Yield, etc

Bhavna Kohli is actually planning to take a course in Technical analysis and option trading from a reputed institute. “ It helps one sharpen their knowledge and make sound decisions but one needs to check the credentials of the institute or person offering the course”.

Women make better Investors
“Money is not gender specific so if you ask me whether women make more money in this arena, I would say that the inhibitions are only in the mind. Infact, I believe that we are better in some money specific areas. As women, its our inherent quality to observe a lot and this probably helps us to be cautious. Ofcourse we do make mistakes but we are quick to refigure our course of actions. Nowadays a lot of women are willing to take risks and stock markets are no longer a male preserve”, says Bhavna Kohli who started with a small capital and targeted at just average monthly returns of 4 to 5%. “Just like FD returns. I was wary of taking risks and always played safe by selling the shares the moment they made profits and were likely to go down. I admit that long term investments make better profits like 10 to 15% atleast. I regularly study the market, use free tools to analysze price charts and phone apps to watch stock movements regularly. I feel women investors are better planners and more disciplined. Men churn their investments frequently but we usually stick to safe moves”, she opinions while switching back to her net tool to study the market.

Payal Kapoor, Interior Designer of International repute and Director of Vision Interiors throws her viewpoint on women in the stock market today, “ Its great to see them becoming financially independent and managing their own funds apart from doing their bit as a partner in marriage today. The gaping gender gap is indeed becoming smaller and I see and hear more and more ladies dabbling into stocks, either directly or through a wealth manager. They seem determined to break the barriers of a male bastion and soar higher along with their money growing through shares, mutual funds, gold jewellery, bonds and now even stocks. Whatever it maybe, she wants her finances to grow”, she notions.  

The number is still few”¦

Talking to Chartered Accountant and IIM alumnus, Vineet Patawari, co-founder & CEO of stock market analytics platform STOCKEDGE and financial market learning portal, we discover that the number of women investors are still low.

“There has been a boom in the number of women investors during Covid-19. Almost a growth of 32% between April to June 2000 as compared to the previous three months. But the numbers are still way behind than men. Although women are fast moving towards placing themselves equally with men in all spheres but the field of finance is definitely less explored. Reasons for the lack of involvement of women in stock investment are many.

Firstly, women lack financial resources and are ridden with restriction that prevents them from entering this arena. Coupled with unemployment (about 18% in 2020) and a wide salary gap, they stay away from using their savings for buying stocks.

Secondly, lack of knowledge about stock trading keeps them away from reaping the benefits of this trade. Even with online learning platforms like Elearnmarkets, they are wary of entering the markets.  They are more likely to save in fixed deposit and Post office Recurring Deposits.

Also women are mostly engaged in household work and get less or no time to study the market and explore stock investments.

Despite all these negating factors, women are increasing their participation in equity markets. Massive wage cuts and loss of jobs probably made it mandatory for women to find an alternative source of income. Trading attracted them and today women are at their happy place ”“ at home and gainfully occupied. The idle time during Covid was utilized in learning the tricks of the trade. Also the falling interest rates of fixed deposits pushed them towards delving into stock trading.

This positive increasing representation of women in stock trading goes much beyond just earning money. It brings in equality, financial independence, and a desire to know more about business and global economy. Today they are independently taking control of their finances. But they need to be thoroughly educated, create a portfolio and even learn to speculate in order to make good investment decisions. Digital technology and simplified processes of opening demat account, e-signatures etc. are gearing women into embracing the world of stock markets with the ease of a veteran”, he concludes.

A few tips for the New Investor”¦
  ·      Don’t be greedy. Be strict with your stop loss and immediately get out of the market when you are making losses;
·      If possible, stay invested for long term;
·      Invest in knowledge to get maximum profits. Do your homework and never get stressed when the market goes low. Keep updating your knowledge;
·      Only invest when you are sure of your decision based on thorough knowledge and research;
·      Hold on to not more than 15-20 stocks from different sectors so that your portfolio does not loose its value;  
·      Many women are into intraday trading also which means they buy liquid stocks that can be easily sold and converted into cash. In this trading, its advisable to exit once you make profits. Don’t be too greedy as timing is very crucial. Don’t trade on the advice of a friend or rumours. Rely on stocks that follow a strong trend and always do proper research before every decision;
·      Do not put in all your savings into stocks. Always keep some amount protected in case of any adversity;
·      Investing money that you require after a short period is also not a wise decision. A situation may arise that you may be forced to sell the shares at lower rate due to immediate need.

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