A recent study that tracked the investment habits of urban women showed that women who earn in big cities still prefer to allocate their funds to low-risk investments such as fixed deposits and savings accounts. The study 'Women and Finance' compiled by DBS Bank India and CRISIL points out that women keep 51 per cent of their funds in fixed deposits (FDs) and savings accounts. This was followed by 16 percent invested in gold, 15 percent invested in mutual funds, 10 percent invested in real estate, and just 7 percent invested in stocks.
The presence of dependents has a significant impact on investment behavior. According to the same survey, about 43% of married women with dependents invest between 10% and 29% of their income. In contrast, a quarter of married women with no dependents choose to invest more than half of their income.
The survey also notes that 47 percent of women make their own financial decisions, reflecting the momentum toward financial independence. About 65 percent of women over the age of 45 make financial decisions independently, compared to 41 percent of women ages 25 to 35.
The study also analyzed how women use different banking and payment channels. Approximately 33% of individuals between the ages of 25 and 35 prefer to use UPI for online shopping, while only 22% of those over 45 choose UPI .
The report highlighted that UPI is the preferred option for urban women in terms of various payment needs. This includes money transfers (38%), utilities (34%), and e-commerce purchases (29%).
This change indicates a decreasing dependence on cash. However, there are notable regional differences. For example, in Delhi only 2 per cent of women choose cash payment, while in Kolkata 43 per cent of women prefer this method.
The study notes that decision-making trends vary depending on women's age, affluence, regional background, family and employment status. In Chennai, we found that around 72% of women feel confident in making financial decisions. In contrast, in Coimbatore, despite economic growth, only 31 percent of women make independent financial decisions.
In Delhi-NCR, 65 per cent of women make their own financial decisions, driven by Delhi's cosmopolitan culture and myriad opportunities. However, Gurugram presents a contrasting picture with only 44 per cent of women making independent financial decisions.
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