April 19, 2024
Investing in equities is key to financial freedom for women, says Shibani Kurien


Women should consider diversified investment portfolios to mitigate risks and optimize returns over the long term keeping in mind their investment objectives, says Shibani Kurian, Senior Executive Vice President, Fund Manager & Head – Equity Research, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management.

In an interview with MintGenie, Kurian said that tailored investment education programs, mentorship opportunities, and success stories of women investors can inspire and build confidence.

Edited Excerpts:

What according to you should be done to attract more women to invest in equities?

Financial freedom is of utmost importance for women helping them take control of their destinies and lead lives of empowerment and independence. Financial freedom is not possible without investing in the future. Hence, there is a growing need for women to understand asset allocation including investing in equities. Investing in equities is often considered alien to women. However, to the contrary, women naturally embody the very characteristics needed to be successful equity investors.

To encourage more women to invest in equities, there is a need for a focused effort on financial education that is accessible and relatable. Tailored investment education programs, mentorship opportunities, and success stories of women investors can inspire and build confidence. Creating platforms that offer supportive communities for women to share experiences and learnings can significantly impact their investment journey.

What is your take on the role of mutual funds in building financial knowledge and securing a stable financial future for women?

Mutual funds are pivotal in building financial knowledge and securing a stable financial future for women. They offer a simplified entry point into the investing world, allowing women to benefit from professionally managed portfolios. Mutual funds also provide educational resources that can help demystify the investing process, making it more approachable for beginners.

How does one benefit from investing through SIPs?

Investing through systematic investment plans (SIPs) benefits investors by instilling discipline, offering the advantage of rupee cost averaging, and allowing the flexibility to start with small amounts. SIPs make it easier to commit to long-term financial goals and can be particularly advantageous in building wealth gradually without the pressure of timing the market.

Why and how should women opt for a diversified investment portfolio?

Women should consider diversified investment portfolios to mitigate risks and optimize returns over the long term keeping in mind their investment objectives. Diversification across asset classes, geographies, and sectors can help cushion against market volatility. This approach aligns with the principle of not putting all eggs in one basket, thereby, securing investments against unforeseen market downturns.

There is an increasing presence of women in the financial industry. Do you think it has brought the necessary impact in shaping investment strategies?

The increasing presence of women in the financial industry has indeed made a significant impact. Women supporting women creates a much larger impact encouraging other’s to join the path to financial freedom. Women often bring diverse perspectives and innovation to investment strategies, contributing to more holistic and balanced decision-making. Their growing influence also promotes gender diversity and inclusivity, which can lead to more tailored financial products and services that cater to a broader range of investors.

How can women work towards building a robust retirement portfolio?

Women can work towards building a robust retirement portfolio by starting early, making informed investment choices, and consistently reviewing and adjusting their portfolios to align with changing financial goals and market conditions. Emphasizing investments in a mix of equities, fixed income, and other asset classes, depending on risk tolerance and time horizon, is key to building a retirement corpus that can withstand inflation and provide stability in the golden years.

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