28 percent of women respondents say they are smarter investors today than before the pandemic, compared to 26 percent of men respondents
Challenging and disruptive as Covid-19 has been, it is also shaping behaviours towards personal finance, reveal the findings of a Scripbox survey that aims to understand investor behaviour and sentiment. Conducted ahead of World Savings Day (celebrated globally on October 31st), Scripbox, a leading digital wealth manager, aims to create awareness on the importance of saving and investing that can create a virtuous circle with lifelong benefits.
More than 80 percent of the respondents surveyed say that Covid-19 has been a wake-up call for them, to get their personal finances in order and to course correct for better financial health. One in three respondents says that the biggest stressor during Covid-19 has been financial health and well-being, ahead of physical health and relationships.
Both men and women acknowledge the role of the pandemic in it having changed their behaviour vis-à-vis saving and investing. 28 percent of women respondents say they are smarter investors today than before the pandemic, compared to 26 percent of men respondents, who assessed themselves similarly.
The positive behavioural change with personal finance is evident in the actions that survey respondents are taking. 51 percent have started to save more than before, while 36 percent of respondents are investing more in wealth creation to improve their financial health. Women are complementing their increased savings with reduced discretionary spending, an action backed by 29 percent of women respondents. 20 percent say they have a financial plan in place to meet their personal goals, while 15 percent of respondents say they are seeking professional help with investment decisions.
Given the uncertainty, Indians are preferring to keep excess money in their savings accounts or in Fixed Deposits, followed by investing in Mutual Funds. 53 percent of survey respondents park their excess money in a savings account while 41 percent say they put it in a fixed deposit or a recurring deposit. 37 percent respondents prefer mutual funds as their number one investment choice, followed by stocks (24 percent), Gold (24 percent), Crypto currency (14 percent) and buying property (14 percent).
Creating an emergency fund emerges as the top financial goal in the current environment across genders. While 34 percent of men picked healthcare as their next important financial goal, 38 percent of women would prefer to set aside money for children’s education. Buying a home was among the top financial goals of 29 percent of respondents.
As Indians re-evaluate their financial circumstances and re-commit to saving, hindsight is 20/20. 56 percent of respondents say they would like to advise their younger selves to start investing as early as possible in life.
“The findings of this survey are profound and encouraging. Just like the use of digital is a new habit acquired by many during the pandemic, financial behaviour has also undergone a transformation with a preference for digital interactions and this uptick in the use of digital services is here to stay. Our survey respondents confirm that alongside saving more and investing for wealth creation, reducing discretionary spending and creating an emergency fund are what they are paying more attention to, to be better prepared in the new normal. In addition, while traditional means of saving are still popular, it is heartening to see an increased preference for robust investment options like mutual funds over trading. It’s about being in control and that confidence of being in charge, helps to create a greater sense of well-being.” said Atul Shinghal, Founder and CEO at Scripbox. “As the ongoing crisis makes people more aware of the importance of active financial management, a personalised financial planning approach that delivers on long-term goals, rather than on selling specific products will be the opportunity to connect with a highly engaged audience. Scripbox, optimally combines technology and human advice and guidance, to help make informed decisions that empower investors to pursue their best financial lives”.
In an online survey, Scripbox polled nearly 650 respondents with equal representation from women and men.
Source: Business World