What do smart women like you lose out on, when you shy away from being money smart?
Money Lessons
27th April 2018

I know how a dinosaur must feel. Yes, really.

I was meeting someone over the weekend for tea - a senior executive at a large automobile manufacturer. The agenda was to meet the family to discuss their investments and what they should do to manage & grow their wealth.

After 15 minutes of small talk I checked if the lady of the house would like to join in for the rest of the discussions. I also wanted to compliment her on the house and the lovely chai that was served. But, she refused to come out of wherever she was. When the man sent word that I would like to meet her, she apparently said “No way” .drake-color-copyI felt like a stinky dinosaur with scaly skin and sharp teeth :-( :-(

Doesn't matter, it's okay.

If you are not a wine aficionado and your waiter recommends a pricey bottle, you will obviously think the waiter's objective is to net a big bill than to improve your meal, right?  I understand.

My earlier blog on “Should men trust women with financial decision making” met with a response I clearly expected. Many men complained that their women were reluctant to participate in the conversation or the decision making. What were they to do?

And women gave a variety of reasons for this. Some really funny and some heart wrenching ones such as…

  1. It is BORING…
  2. It is not good aesthetics to discuss money.
  3. I am beyond all that. Sudha Murthy says “money is not important, being compassionate is”.
  4. Somebody else is doing that job, why should I interfere?
  5. I am already doing too much work with the house and the kids, why should I do this too?
  6. If something goes wrong I don’t want to be answerable.
  7.  In any case who heeds to my suggestions about these. Why bother?

Is there a gender / sexist issue here?

While growing up I have heard girls say “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses (and do maths)”.  Without my glasses I wouldn’t know whether the one making the pass is a boy or a girl. So I decided to rather well do the maths.

I hate sports and have no artistic talent. My sister learnt bharatnatyam, played basketball and majored in science. Dad didn’t have sons and much of a choice. He did not discriminate. So, I don’t understand this gender thing personally.

girl-boy-stereotypes

Four of India’s largest banks are led by firebrand women leaders and we are still talking about women not being comfortable with finances.

But apparently all over the world, such a bias does exist. Girls are expected to be more arty and aesthetic and boys more sporty and nerdy. Maybe many women take this seriously.

Is it because you don't consider the money your own?

Women are late entrants in the work force. Handling  money you can call your own is something new. Most of you stop with doing the monthly budgets and paying the bills. Taking care of your future is and has always been someone else’s responsibility.

Get your head around this please, your money is, just like your body absolutely your responsibility. So what if you didn’t earn it all yourself? It is meant for you and you have an active part to play in using it well.

All of you ladies out there, who are avoiding this conversation or don’t want to meet your financial advisers,

Do you even know what you are losing out?

  • If something goes wrong you can’t even say “I told you so” !!!
  • Your mom in law might have more control over your family’s purse strings and you don’t stand a chance
  • If the husband is travelling and wants something done about his payments or investments, he might call his secretary instead of calling you
  • Kitty party conversations have to always be about beauty tips and bitching about the joint family system

That's bad enough, but on a more serious note - not being money smart stops you from

  • Asking for a rise & negotiating a higher SALARY at your job
  • Making your hobby into a money earning BUSINESS
  • Adding to family WEALTH by using your life lessons and wisdom to manage it
  • Helping your CHILDREN learn the nuances of money
  • Being ‘in – charge’ of your purse and YOUR future
  • Having real savings you can count on under ALL circumstances

According to a study conducted by Fidelity only 47% of the women say they are confident of even talking about money. Money is not discussed in mommy's whatsapp groups or in waiting areas at coaching classes.

However, 92% of those interviewed also want to learn about investing but don't know where to start.

I have been witness to instances such as this, in my time as an adviser to families.

The woman usually starts off showing keen interest. She wants to know what it is all about. She understands the importance. And then, the adviser throws a few jargons around and talks about XIRR and PE ratio and asset allocation etc. The woman struggles to catch them. She asks some questions. The adviser gives an incredulous look. The man responds with impatience and embarrassment. The woman feels stupid. She keeps mum. She feigns headache for the next meeting.

The man doesn't understand why and says 'What am I to do? She is not interested'. The woman meanwhile is wondering where to start learning about it all.

So, how do conversations with your family about your expenses, investments and future goals for money normally go? What kind of contributions can you / do you make? Do share your life lessons and wisdom with all of us here.

Stay posted for my next mail on “Do you want to get money smart? Here is where to start”. Subscribe here to receive my posts directly into your mailbox.

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Comments
Aditya Shinde
15 September 2017
All is ok, but why all taxes are imposed on common man without any economic discrimination, why should poor & rich person in same get slab,do u think common man show his electricity bills, praperty tax, water tax & etc, as input tax? Actually it is favour to govt administration & business simplifications, this is not a favour to common man.now the basic nessacity commodities like packed food items taxes are raised. Is it good to public?
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