Women advisers are making a mark in the industry

By Ravi Samalad |  08-03-21 | 

The financial services industry is largely a male-dominated bastion and financial advisory space is no different. However, the trend is changing. We have a lot more women donning the hat of adviser now than we probably had a decade back.

We asked women advisers across India as to what inspired them to become financial advisers, how they are helping women achieve financial independence, their tips for budding women advisers and what is that they enjoy the most about their profession.

I’m educating women to become financially independent

“Living in India, I have seen the lack of financial independence that women have. I have been fortunate enough to have that independence and the empowerment that comes with it. My goal is to equip others with the knowledge to be financially secure. In our society, the importance of financial literacy can be lost by our risk-averse nature. Individuals put their money in gold or fixed deposits to protect themselves. However, this measure is counterproductive as money loses its value to inflation. My hope is that my profession continues to improve the lives of people and provide them with financial security.” – Manjula S, Bengaluru-based Mutual Fund Distributor

It’s a pleasure to help clients achieve their goals

“What I enjoy the most in my profession is helping my clients pursue their passion by taking care of their financial goals and making sure that they are able to achieve them in a seamless manner. It gives me immense pleasure to see clients happy when they don’t have any worries about their personal finances and trust us to manage all their financial affairs.” - Kavitha Jayaram, Co-founder and Director, Wealth Managers United India.

Women have empathy

“Although this a male-dominated industry, women financial advisers have proven to be better financial advisers. Their empathy and listening skills are what make investors open up. So go for it and be the best!” – Dilshad Billimoria, Director and Chief Financial Planner, Dilzer Consultants.

The mindset is changing

“Indian women have lacked and continue to lack confidence when it comes to personal finance. In Indian society, the man has always been assumed to be the provider for the family. A lot of women never ventured out for work because they were not supposed to or not required to. Even those who did step out, considered their jobs as a temporary phase and hence the confidence to invest the earnings never got built. That said, this mindset is beginning to change in urban India, but we are still a long distance when it comes to semi and rural India. At ZFunds, we believe groundbreaking changes start with baby steps. Through our vast adviser network, we are reaching out to even the remotest locations to educate and instil confidence in women. We urge them to start with minimal amounts to understand the concept of investing and gain confidence.”  - Vidhi Tuteja, Co-Founder, ZFunds.

Women can manage finances well

“Women need to take charge of their savings and investments. To those who are not confident enough, do not hesitate to ask questions. Find an adviser who is ready to invest that time in you and is willing to answer questions so critical to your long-term wellbeing. Being inquisitive and alert are both gifts while creating a portfolio.

I also have a little tip in case you didn't know this already. Women are physiologically more attuned to saving for goals and staying the path due to lesser testosterone in their bodies. Men are known to trade more. If we could take care of household finances for generations, we can take care of our and our family's net worth as well.” -  Abaneeta Chakraborty, Founder and Managing Partner, Abanwill Consultants.

Here are some tips from a few leading women advisers for new entrants.

Be process-oriented 

“Chart out a focused business strategy- define what you would like to engage in and what you would not engage in. Be process-oriented and have robust in-house processes. Leverage technology and get set for a bionic future by lending a hi-tech hi-touch approach to client management. Addhyan (continuous learning), Seva (Unparalleled levels of service), Vyaayaam (Yoga which helps maintain equipoise and evenness of mind- since sober reflection is indispensable while taking investment decisions).” – Shifali Satsangee, Chief Executive Officer, Funds Ve’daa.

One needs to have a passion

“Ambition, commitment to the client, hard work, transparency, excellence in our services, determination and discipline has helped me build a successful advisory firm. My father is my role model. One needs to have energy with a tenacious drive and passion to excel in this profession.” - Sangeeta Jhaveri, Founder & CEO,  Prescient Financial Services.

Continuously hone your skills

“The financial advisory profession is a very fulfilling one. It allows women advisers to use both their professional knowledge and their natural instincts to guide people about money. All budding advisers should focus on continuously honing their professional skills and invest in themselves in order to be better advisers, better than where they were yesterday. Being a woman financial adviser is a place of pride and our country needs many more women advisers.”  - Shalini Dhawan, Co-Founder, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisers.

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