Money Smart is a comprehensive guide for Indian women to navigate through the complex world of saving and investments.
Coming from the financial investing and advisory background, Reenita Malhotra Hora and Divya Vij have created a one stop guide on why, how and where Indian women should save and invest.
At the outset, the book convinces women about the need to save and invest. The first chapter motivates and empowers them to take part in financial decision making. It emphasizes on the need for a budget and a savings plan.
In the next few chapters the book goes through the basic principles of investing: how to choose the right investment, how to understand your investment profile and how to choose a right bank account. It briefly touches through the traditional investment vehicles like post offices saving schemes and national saving certificates.
From there on, each chapter then takes you through every possible investment option (ranging from fixed deposits to gold, art and even commodities). The explanation of each asset class is peppered with comments from powerful women in business and industry experts. In between, it brings out real life stories of how women and couples have dealt with investing situations.
In the last few chapters, the authors talk about taxes, union budget and its implications for women. It also gives the reader a chance to test their financial intelligent quotient.
However, although the book covers all these key topics, you do wish for a little more. With due respect to the comprehensive research by the authors, I feel that the information shared is widely available, although in a scattered manner. My view is that it is not the lack of information that deters women but lack of conviction in themselves that deters them from taking investment decisions on their own. I would have loved if the book would have touched that aspect in detail too.
I hope that an average Indian woman, after reading the book gets convinced to start putting her bucks where it matters. However, some of the jargon used to explain the investment options can confuse someone who wants to take baby-steps towards investing.
One other aspect that could be looked at in a second edition is including true stories. I feel that women really get inspired through stories. I would have loved it if the author could have used the opportunity to ask the powerful women they spoke to about their saving and investing habits from their early days. Which statement would you find more convincing?
“Women should invest in shares or funds to create wealth” Or
How Naina Lal Kidwai or Kalpana Morparia started investing in shares? What were their spending habits like? And how did they overcome their money fears?
Finally, I feel Money Smart can be a good starting point for women who are starting their careers and have basic understanding of financial concepts like bond yields and power of compounding. It gives you the information needed in one place, and can be strengthened through a deeper look at the human side of managing money.
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Top image of woman with money via Shutterstock
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