As a woman product strategist, she is responsible for one of India’s largest stock market platforms that sees only 3 per cent women participation. The financial whiz at a new-age fin-tech start-up, she is keen on educating more women to be a part of the capital markets to increate participation percentage. Hiral Jain, Co-Founder & CFO of Market Pulse, India's third largest stock market app with over two million downloads, and half a million active users, knows her numbers inside out. AS CFO, she manages the entire financials and cash flow of the company with very limited resources, not dependent on funding, and always focused on profitability and getting swift returns on investment. We speak to her on understanding markets better and overcoming mental roadblocks to create a sound investment plan.
Women do not fear the stock market…
- They lack opportunities. Women don’t have early exposure. As kids, they don’t see their mothers managing money. As students, professionals and wives, they have no motivation to get involved, for someone else always takes care of money matters. Those that want to learn are often ridiculed by males of the family, who imagine women to be weak and incapable of managing finances.
- Women face a dearth of right information. The stigmas and stereotypes attached to markets don’t help. Women watch men lose money to gambling, leaving entire families shattered in their wake. As a result, they equate markets to risk, failure and ruin. They also believe the stock market is ‘quick-fix, short-term stuff’, while investments are long-drawn and time-taking. Capital markets don’t fit their mental model of saving.
- Women aren’t getting to develop confidence in the market. They’re intimidated by the portrayed complexity of the subject, and feel under-equipped with skills and ideas. They lack role models across the financial spectrum: we don’t hear enough stories of female traders, investors, financial advisors.
We need to learn in a judgement-free space…
To get friendlier with the goings-on of this market and use it as a tool for investment and to grow their money, women need a judgement-free, jargon-free, safe and friendly space. As beginners, they must look urgently at self-education and skill-building. There are a host of resources online as well as learning-based apps that they can make use of. More serious aspirants can pursue formal education. Research shows that women in growing numbers are now choosing to study about trading and investing in markets.
Once they start learning the ropes, women will find it useful to begin their investing journey with simple instruments like SIPs, mutual funds, and passive index funds, where the entry barrier is as low as Rs 500, and where there is no real need for them to track the market. Gradually they can strengthen their knowledge of stock investing and trading.
Three things to understand about managing money are…
First, plan your numbers. Figure out the amount you want to invest in markets. Look at your income, savings, expenditures, budgeting, contingencies, future goals and dreams. Most of us do this mental mathematics unknowingly all the time. Put those figures down on paper and make a real plan.
Next, make every effort to thoroughly understand the risks and return metrics. Take advice and get all the intel you need to make informed decisions.
Last but most important, learn, learn, learn! Teach yourself about money management and use the resources available to you to build your skills. It may be convenient to rely on your spouse, father, brother or friend to manage your money, but the sooner you cut this umbilical cord, the faster you will be on your way to independent, self-reliant, confident wealth creation.
When the market crashes or goes low…
Not enough can be said about the art and science of patience, and just how much it pays in the markets. Markets are built to rise and fall and rise again, as sure as night follows day. Remember the market crash of 2008? And 2020? Despite the gloom and doom surrounding the events, the markets bounced back. No low is permanent. Understand the inevitable truth of these ups and downs, and focus on building resilience.
When you’re investing long-term, it helps to look back and see how far you’ve come. Don’t forget, having an investment strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it. Even if you’re cutting your losses by exiting the market, you will know when to get back in. If patience has helped you build a nest egg, it might be useful to continue that approach.
To put it bluntly, if you’re good in this business, you’re likely to be right six times out of ten. You’re never going to be right nine times. Keep your eye on the horizon and press on.
Market Pulse is different from other tools…
Market Pulse is among India’s highest rated, and India’s only mobile-first, market analysis platform. With watchlists, charts, scanner, alerts and news all in one place, no other app offers this kind of depth and breadth.
My husband and co-founder Amit, while working on a commodities product for his father, realised that it was challenging for retail traders to access data, tools and intelligence, especially on mobile. Market Pulse was born to solve this problem of access, and went on to solve the problems of speed and accuracy.
One of our customers once said, “‘Sorry for the inconvenience’ doesn’t work in markets.” This guides us to build speed and reliability into every aspect of the product. We have the market’s fastest opening app, saving our traders 200 precious seconds a day. Our charts and watchlists work at 99.999% reliability, with a downtime of five minutes a year. Our tech is entirely developed in-house – something no other market app does.
Women should take charge and increase participation of women in the market…
The most important tool they possess is their own example.
- Millennials have the power of digital. They can document and open-source their journey into the stock market: ping, chat, post, tweet, share it far and wide – start conversations on trading and investing on every channel. They can offer their insights on digital communities where women aspire to learn about markets.
- Millennials have the power of voice. They can be vocal about their convictions in their own families, friend circles, workplaces and communities. They can tell their stories on platforms that encourage financial independence for women, building a network of women-centric initiatives in the investment space.
- Millennials have the power of action. Every woman who’s started to find her feet in capital markets can and should determine to empower at least one more woman. This has the potential to create a beautiful ripple effect, mushrooming into an ever-growing community of confident women, creating and growing their wealth on their mettle.
When in the market…
- Know what you own and why you own it. If the market veers, this will act like your north star, so that you can evaluate if your reasons behind making a specific investment still hold. Keep an unwavering long-range view of your own goals, regardless of what the market is doing.
- Emotions and decisions are a toxic combination. Have a plan B, C and D. Put down your own rules and guidelines that come into force during turbulent times, so that you don’t have to make any bewildering decisions in the middle of an emotional tsunami.
- Be eager to learn from your mistakes. If you lose today or feel you’ve exited too early, remind yourself that markets are always throwing new opportunities to enter and exit at the right time. So, chin up, and try again
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