Finance isn't rocket science. Here's how you can keep up with the finance world

Does financial jargon baffle you? Here are some easy and quick ways you can keep yourself updated.

Finance isn't rocket science

We should raise two-and-a-half cheers to the modern Indian woman who is confident and ambitious. And a muted half cheer, as many remain daunted by the world of finance and financial planning.

Financial literacy is the foundation of financial planning and money management. While many women handle their household budgets and expenses quite confidently, the bigger financial decisions such as insurance, investments, etc. daunt them. Lack of time is also one of the common excuses as women often are looked at to shoulder several responsibilities at home.

If you are one of these women, don’t worry. While the finance world may seem extremely intimidating, you can easily keep up. 

Here are some things you can do to up your financial quotient:

1. Read or watch the news

It is often observed that women prefer to read information related to entertainment, development, health, education, and features, while men prefer to read about politics and business – says a research article titled ‘The Habits of Online Newspaper Readers in India 2015’ published in the Journal of Socialomics.

In India, we have many channels and newspapers that specifically report finance and business news:

Newspapers

The Economic Times

Financial Express

Livemint

Business Line

Channels

ET Now

NDTV Profit

CNBC TV18

Other channels and newspapers have sections dedicated to business and market news.

Take a few minutes in the morning to scan the news. You can do this while you are commuting to your workplace or while you wait at the bus stop. If you don’t have enough time to read/watch the whole news report, make a note of the headlines of news items that interest you and read the whole report later. Many of these newspapers and channels also have apps that you can download on your mobile device so you get a notification each time there is a new significant development.

It is imperative that you read/watch the news to understand how events in the finance and business world affect you – as a citizen, an employee, an investor etc. Even a basic perusal of the business section of your daily newspaper is an important first step to making yourself financially aware.

2. Browse financial websites

Browsing the internet is now just as important as breathing these days. Given the role that finance plays in your life – your bank accounts, taxes, savings, insurance policies, loans – there are probably more websites and blogs devoted to financial news and advice than anything else.

Financial websites are your one-stop destinations for banking services, private wealth management, asset management, insurance products, pension plans, personal financial planning, stock market tips, etc. So, every time you have a doubt, google and visit a financial website to get all the answers.

While many websites are owned, managed and operated by large media houses, there are some that operate purely to provide information. For example, we at tomorrowmakers.com provide unbiased answers to all kinds of finance-related questions and problems, right from how women can save taxes to investment options for women at different life stages.

3. Seek help from family and friends

We all have that one friend who spends hours tracking the market, an uncle who can’t stop talking about inflation or a neighbour who offers investment advice for free. Gain exposure to the world of business and finance by talking to these people.

Moreover, if it is a person you trust and who has an insight about your finances, he/she can help you build a robust financial plan. 

4. Talk to financial advisors

Financial advisors help you make sense of your short- and long-term financial planning needs, and provide advice on investments and savings, retirement savings, pensions, tax, insurance, loans, etc.

Before you approach a financial advisor, check his/her background, experience and client list. You can employ someone who is a member of the Foundation of Independent Financial Advisors (FIFA) so you know that your financial advisor is subject to rules and regulations laid down by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

5. Listen to podcasts

If reading is not your cup of tea, you can listen to financial podcasts while working around the house or commuting to work. Podcasts today offer news updates, analysis, expert talks, interviews, trends, and more.

Bookmark podcasts that interest you and listen to them at your convenience on your phone. Learn about investment best practices, top performing funds, investing as per your risk appetite, how to create a balanced portfolio and more with informative podcasts.

6. Download a good news aggregator app

For the new-age woman who does not subscribe to newspapers or watch TV in the times of video streaming, consider downloading one proper news aggregator app on your phone that can give you your fill of financial updates. Check out apps such as Google News, Dailyhunt and Inshorts. 

You can set alerts to specific financial topics that interest or concern you so you don’t waste time browsing through various news pieces. Set in keywords and relevant news will show up. If you prefer videos over reading text, you can set alerts for videos. News aggregator apps can customise and organise news as per your liking. They also help you discover new news sites and blogs.

7. Like relevant pages on social media

We are all hooked to social media. But it can be more than a medium to watch the latest memes and stay in touch with friends. Like/follow financial websites and blogs on Facebook and Twitter to see financial news updates on your feed. Utilise your social media time to learn about financial matters that can help you become a better planner and investor.

You can even join social groups with experts in them who discuss financial matters and share advice. Follow them to develop your knowledge base.

Now that you’ve armed yourself with some basic information, apply the same focus to acquiring financial knowledge as you do to other aspects of your personal and professional life. The key is always to keep reading, listening and asking the right questions. After all, finance really isn’t rocket science.

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