Women participation in equity markets grows during Covid-19 pandemic

Women participation in equity markets has surged during the pandemic and experts believe the growing need to share household expenses with rampant pay cuts and lay-offs has brought them to trading.Additionally,women are looking for alternatives to the decreasing bank’s fixed deposit (FD) rates, they added.Interestingly, most of such women are first time investors and a large number of them are housewives.”As retail participation has grown during the lockdown, this has been true for women as well. In line with the overall investors population, women are looking for alternatives to decreasing FD rates,” said Shankar Vailaya – Director, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.”Lockdown has just been an accelerator allowing women to deepen their capital market knowledge via digital solutions,”Vailaya added.Online brokerage house Upstox said it has witnessed a growth of 32 per cent in account opening by women from April to June 2020, compared to the preceding three months.Of these, 70 percent of women are first time investors. Additionally, more than 35 per cent of the brokerage house’s women customers are housewives.According to Upstox, around 74 per cent of female customers are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities like Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Surat, Ranga Reddy, Nagpur, Nashik, Guntur, among others.Out of the overall number of active female customers, 55 per cent are traders, whereas 45 per cent are investors (those that invest in equity delivery).It has seen a jump in active female customers by 53 per cent from April to June 2020, as compared to preceding three months. Nikhil Kamath, who co-founded Zerodha and True Beacon, said they have added 11 lakh clients since March 1, 2020. Of these, women clients are 1.8 lakh. He further said the average age of such women is 33 years.Tejas Khoday, co-founder and CEO, of FYERS, said in the last four months the stock broking fintech startup acquired over 20,000 new customers, of which 10 per cent were women traders.But, the overall traffic online includes 15 20 per cent women traders. Moreover, they are more inclined to invest than trade.In terms of expectations, Khoday said women want high profits in a very short period of time without too many entry/exits. But this could also be because most of them are first-time investors.