INTRODUCTION Financialliteracy is the major challenge faced by all the countries globally.
Adequatelevel of financial literacy is required for financial wellbeing of theindividual and that of the family. Ineffectivemoney management can also resultin behavior that makes consumers more vulnerable to a financial crisis (Braunstein and Welch, 2002)1. Financialliteracy means understanding of personal financial matters. Personalfinancial literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compareprices or get a job. It also includes skills like planning for long termfinancial goals, retirement planning, and the discipline to use those skillsevery day. Literacy is a key indicator of development. Today the people aremore aware about the education but only literacy is not adequate.
The awarenessof financial literacy is now very essential. Financial literacy enableIndividuals tonavigate the financial world make informed investment decision and minimizechances of being misled. Furthermore women should be knowledgeable especiallyabout it, since they are taking many household decisions. However they are notinterested in managing investment decision due to ignorance of Investment avenues.Financial Literacy can broadly be defined as the capacity to have familiarity withand understanding of financial market products, especially rewards and risks inorder to make informed choices. It is the ability to know, monitor andeffectively use financial resources to enhance the well-being and economicsecurity of an individual, his family, and his business. OECD2 in 2011 defines”Financial literacy is a combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, attitudeand behavior necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieveindividual financial wellbeing.” Financial awareness means ability to use knowledge and skills to effectivelymanagefinancial resourcesefficiently at a personal-level and through the lifecycle.
Financial knowledge is theunderstanding of basic terms of finances like investment plans, saving schemes,interest calculations, inflation and prices relationship, risk and return andthe role of diversification in risk reduction. Financial skills are related to keep track ofincome and expenditure and making budgets. Financial attitudemeans theability to plan ahead and maintain a savings account that matters. Financialattitude influences the behaviour of the individual. Financial behavior can be defined as any humanbehavior that is relevant to money management like prompt payment of bills,framing proper planned budgets and monitoring it, continuous saving habits etc.Intoday’s world, nations which has a market with complicated products, the needfor financial literacy becomes inevitable. The effort to enhance financial literacy inIndia over the last decade has also been given an impetus by the country’sCentral Bank, the Reserve Bank of India that has mandated that banks have totake the initiative to enhance financial inclusion and financial literacy inthe country.A draft on national strategy for financial education was preparedand released by RBI in July 2012 (RBI2012)3.
Priyanka Agarwal(2015)4 in her paperidentified thatsince India is having a large population and a fast growingeconomy with a national focus on inclusive growth, it is an urgent need todevelop a more vibrant and stable financial system. It is all the morenecessary to quickly formulate and implement the national strategy. Anjali Devi (2016)5 explained that thereis gap of financial literacy among different sections of people such as men andwomen, young and adults, rural and urban and also different categories ofpeople. There are several factors that actually influence the financialliteracy among theindividuals and one such prominent factor is ‘Gender’. Thestudies across the world show that an average woman performs worse than men inthe tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financialskills. As far as India is concerned, women are more likely to experience difficultiesin making in savings and in choosing financial products appropriately. Women traditionallywere primarily responsible for the home and daily maintenance activities, whichoften include household budgeting and bill paying. Women’s lack of knowledgeand confidence with regard t money management and investment programs impactstheir ability to reach their financial potential.
The basic principles ofinvesting are the same across all gender, but women do not look at financialmatters in the same way as their counterpart does. Women who are empowered andeducated must utilize tools and resources to reach their financial potential. In this paperthe researcher proposes to study the level of financial literacy with variableslike financial knowledge, financialattitude and financial behavior among working women in Delhi. The researcheralso aims at assessing the knowledge of females towards investment in variousfinancial instruments.Thus the structured closed ended questionnaire wasdistributed among working women in Delhi to judge the level of financialliteracy. The most popular Investment avenues like Public Provident Fund, LifeInsurance Policy, Housing Property, National Saving Certificate, Gold stones, Fixed Deposit, Equity, Mutual Fund, Systematic InvestmentPlan, Exchange Traded funds have been taken for the purpose of this study. This paper hasbeen divided into four sections. Section 1 provides abrief review of relevantliterature on financial literacy.
Section 2 describes the sample size and sample descriptive. Section 3 describes the methodology used formeasuring the effects of various socio-demographic variables on financialknowledge, financial behavior andfinancial attitude. Section 4 explains the findings and suggestions. LITERATURE REVIEW: Studies haveshown that financial literacy does not mean that a person would be able to makethe right financial decision, as that person may not be familiar with thefinancial awareness of the financial construct or particular instrument (Marriott and Mellett: 1996)6. Theimportance of financial literacy was addressed by the Australian federalgovernment through the Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce (2004) andthus, committed substantial resources to the development of a literacyfoundation. Financialliteracy is defined as the ‘ability of an individual to make informed judgmentsand to take effective decisions regarding the use and management of money’ (ASIC: 2003, Noctor, Stoney and Stradling:1992)7. A morecomprehensive definition appeared in the Journal of Financial ServiceProfessionals which stated that ‘personal financial literacy is the ability toread, analyze, manage and communicate about the personal financial conditionsthat affect material well being’ (Anthes:2004)8.
Studies by Marcolin and Abraham (2006); Schuchardt etal., (2008); Remund (2010) and Huston (2010)9 found that despitethe rapid growth of interest in and funding for financial literacy andfinancial education programs, it remains the case that the field of financialliteracy has a major obstacle to overcome: the lack of a widely disseminatedmeasure of financial literacy, developed through rigorous psychometricanalyses. Michael (2009)10 argues that alack of financial literacy can hamper the ability of individuals to makewell-informed financial decisions. For people who exhibit problems withfinancial decision making, financial advice has the potential to serve as asubstitute for financial knowledge and capability. Agarwalla Sobhesh Kumar, Barua Samir, Jacob Joshy,Jayanth R. Varma (2015)11 conducted a study among 3000individuals, and found that financial knowledge among Indians is very low thanthe International standards.
But the financial behaviour and attitude of theemployees and retired seems to be positive. The financial knowledge among thewomen are marginally high than the men. Greater access to consumption creditshas influenced the financial behaviour of young employees. Sandra. J. Huston (2010)12 This studyconcluded that if an individual is financially literate then he must be able toshowcase the knowledge, skills, awareness and make adequate decisions amongvarious financial instruments within the market place. Financial educationshould be customized according to needs, ability to learn by particulardemographics, life styles and learning style because one course stating therelevance of financial education does not fit to all.Lusardi, A.
(2012)13 this researchconcluded that financial literacy are lifetime skills which are required tosucceed in today’s scenario. Financial literacy is not widespread and it isvery less among demographic groups such as woman, elders with low educationalattainment.Bassa Scheresberg, C. (2013)14. According tohis study people with higher financial literacy or higher confidence inpersonal finance management have great financial outcomes. They are moreinclined to use high cost borrowing options.
They plan their life by making useof financial instruments for both savings and investments.Braunstein,S & Welch, C. (2002)15. According totheir research financial literacy has gained importance among various groupslike consumers, government agencies, schools, colleges and various othergroups. It was found financial illiteracy affects an individual family personalfund management which leads to inability to save for future goals & dreams.
This made consumers more vulnerable to various financial crises. However nowconsumers are given various options to obtain the financial literacy and theyare required to continuously update them as to manage their funds effectively.Sumit kumar & Dr. Md. Anees (2013)16 has put therelevance of education in India. The study stated that it is possible toenhance the financial literacy among individuals through financial inclusion byimparting mandatory financial education to young children in schools andcolleges.
Sociological factors play a key role in financial decision making sothey should be dealt carefully. Divya Joseph (2014)17 it was revealedthat over a period of ten years initiatives has been taken to improve thefinancial literacy in India but still lot more efforts are required. Long termplanning and implementation is required to achieve desired results.
It was alsosuggested that not mere having knowledge about financial products would notwork rather implementation and usage of knowledge will work. LavanyaRekha Bahadur18 in 2015 identifies that in 21st century whereGDP and Per capita income is rising financial issues are required to be takenon more serious note so that people of country are able to avail the benefitsof economic growth. It was concluded by her that improving financial literacyand should be on highest priority for both central and state government,business houses, NGOs, educational institutions at macroeconomic level. Sobhesh kumar Agarwalla, Samir k. barua, Joshy jacoband Jayanth r.
varma(2015)19 Their Study suggested that education isan important factor that leads tofinancial literacy but having financial education does not imply high level of financial literacy. Thestudy also stressed upon the designing of programs that are designed toincrease the dimensions of financial literacy, knowledge, awareness andattitude. The programs should be funded by the government so that people havingearning low level of income can also be benefited from these programs. Priyanka Agarwal , Dr. (Mohd) Shamim Ansari ,Dr.Suman Yadav , Radhika Kureel (May 2015)20 According tothis study women should be more conscious about their savings and investmentsbecause to a great extent they depend on spouse and family members. It issuggested that individuals should be more focused for their investment decisionand saving allocation.
Due to lack of knowledge about the investment avenuesthey mainly invest in bank and post office fixed deposits not in mutual funds,share etc. (Ms. Mani Goswami ,January 2017)21According tostudy the outcome was that gender, level of Education qualification, age,personal disposable income does not directly impact the financial behavior ofan individual but source of income, parent’s occupation and discipline of studydo impact the financial behavior of students significantly. M. Gowri suggestedin her research work that lack of financial literacy and less knowledge aboutinvestment avenues has led to poor management of finance in MSME’s.