Financial planning: Women breaking financial shackles
Women today strive to work hard and earn more to secure their future. However, the concept of “financial independence” remains elusive for them as most families still have men making the financial decisions. Women continue to be reluctant to seek help and advice on managing their finances, including those who consider themselves financially independent. A recent report is an eye-opener in this context: 91% of women do not invest their money independently and a shocking 98% have no plans for their retirement.
Technology may change this state of affairs, as is being exemplified by a fintech startup that aims to revolutionise financial planning for women. Founded by Priti Rathi Gupta, Being LXME (Be your own Laxmi) is a India-focused community started on Facebook (now also on an app) that is enabling women to manage finances by providing them with the right knowledge and tools.
The financial platform is a one-stop destination for all things to do with women’s money. With its Community feature, LXME has created a trusted and safe women-only community, offering “smart content that gives you the right financial education to build your wealth, tips to manage your personal finance, and investment options like gold & mutual funds, best suited for your financial goals,” says Gupta. It aims to eliminate the ‘gender gap’ by helping women across social strata, professions, and ages to become financially independent.
The founder of LXME is already one of the most influential and celebrated women in the financial services industry. One of the pioneering women in the commodities and currency sector, she founded Anand Rathi Commodities, and is currently the MD and promoter of the Anand Rathi Group. Eager to make the financial industry more accessible to women, she envisioned a product which would allow her to utilise her expertise in financial services to help women achieve their dreams. This is what led to the launch of India’s first women’s only financial platform.
According to Gupta, even though India is evolving in terms of women having stable jobs and secure positions, women are still not able to make financial decisions on their own. “Even financial products aren’t designed for women,” she emphasises. “They are considered risk-averse by most financial firms. LXME was the first of such platforms, and we cater completely to women clientele. We enable women to take charge of their personal finances, offering them the tools and skills to plan and invest as per their goals.”
The LXME app provides goal-based investment calculators, rich content in the form of literature and videos on financial topics, and the option to invest in various expert-led investment baskets, based on goals and timelines for investment.
Today, the platform has more than 40,000 app users and an additional 30,000 members on its Facebook community who actively ask questions, learn and share information on key business segments, including private wealth management, non banking financial companies, investment banking and institutional equities, investment services and insurance broking. “The community allows women to engage in conversations on finances with like-minded women. Users can answer questions, in what is akin to replying to posts on Facebook. They can also create posts, and conduct polls tagging LXME money coaches or other users, besides engaging with content through likes, answers, comments and votes,” says Gupta.
LXME was one of the 13 finalists for Facebook’s Community Accelerator programme in India. “This recognition was an important part of our journey, especially for strengthening our community’s objectives and allowing us to offer more and better products and services to our members. With Facebook’s support and guidance, we wish to create a positive impact and reach out to more and more women, encouraging them to take charge of their financial lives,” added Gupta.