As the month of March arrives, there is a clamour about Women’s Day everywhere, celebrating the role of women in society. Women are glorified for their role as a creator and nurturer of life. Their balancing act between professional and personal priorities are highlighted. But people often forget one crucial role that the woman of a household plays – that of a silent financial investor who saves today for a prosperous tomorrow.
Whether it is a single income household or where both spouses pool in their earnings to run the family, it is the woman of the house who is primarily responsible for balancing the income and expenses in the monthly budget. Her diligent saving habit enables the family to have a handy surplus whenever sudden need arises – a medical emergency, family vacation, children’s hobby, vehicle upgrade – the reasons for such expenditure are many.
One of the most popular avenues of savings for women is chit funds. In principle, the idea of chit funds is ideal for household savings. It helps to build a steady corpus month on month and then withdraw the same whenever need arises, without the burden of repayment. It serves as a twin instrument for saving and withdrawing.
Chit funds don’t have too many procedural steps for opening accounts, and are easy to operate. They also allow the investor flexibility on how much and when to withdraw, depending on the extent of financial need. So even women who do not have banking access or financial know-how often prefer investing in chit funds.
In reality, it is a suitable saving option because it gives both flexibility and high returns compared to fixed deposits or mutual funds.
In spite of being a suitable savings instrument, there is a fear of credibility associated with chit funds in the minds of the investor. News reports of chit fund scams and household investors cheated of their money makes headlines quite often. The problem here is not with the idea of chit funds. The problem is with the financial institution we pick. Chit funds floated by unreliable promoters with no track record or government accreditation are the ones that typically collapse and turn into a scam. And it is the silent woman investor who bears the brunt of this loss of her precious savings.
We at Shanthala Chits are committed to help in dispelling the confusion and apprehension associated with chit fund investments. We urge the general public to take the following precautions before investing their hard earned money in chit funds.
Pick only a government registered chit fund
Ensure that the chit fund is registered with the Government under the Chit Fund act. For instance, Shanthala Chits is registered under the Chit Fund Act of 1982, Government of Karnataka.
Make sure you have a signed agreement
There must be a signed agreement between the investor and the chit fund company clearly stating the terms and conditions. Ensure you receive a copy of your agreement which is acknowledged by the Registrar of Chits.
Verify track record of the company
It is a good practice to check with previous investors of the fund and get an idea of the chit fund’s track record and performance. Chits is a trusted and respected chit fund company in Bangalore since 1996 with thousands of satisfied customers.
With these precautions in place, a chit fund investment is guaranteed to be a safe and profitable savings instrument. It works well for the small investor as well as the high networth investor.
Taking this opportunity, we would like to thank all our women investors who have reposed their faith in us and entrusted us with their hard earned money. We salute the Indian woman for her diligence and foresight. Women are the back bone of the chit fund industry and we are proud to be associated with our women investors. Together we strive to build prosperous homes and a prosperous country.
Anuradha is a freelance writer cum corporate trainer in the IT/telecom domain with over 18 years experience. She served in senior technical and management positions in Huawei and TCS for 10+ years. Then gave up the traditional corporate ladder to go solo - in order to escape horrendous city traffic and to be at her own boss!