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As a new immigrant to Canada, Vrunda Bhatt feels a strong need to save and invest her money for her future – and to be in control of her finances.
Since arriving from India three years ago, Ms. Bhatt, 29, has invested about $6,000 with an online brokerage, which lets her invest in stocks she chooses – particularly technology stocks such as Microsoft Corp. MSFT-Q, India’s Infosys Ltd. INFY-N, Facebook known as Meta Platforms Inc. FB-Q and Tesla Inc. TSLA-Q
“I love that control,” says Ms. Bhatt, who works with an immigration settlement agency and is also a freelance journalist.
Her father-in-law is a financial advisor in India and advises her and her husband to invest in the stock market. Based on his advice, her minimum time horizon for any investment is five years, she says.
“I’m not greedy that way,” she explains. “I assume that this money doesn’t belong to me at this stage, even if I really want to buy a house and everything.”
She keeps in mind her father-in-law’s advice to only invest in blue-chip companies.
“I don’t do trading [or] investing randomly – but my husband does it. I don’t know why. I personally don’t prefer that.”
That divide between how women and men invest can result in a notable difference in performance, research shows.
A 2021 U.S. study by Fidelity Investments found that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of women are investing outside of retirement and they’re doing it well – women outperformed men by 0.4 per cent.
The study also found that women are broadening the asset classes they’re investing in, including stocks, bonds, sustainable investments and cryptocurrencies.
More women are also taking steps to learn more about investing, particularly to reach specific goals, how to evaluate their current investments, and learn about cryptocurrencies.
“[Some] men are looking for the next bitcoin that’s going to make them taller, bigger, faster, richer very quickly,” says Elke Rubach, principal of Rubach Wealth Holistic Family Advisors in Toronto. “It doesn’t work like that.”
She says women can be shy about asking questions about investing but all clients should ask those questions.
“It’s not a dumb question. It’s dumb if you don’t ask it. At the end of the day, it’s going to affect you,” she says.
Ms. Rubach starts by talking with women about their goals and then “reverse engineers” their portfolios to meet those targets. “They’re willing to learn,” she adds. Many women are interested in equities in the real estate, retail and health care sectors, and focus on blue-chip stocks.
Women focus on goals, planning advice
Trixie Rowein, portfolio manager and vice president, private client group with the Pax Portfolio Advisory Team at Raymond James Ltd. in Edmonton, says many women she advises want to ensure their investments meet their goals – specifically taking care of themselves, their kids, and potentially their aging parents.
“They’re really looking for guidance on investment, retirement and estate planning,” she says, adding they want help setting up a solid investment plan that includes blue-chip stocks that will be resilient in the face of market volatility.
Others, such as her business news obsessed 96-year-old client, like to call and choose stocks – her latest pick was West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. WFG-T. Some clients have also been asking about silver and gold investments as inflation and interest rates rise.
One reason women’s portfolios do better than some men’s is that they’re too busy to check their investments constantly. They rely on a trusted advisor and have the comfort and knowledge that the plan they’ve put in place is on track, Ms. Rowein says.
Although women are interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, “they’re more focused on the environmental footprint” of a company, she adds.
Women are also interested in the reopening trade – choosing stocks that may benefit as the economy reopens after the pandemic lockdowns such as airlines including Air Canada AC-T, restaurants, or cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line CCL-N.
Education is key to helping women invest
Women often prefer to invest in companies they know well and that make the products they use, Ms. Rowein says, adding it’s her role to educate female clients.
“We are going to live longer. A lot of us are going to be alone either by choice – we chose not to get married or got divorced – and some will become widows and responsible for their finances,” she says. “Of course, a time of grief is not the time to learn.”
Michelle Hung, author of The Sassy Investor and a financial planner, says many women know they need to invest, but they don’t know where to start.
“They just want security and some sort of nest egg, something to fall back on,” she says.
Her strategy to help educate women is starting with a basic portfolio of exchange-traded funds. Then she helps them invest in areas of interest like cryptocurrency or industries they know or want to support such as health or wellness, food, or environmental technology.
“When you learn and understand it, you become more interested in it,” she adds.
While Ms. Bhatt is fairly new to investing in the stock market, she finds it exciting to research stocks and invest based on her “gut” instincts. She used to check her portfolio daily but cut back as she found she was “addicted” to it.
She tries to keep her focus on the long term. Facebook has fallen since she bought the stock, but she expects the company will be able to turn its stock price around.
“Keeping your calm is very important, and that’s what I have learned,” Ms. Bhatt adds.
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Norway Oil and Gas Firms Raise 2022 Investment – Offshore Engineer
Norway’s oil and gas companies have raised their investment forecasts for 2022 as they take advantage of high petroleum prices and tax incentives to boost activity, a national statistics office (SSB) survey showed on Friday.
The biggest business sector in Norway now expects to invest 167.2 billion Norwegian crowns ($17.57 billion) in 2022, up from a forecast of 159.5 billion crowns made in February, SSB said.
“The upward adjustment for 2022 is driven by higher estimates within the categories field development, onshore activity, and exploration, and concept studies,” the agency said in a statement.
Preliminary predictions for 2023 project investment of 130.6 billion crowns, down from 131.4 billion crowns forecast three months ago. The forecasts, however, remain subject to large revisions as more plans are prepared in coming quarters.
“New developments will significantly increase the estimate for 2023,” SSB said.
Led by state-controlled Equinor and a range of foreign and domestic companies, the Norwegian oil industry’s overall output stands at about 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, making the country-western Europe’s largest producer.
In 2020 Norway’s parliament approved temporary tax incentives to support oil and gas investment in the face of a crash in petroleum demand because of the pandemic.
The incentives are due to end this year and companies need to approve new projects by this deadline to benefit from them.
“It is expected that a very high number of plans for development and operation (PDOs) will be submitted to the government this year; the vast majority of them in December,” SSB said.
The expected investments will provide a boost to the economy, underpinning the Norwegian central bank’s push for higher interest rates in the time ahead, Handelsbanken wrote in a note to clients.
“All signals so far point to a solid rebound in petroleum investments in 2023-24,” the bank said.
($1 = 9.5144 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik/Editing by Jan Harvey and David Goodman)
Indian fintech Jar eyes $50 million investment – TechCrunch
Indian fintech Jar, which closed a $32 million financing round in February this year, is in talks to raise new funding as it looks to scale its product and expand its offerings.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup is engaging with several investors to raise about $50 million at a $350 million valuation, according to four people familiar with the matter. Asked for comment on Wednesday, Misbah Ashraf, co-founder of Jar, said it was too early to comment.
Tiger Global, an existing backer of Jar, is positioning to lead the one-year-old startup’s Series B funding, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the details are private. Folius Ventures and Paramark are also engaging to invest in the new round, the people said.
Jar, which operates an eponymous app, is helping millions of Indians begin their investment and saving journeys. The startup has amassed over 7.5 million registered users, it disclosed to investors last month.
Nearly a billion Indians have bank accounts today, but they have never made any investment. Part of the reason is confusion, explained Nishchay Ag, co-founder and chief executive of Jar, in an earlier interview with TechCrunch. “Their world is littered with ads of different financial instruments,” he told TechCrunch in an earlier interview.
For decades, banks and mutual funds have been trying to tap India masses with their products. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars they have sunk in to win the market, they have been able to court fewer than 30 million individuals.
“Manufacturing a product is one thing and being able to sell it is another. All these institutions are good at manufacturing. For selling, you have to be aligned with the individual’s persona, idiosyncrasies, insecurities, cognitive load and the cultural significance. That’s an art and science by itself,” he said then.
Jar is tackling this by choosing a financial instrument that is familiar to most Indians: gold. For over a century, Indians have been stashing gold in their houses, treating the yellow metal as both good investment and status symbol, he said.
To say Indians, who have a private stash worth $1.5 trillion of the precious metal, would be an understatement. For generations, Indians across the socio-economic spectrum have preferred to stash their savings — or at least a part of it — in the form of gold. In fact, such is the demand for gold in India — Indians stockpile more gold than citizens in any other country — that the South Asian nation is also one of the world’s largest importers of this precious metal.
Jar fetches a tiny amount each time a user makes a transaction. It rounds up an individual’s daily spendings and puts some money aside as investment. Users’ investments in digital gold is backed by physical gold of the same amount and they can choose to withdraw that much gold or liquidate their investments at any time.
Merck KGaA in largest single investment in manufacturing – BioPharma-Reporter.com
Merck KGaA will invest more than €440m (US$421m) to expand its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities at its site in Cork, Ireland. The investment will comprise of boosting membrane manufacturing at an existing facility in Carrigtwohill and the construction of an entirely new manufacturing facility.
According to the company, the investment breaks down to a €290m expansion at the Carrigtwohill facility, which is used for the immersion casting of membranes. The membranes produced at the site will support the development of novel and gene therapies, as well as being used for virus sterilization.
The remaining €150m will be spent on constructing a filtration manufacturing facility. The two expansions taken together will create more than 370 roles by the end of 2027.
Matthias Heinzel, CEO of Merck’s Life Science business, noted that the expansion made in Cork is the biggest single location investment in the history of the division, adding that “Ireland is central to our strategy to drive long-term growth.”
Last year, the company expanded its Carrigtwohill facility with a €36m investment to meet demand for lateral flow membrane, which had soared from the impact of COVID-19. The funds were put towards a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing product line, creating 50 jobs and doubling the capacity for the product.
Merck’s investments are part of an overall strategy to expand its business and group sales, with a stated aim of increasing sales to €25bn by 2025. In order to do so, the company has stated that it plans to increase capital expenditure “significantly compared with the period from 2016 to 2020.”
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