Magic happens in the art of storytelling and few know it better than multi-hyphenated media personality Anita Kapoor. Anita wants to tell you a story through her story — that financial empowerment can be attained in spite of all our different career paths and circumstances, and that self-empowerment, in turn, extends to a broader message of social inclusion.
This is a story about a story-teller.
And when the roles are switched so we can tell her story this time, she shares her hope of greater inclusion behind investing and financial planning — a message that is also shaping the current chapter of her life.
Meet Anita Kapoor, multi-hyphenated media personality who writes, emcees, hosts, and mentors. A familiar face to us, Anita has spent much of her career holding conversations with care, so individuals share their stories of personal triumphs and failures.
“There's a kind of magic that happens when two human beings begin to speak and talk to each other. And I love it, especially when a person feels that they're being listened to and so much more comes out of it,” she says.
“What makes a good story? Vulnerability. We're sitting in my home, and I feel deeply vulnerable being in my own home and telling you bits and pieces of my life. But I also feel safe. That's another thing that makes a story great — it’s when a person feels safe to tell it.”
"I really enjoyed my time with my (Endowus) advisor… there was a lot of information and energy exchange and also a lot of learning on both sides."
A turning point
In her own words, Anita’s moment of vulnerability was having to care for her mother, who had suffered a second stroke. Anita, who had just stepped into a career transition as a freelancer, became the primary caregiver to her mum and learned how challenging it was to juggle both freelance assignments and caregiving.
“I think for every child, being in a position to have to consider taking care of your parent is a massive turning point in your life because you don't feel prepared. You don't feel very grown up. You still want to be a kid, and you still need your parents,” says Anita.
The flexibility of working as a freelancer was a double-edged sword, and she recalls her nervous system constantly going into fight or flight mode.
“Someone described caregiving as making thousands of decisions on a daily basis, micro and major decisions — that became my role…it was when I also began to realise that I was not actually financially equipped for the road ahead.”
That uncertain road stretched for 10 years — one she describes as part of a journey that she walked without regrets, but not without emotional and mental toll. When her mum passed in 2017, she decompressed by taking a lot of time off to travel and relax.
Today, at 52 years old, Anita reflects that her caregiver journey has reminded her that financial literacy and investing can be made more inclusive.
“I notice that for a lot of us who are self-employed, freelancers or working the gig economy, there's really very little literature out there for the life that we lead,” she says.
“We lead a very different life, and there's nothing wrong with the work that we do and the life that we've chosen to lead. But equity demands that we should also have accessibility to information that is relevant to the lives that we are living.”
"Ultimately, my aim is…to be an example of someone who will stand for herself. And if that has a ripple effect on other people, then I'm very thankful."
That’s especially since she found investing so complex that it was something she feared in her earlier years. What magnifies the sense of exclusion is that financial advice is often not tailored for women, and in particular, for older women.
That’s a problem when Anita joins many others who don’t see retirement as an end goal and who want to continue living a full life on their own terms well into their silver years.
“It's not like I've never spoken to anybody about investment, but I was just so terrified and no previous advisor I had spoken to before made me feel welcome, not as a woman in her forties at that time, or now fifties,” she adds.
That inclusivity should extend to women who are single, who are childfree, or who are not in traditional relationships, she says. “It's not about talking down to women, it's about finding out how to talk to women about money.”
It was a joy for her to experience investing through Endowus this year, when she found the digital onboarding process so surprisingly simple. Her client advisor also guided her through her financial needs and the steps she needed to take to start investing.
“I really enjoyed my time with my advisor and it made me want to talk to him regularly because there was a lot of information and energy exchange and also a lot of learning on both sides,” says Anita.
“You're giving me the opportunity to ask you things and you're coming across to me as someone who is deeply approachable and deeply knowledgeable. But you're not just throwing your knowledge at me, you're actually figuring me out as we go along. And I really appreciated that.”
"A lot of financial education has been aimed at men… It’s not about talking down to women, it’s about finding out how to talk to women about money."
Anita wants to tell you a story through her story — that financial empowerment can be attained in spite of all our different career paths and circumstances, and that self-empowerment, in turn, extends to a broader message of social inclusion.
“I've been blessed with a voice and I have a platform. It isn’t about fame and glory, it’s about ‘what more can I do with these gifts?’”
“It is just to be a human being that notices all the things that are not right and all the things that are not equitable or inclusive or diverse, and to stand for those things. Ultimately, my aim is not to stand for people — it’s for people to stand for themselves — but to be an example of someone who will stand for herself. And if that has a ripple effect on other people, then I'm very thankful.”
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