Do you remember what you wished for as a child or as a young adult? Driving a car or flying high above the seas, studying abroad or just living a calm life while taking care of your family! Each one of us dreamt of becoming something-getting something.
Materialistic world is altogether a different place and the future is full of uncertainties. To get protected against it is our responsibility. In the process a few dreams are forgotten or replaced, yet achieving something surely remains on our list. It is rightly said that a heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers!
You must have noticed tiny creatures like ants storing food for their survival. Likewise a stringent plan is needed to fulfill the present and future requirements while looking forward to the dreams coming true. The next step would be to follow the plan closely.
Naren dreams of saving a large sum of money as against Sneha who prefers spending it and living life king size! Whatever is on your cards, you need to save money and invest it because afterall it is money that makes everything possible. At the same time it being a crucial source needs to be monitored constantly. Frivolous spending can put one back to square one !
Following your heart, your dreams or life goals is everything but parallely we all need to take on the responsibilities first and invest in a way to take care of life’s entire financial cycle as all the monetary aspects are interrelated.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”.-Antoine de Saint Exupery.
Lets see how one could plan successfully-
- Adopt a minimalistic approach until you reach your set target. Mr. X wanted to buy a house, the cost of which was around Rs.50 lakhs. He saved and invested continuously and meanwhile did not get distracted by other things. Finally he succeeded. Temptations should be strictly avoided while you have one huge target beforehand.
- Do not keep your money idle. Merely earning and saving will not help. Go for a well planned investment strategy. Invest your money to make more money. If you do so, you will earn a regular return based on your investment plans. Ultimately this will make your task a lot easier.
- If you are investing for the first time you may choose to go slow. Invest in bank FDs or various schemes offered by the Post office. Once you start investing, you will come to know about more fruitful options provided the risk factor is duly taken care of.
- Low long-term returns are guaranteed when you stick to low-risk assets like the fixed deposits and bonds. Mutual funds or exchange traded funds carry a certain risk but they give higher returns in the short term. Understand the difference.
- Robert Arnott has rightly said that “In Investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” But investment plans should be as per your risk appetite and life goals. Nothing will pay off more than educating yourself about how to invest. Do the necessary research and analysis before making any investment decisions.
- Never underestimate the need to provide for an emergency fund. What if things go wrong and you end up being unable to honour even your monthly bills? Save in the form of liquid assets like savings accounts to meet the short term liabilities in case of shortage of funds due to any unforeseen eventualities i.e;set aside an amount equal to all the expenses for a duration of next six months to a year.
- Protect yourself by having health and life insurance that is sufficient to cover all contingencies. Invest in PPF and other super annuity schemes to take care of retirement years.
- Last but not the least, pay off your major debts and loans as soon as possible which carry a higher interest payout. Whenever you have extra funds, try shedding off your liabilities as it will relieve you from a long term financial burden.
Now let’s have a look at available options from which you may choose and make a personalised portfolio of yours.The first three should be given the utmost priority, rest depends upon your understanding of the markets and risk taking capabilities. It’s okay if you don’t have any experience. You can seek help from professional financial advisors for assistance.
- Fixed deposits, Public Provident Fund and small saving accounts
- National Pension System, Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme
- Insurance Plans
- Direct Equity
- Equity Mutual Funds
- Debt Mutual Funds
- Real Estate
- Derivatives and foreign Exchange
- New class of Assets
Try to seek balance between both fixed income and market linked investments in the process of wealth creation. Make use of both the stable and volatile worlds. Never forget to take note of the compliances like taxation and other formalities. Your credit score matters while applying for a loan etc. Keep a track of time and check the monetary surplus by comparing them regularly against the assigned duration of time to fetch the desired outcome.
Hopefully in a span of five to ten years you will surely find yourself reaching somewhere higher than you expected if you start early.i.e; at a young age. It is not advisable to wait for income to grow. Rather start investing early to gain more in a few years time frame. So what are you waiting for ! Make an investment plan right now because yesterday is gone, today is here and now is the time to make the most of it!