Sixteen is a crucial stage to be in; and not just because it is sweet.
All those who are 16, or thereabouts, are on the threshold that separates carefree childhood from responsible adulthood. This is also the age when we weave dreams about an ideal future.
Of course, we think of a future where we have a beautiful mix of fame, love, money and other attainable aspects of personal fulfilment.
This is an age where nothing seems impossible and no destination looks too far. We are zealous and idealistic. And no matter how the world perceives our future, we have no doubts that it would be splendid for us.
Indeed, it would be!
Opposed to the lyrics of the popular song, que sera sera, the future is very much ours to see. All we need is the right perspective and a bit of planning to realise all our dreams.
Since becoming rich figures into most adolescent dreams about the future – after all, if you are rich, and have a clean conscience, you earn admiration and love from people around you – it is only wise to do something about it, now!
‘How?’ You would ask. Well, by regularly saving and investing little sums of money.
‘Now that is a bit tricky,’ you would say, ‘Firstly, I have no job, so no income, and secondly, I don’t understand the investment gibberish at all. How am I going to save and invest money at the right place, and that too regularly?’
True, you do not have any source of income as of now. But all you need to save is a fraction of your pocket money. Also, there are investment options, such as mutual funds, where you not only can start investments from as low as INR 500 per month, but also get a professional to handle the complexities of investing on your behalf.
‘Hmm, but how can I invest just INR 500 and accumulate enough wealth to take care of all my financial needs and wants as I grow up?’ you would enquire.
Well, all the credit goes to the effects of compounding. The longer you stay invested, the higher returns you get. And of course, as you grow and start working, you can increase the amount of investments.
‘I have heard that mutual funds are quite a risky affair . . .,’ you say with suspicion.
Yes, mutual funds, like all market related investment options, swing between high and low returns. But the truth is, the same volatility (highs and lows of the market) actually works towards increasing your portfolio to astronomical sums, provided you remain invested for a long time, say over 10 years.
After 10 years from now, you could be a 26-year-old millionaire, when most of the people of your age would still be looking for a job or struggling to pay their bills and repay loans from their starting salaries.
A little financial discipline now can ensure you a future full of possibilities. You can choose a better lifestyle, opt for an alternative career, fund your education or simply roam the world.
While lots have missed the golden ticket to start creating wealth from a young age, you still have the ball in your court!