Breaking Boundaries

Breaking Boundaries

In a nation where the rich get richer and the lesser fortunate, poorer, Nilesh had a tough time to rise from the utter poverty of his childhood days to be a part of the middle-class multitude of India.

He distinctly remembers the cruelty one is subjected to if s/he is born to poor parents. There were days when they were lucky to have two square meals in the day, and extremely fortunate if a year passed by with no one getting terribly sick.

Resolute to change his economic condition, Nilesh worked very hard right from a very young age. During the day, he would help his father in doing odd jobs or just roam about foraging for food. But as the night would converge, and the bone-weary members of his family drifted in fitful slumber, Nilesh would rush to the night school run by an NGO. He studied hard, begged and borrowed for college fee and cleared a tough banking examination to finally bid adieu to poverty.

A sincere worker, Nilesh excelled at his job and got his due promotions, too. However, since in the government-owned bank he worked, higher promotions were based on a combination of sincerity and seniority, Nilesh could expect senior roles only towards the end of his career. This meant that after twenty-odd years in the bank, Nilesh’s salary was always only a little more than the rising household expenditures. Yet, he broke a class barrier and was leading a relatively comfortable life, and was grateful for it, too.

But a question would persistently rake his mind, “How would it feel to be rich?”

A brooding man, Nilesh constantly thought of ways to provide for a better, more comfortable life for his son, Aryan, who had just passed high-school with flying colours.

Of course, education was one way of hoping for a promising corporate career and the subsequent perks that Aryan could enjoy in future – but what if things didn’t go as expected? What if Aryan fails to get admission in a premier college? What if the economy goes into recession?

There were several fearful questions swarming in Nilesh’s mind. The most fearful being, “Would Aryan never be able to break the class boundary and live a life of abundance?”

Luckily for Nilesh, his unsettling questions were adequately answered by a leading financial expert who was called by the bank for a talk on financial awareness.

The financial expert showed Nilesh and his colleagues a brilliant way of creating wealth out of small, regular investments in mutual funds over a long period. Nilesh could not believe his eyes when the expert revealed growth charts showing tiny investments (as low as INR 500 per month) turning into portfolios worth lakhs of rupees over a decade.

As the session ended, Nilesh rushed to the expert and requested a meeting with him, which the latter gladly granted.

At the appointed hour, Nilesh, along with his wife, Sujata, met the financial expert in his office.

After listening to Nilesh’s life story, and his burning questions about ensuring a life of abundance for Aryan, the financial expert assured him that all his worries can be easily put to an end by doing simple things. He gave Nilesh and Sujata the following golden mantras:

  • Small, consistent investments make a big difference. Anyone can break his or her financial boundaries and get rich in his/her lifetime.
  • Time is money. If little sums of money are invested regularly in the market through SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) in mutual funds for over a decade, huge wealth can be created; thanks to the power of compounding in mutual funds.
  • Invest before spending as this would put a cap on unnecessary spending.
  • Teach your kid to be financially disciplined so that they could distinguish between needs and wants.
  • Buy adequate life insurance as well as get Mediclaim to protect your precious savings and investments.

By the end of the hour, and with the help of the expert’s guidance, Nilesh started a SIP in Aryan’s name with an intent to keep increasing the SIP amount in accordance to his salary growth.

As he thanked the financial expert for his valuable time and advice, and promised to keep meeting him to discuss his financial goals and investment plans, Nilesh felt as if a big boulder is taken off his chest. He was resolute once again to break the class boundaries, ensuring that his son, Aryan, would live a financially independent life full of riches; a life that eluded Nilesh thus far.

Navemarg Financial Consultants and Dr. Celso Fernandes, Goa’s Financial Doctor and author of several successful books including ‘Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees’, are Goa’s financial literacy crusaders. Dr. Celso and his team are teaching the Goan Youth and parents to be financially aware and disciplined. Follow updates on free seminars and other news at https://www.facebook.com/NaveMarg1969/ and https://www.facebook.com/navemarg.

 

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5 Financial Tips You Must Give Your Teenage Child

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Mahesh earned quite well. A top management executive at a leading IT Indian MNC, his package was, as a few of his college friends called, ‘ridiculously high’. Well, Mahesh deserved every penny that credited in his account each month. A high-flying executive, literally, Mahesh was continually scaling the globe; from Europe to North America to Asia. He was instrumental in cracking big-ticket deals for his company and setting up new offices around the world.

A man of few words with stringent self-conduct codes, Mahesh rarely missed his exercise regimes, and inspired by several iconic leaders, lived a frugal existence. However, his only splurge was his son, Vivaan. To compensate for the lack of time he had for his son, Mahesh saw to it that his son gets whatever he wants, “after all, you get young only once,” he would say with a smile.

At 17 years, Vivaan had more worldly possessions and monthly allowance than all his friends combined. From the latest PlayStation to high-end smartphones to frequent splurges on movies and parties, Vivaan had everything that any of his collegemates could ever imagine. Yet, his demands were increasing by the day. Realising the fact that money is not a rare commodity for his dad, Vivaan lost all respect for it. He was continually surrounded by opportunists who would praise him for his looks and skills just to be treated in swanky restaurants for free.

Suhana, Vivaan’s mother, was not at all happy with his uncontrolled spending habits. She had seen one of her cousins ruining his life as a result of squandering all his inheritance in a short span of time. To add to her worry, Mahesh would always brush her protests aside saying that there is nothing terrible about showering his lovely child with nice gifts and money.

But she knew that Mahesh was spoiling Vivaan silly, and if he gets into the habit of overspending, he will live all his life in financial distress, no matter how well he earned!

On a chance meeting with an old acquaintance in the shopping mall, Suhana learnt about a well-respected financial mentor who devoted his life to spreading financial literacy among the youth of the city. As she heard about the financial mentor’s work and the resulting impact of his work on the society, she became resolute to take his help.

During long Christmas vacations, Mahesh was finally at home for more than a few days. Vivaan, too, had his college holidays. Suhana chose this time to invite the experienced financial mentor to her place over high-tea.

As it turned out, Mahesh was acquainted with the financial mentor and held him in high regards, too. Much to Suhana’s relief, the stage was set for an open, casual and amicable discussion among the three men.

Vivaan was much impressed with the financial mentor’s thought process and how, besides earning himself an ever-increasing pool of money, is now creating positive social impact. Mahesh, too, for once, was listening to someone who bluntly pointed out that he is doling out way too much money on his son than necessary.

After a discussion that started at high-tea and went on till supper, the financial mentor gave the following five tips to Vivaan, and asked him to get these framed and nailed on his bedroom wall:

  1. The flow of money is not perennial. It never has, it never would.
  2. Establish your relationship with money. The ideal one would be, ‘the means to meet ends’.
  3. Distinguish between Needs & Wants. Don’t splurge money on things you can live without.
  4. Invest before you spend. This will help you in spending only on your needs and will help curb impulsive buying.
  5. Plant your money-plant, today. Small, yet regular investments have the power to build a significant, ever-growing, portfolio over a long period, say ten years.

These simple, yet powerful tips made an impact not only on Vivaan, but also his father, Mahesh, who decided that instead of buying expensive gadgets for his son every now and then, he would start investing a decent sum in mutual funds through SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans). Vivaan also promised his father and the financial mentor that he would immediately curb his extravagance, and on taking up a job, will keep contributing to the SIPs his father is planning to start.

That evening was one of the happiest for Suhana. She smiled looking at Vivaan and Mahesh’s faces when the financial mentor told them how much Vivaan’s portfolio would have grown by now had he started investing a fraction of his monthly allowance a few years ago.

The next morning brought a lot of positive changes at Suhana’s house. Vivaan and Mahesh made a trip to the financial mentor’s office and requested him to help them start SIPs in a good mutual fund for Vivaan. Suhana was doubly excited as not only Vivaan, Mahesh, too, showed sincerity towards embracing financial discipline. He proved this by having a stock of all his unnecessary club memberships, reviewing investments in traditional investments (which, to his surprise, were earning him negative returns post inflation) and fixing other financial leakages.

Since that fateful evening a few years ago, Mahesh and Vivaan have come a long way, as far as financial discipline goes. Mahesh’s ‘ridiculously high’ package seems even greater with lesser pilferage and drawings for his son. He has also found his relationship with money; he contributes generously towards a program that provides IT-enabled teaching to lesser privileged children. Vivaan, on the other hand, is now an ambassador of financial literacy and helps his financial mentor in spreading it among his friends and peers. No more reckless with money, Vivaan sold most of his fancy possessions and invested the money in his mutual fund as a top-up. No wonder, he is heading for a bright future with the rare gift of financial independence on his side.

How to Insure Your Child’s Future Against Financial Troubles?

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The younger generation is choosing to wade the untrodden path, career-wise. Gone are the days when children set aside their passion and talent to take up mundane jobs that promised a ‘stable income’ and a ‘settled life.’

The youngsters today want to express themselves and want to be recognized for their talent, and not by their jobs or qualifications. And why not; thanks to the digital invasion, people are doing more than good by following their passion!

From human jukebox to standup comedian to travel blogger, it seems that the Gen Y has numerous career possibilities today. So, why shouldn’t one follow their dreams and put their unique talent to use?

However, as a parent of a teenage child, you find yourself constantly worrying about your child’s future financial security. You know that the formal education you have planned for your child may not help if s/he wants to follow their passion. And you don’t have the heart to force your children to prepare themselves for regular jobs, setting aside their dreams and talent.

Much like what Anirudh felt whenever he spared a thought about his darling daughter, Anya’s future financial security. At 15, she is already a talented classical singer; her mother had her trained under reputed Gurus. Anya is a favourite in her school, and she lends her voice in almost all school events. In fact, she won the local ‘Golden Voice’ contest in her city. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Anya would become a successful professional singer and her sweet, crooning voice would be heard all across the country.

Still, Anirudh was a little troubled. Though he was very proud of her daughter’s talent and believed in her, he knew that professional singing is a highly competitive field….

Through friends, Anirudh had heard true stories of artists who struggled all their lives for one chance to fame, living in a poor financial situation. Whenever he thought about Anya struggling to make a solid career in the music industry, living on a pittance, his heart would sink.

But everything was to change when Anirudh met his wealthy distant cousin in a family wedding. Paarth, a successful businessman, philanthropist and environmentalist, was highly regarded in the family. Over a couple of drinks, Annirudh told Paarth about his predicament.

After patiently hearing Anirudh’s story, Paarth gently told him that his problem could be solved in a snap. Startled, Annirudh asked him, “How,” rather incredulously.

Paarth told Anirudh that he must take steps to make Anya financially independent, starting from the next day.

A little puzzled, Annirudh asked Paarth how could that be achieved?

To this, Paarth told him, “While you must be making provisions for Anya’s higher studies, and perhaps her wedding, too; you must also start investing something with an aim to support her during the period of her career struggle.”

“But brother, with limited means and a good lifestyle, it is hard for us to invest anything more than what we are doing now,” said Anirudh dejectedly.

“What if I say that by investing only what you or Anya spend on a weekend outing, you can still build a substantial portfolio for her over the period of next ten years?” asked Paarth with a twinkle in his eyes.

“That would be magic!” exclaimed Anirudh. “But magic doesn’t happen in real life,” he added grimly.

“Dear brother, magic does happen in real world. And the name of this magic is compounding,” Paarth said with a chuckle.

Anirudh, who had been investing all his money in fixed deposits and PF, was clueless about mutual funds and the power of compounding they come with. Paarth explained his cousin about how mutual funds work and how the power of compounding can make his portfolio grow at an astonishing rate.

“Regular investments in mutual funds over a long period, say 8 – 10 years, would help you create a substantial portfolio. And the best thing is that you can start investing with as low as INR 500!”

Anirudh was pleasantly surprised to hear this, and he vowed that he would soon start a mutual fund SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) for Anya.

“But that alone would not be sufficient,” warned Paarth, “you must teach Anya to distinguish between needs and wants, to prioritize her expenditures, and above all, instill the habit of regular savings and investments in her.”

Anirudh left for home that day rich with financial wisdom. A clear objective was shaping in his mind as he imagined the picture of a self-sufficient Anya working hard to make a place for herself in her chosen field. And a smile played on his lips.

Financial literacy and financial discipline ensure that our young ones grow into financially independent adults, living a stress-free life and chase all their dreams without falling short of money. This is the vision with which Dr. Celso Fernandes, along with the team of NaveMarg Financial Consultants, reaches out to the youth of the country and mentors them as they realize their financial goals. Dr. Celso Fernandes gladly offers his time, without any fee, to young students and their parents who seek financial advice. One can also attend his various free seminars conducted across Goa and neighbouring states. Find event updates on https://www.facebook.com/navemarg.