Have A Date with Future?

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Thousands of years ago, life was simple. People traded goods and services in lieu of goods and services in, what we now call it, a barter system. The complexities of fair value of goods and services exchanged, however, were difficult to ascertain. That’s when an ingenious woman somewhere in the ancient world coined the concept of money – pun intended.

MONEY

Now, money had the power to put a value on products and services. From manual labour to farm produce to furniture, everything could be bought or sold for a certain value. While the monetary system allowed for a fair distribution of resources and services, it also created an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Even today, while the poor work hard to become richer, the rich are continuing to amass wealth by making their money work hard for them. Do you see the irony here? Frankly, there isn’t any! Read Daisy and Amanda’s story to know why.

***

Daisy and Amanda were schoolmates. Daisy hailed from a humble background while Amanda’s parents were from a rich and prosperous family. With the same education and almost similar career prospects, Daisy ended up toiling hard for a decade. Meanwhile, she married and had two beautiful children. Although Daisy earned a decent salary, she believed in enjoying the good things in life when she could afford them. However, her extravagant lifestyle resulted in lack of adequate savings to fall back on.

Her troubles started when the downsizing in her company forced her to look for jobs elsewhere; this is when she stumbled in Amanda’s office – who was now the owner of a prosperous mid-sized company.

“Daisy, I am so glad to see you,” Amanda got up from her chair to hug Daisy, her old friend from school.

“Wow, this is amazing,” exclaimed Daisy. She was surprised, and a little embarrassed, though happy to see her friend, too. “I am glad to see you too, Amanda. I was always sure of your success!”

“Thanks, Daisy. I believe you’d like to join us as a fashion designer. I saw your resume and noticed you have a decade of experience. Then, why this job, Daisy? Of course, I’d be glad to have you on board, but don’t you think it’s time you started something of your own?”

“I wish, Amanda, but, unlike you, I was born in a middle-class family. Where would I find the money to start my own business. Isn’t that the bitter truth of life? Money attracts more money!”

“Daisy, I am sorry to hear this from you. Though, I agree with you that my family has been instrumental in my success. However, contrary to what you think, my family did not fund my dreams; they did, however, taught me how to value money and use it to earn more to finance my dreams.”

“I am sorry, Amanda, I don’t quite understand.”

“Let me share my story with you. I hope you remember that we both started working in similar positions with similar pay-outs almost a decade ago. Even at that time, I wasn’t keen to work for someone but wanted to have my own startup. So, six months into the job, I walked up to my father and asked him for money to set up my business. I had the idea, he had the capital – it was perfect.

“Yet, to my surprise, my father turned down my proposal. I was upset with him and didn’t speak to him for days. Finally, a fortnight later, he came to meet me at my workplace and asked me to join him at lunch. Then he told me the reason why he had refused to fund me…because he wanted to make me financially independent. I was furious – how could he expect me to amass a large sum of money in a short span of a few years. But he had a solution for that, too.

“Fortunately for me, my father apprised me of two financial truths that I will remember for my life. First, he asked me to differentiate between needs and wants. Because, if I spend on what I want, I may not have enough left for what I need. In short, if I reduced my frivolous expenditure on movies, coffee, eating out, etc., I could save a large amount of money.

“Second, he asked me to stop working for money!”

“What are you talking, Amanda?”

“Yes, my dad asked me to stop working for money, but instead, focus on making my money work for me. He gave me the secret to grow my own money plant – one that would pay for all my dreams and replenish on its own, year after year.”

“Amanda, are you making fun of me?”

“No, Daisy. Hear me out. Do you know about SIPs or mutual funds?”

“Yes, I have heard about it.”

“Well, so put that knowledge to use, Daisy. Did you know that investing as low as INR 500 in mutual funds through an SIP can lead to a corpus of lakhs of rupees in a few years? That’s what I did! I invested before I spent. Every month, I invested half of my salary into mutual funds through various SIPs on the advice of my father’s financial mentor. I saved before I spent so that I never had the urge to overspend! It was difficult at the beginning – but I used my free time to build my business plan, while our friends, including you, watched movies, travelled, and enjoyed their life!

“I never knew all of this…Amanda.”

“Yes, and seven years down the line, I could see my corpus growing. I withdrew 25 per cent of the amount to fund this company, and, backed by a solid business plan, soon got funding to scale my business gradually. Of course, for two years, I could not put any money in my portfolio but I was pleasantly surprised to see it grow despite no contributions from my side!”

“But how?”

“The simple magic of compounding and market-returns! Daisy, it isn’t too late for you, too. I would be glad to hire you, but promise me that you’d not be a slave to money! Start investing today to fund your dreams tomorrow!”

“Thanks, Amanda. I am so grateful to you! Could I please meet your financial advisor to get my finances on track?”

“Of course, I’d fix a meeting for you tomorrow! Remember Daisy, it’s not about being rich or poor – it’s about investing your money wisely to grow your wealth. Anybody can be rich!”

 

Today, five years down the line, Daisy continues to work with Amanda but she invests 25 per cent of her salary into mutual funds as does her husband. She has also resolved to inculcate financial discipline in her kids right from the start.

Daisy hopes to be a millionaire by the time she completes ten years of working at Amanda’s office. And, looking at her portfolio, her dream looks quite achievable.

Financial discipline, coupled with the habit of investing from a young age, can help you build significant wealth in a relatively short period.

Dr. Celso Fernandes, renowned financial mentor, speaker and author, is committed to eradicate financial illiteracy, ‘a source of most troubles in a person’s life’, in his words. He works diligently along with his team at Nave Marg to spread financial awareness among the youth of Goa. Through his unique initiative, the Super Young Achievers Club, Dr. Celso is already mentoring several young students in making small (as low as Rs 500/month) yet regular investments – most of them already on the road to become millionaires much before they turn 30 years of age.

“The Super Young Achievers Conclave, a mega-event dedicated to educating young students on the tenets of financial discipline, and a starting point for several students to commence their journey towards financial independence, is slated to be held on the 14th of November, 2018. To know more, call 9422058741.”

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Young and Determined to Attain Financial Nirvana?

Your Chance to be Among the Super Young Achievers of Goa

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From the moment we become a parent, we worry about our child’s future. From ensuring that the kid goes to the best kindergarten to running from pillar to post in search of the ideal school to endless career counselling sessions, wondering whether to guide her towards medical sciences or accounting, sculpting a glorious future for our children is the most important task in our life.

What every parent essentially wants is that their children gain financial independence in their adulthood, and live prosperously – a good education is one of the ways to ensure it.

But have you ever wondered that investing a fortune in your child’s higher education or providing capital for her startup may not be the only recourse to ensure a financially secured future for them?

Yes, besides supporting your child in attaining a good education, you can ensure their future financial independence by introducing them to the tenets of financial discipline.

We are teaching our children ways to earn money, but not how to manage it.

Take, for example, Nathan’s case, who did his postgraduate course in computers from a leading foreign university and secured a high-paying job. His parents were relieved on the account of his career and financial situation. However, Nathan failed to manage his finances well. Although from a middle-class background, he soon developed a taste for finer things in life. Nathan’s extravagant lifestyle cost him much more than his handsome salary, and he courted debt very early in life. His parents eventually bailed him out of his misery, but it cost them all their retirement fund.

The truth is that like Nathan, most children are not taught how to spend their money judiciously, or the habit of saving and investing regularly.

As working adults, we all know how important it is to manage our finances responsibly; and there would be hardly anyone around who would not have suffered a financial crisis at least once in their life. We all have learnt the hard way. After all, no school or college taught us how to live a financially disciplined life!

But the times are changing. With the right guidance at the right age, the youth is making a remarkable contribution in building a stellar future for themselves by embracing financial literacy at an early age.

Poorvi, for example, started investing when she was 15. Four years later, in her first year in college, she already has a portfolio that is growing at a compounded rate of over 12%, and by the time she turns 25, her portfolio will touch a million rupees.

So, what different happened in Poorvi’s life?

Well, the first turning point in her life was meeting Dr. Celso Fernandes, a leading financial advisor, who works relentlessly towards spreading financial awareness among the youth of Goa, when he was giving a speech on financial literacy in Poorvi’s college.

She was thrilled to learn that she can save and invest as low as Rs 500 from her pocket-money each month and invest in mutual funds – a financial instrument that helps small investors invest in the consistently growing Indian stock market – where she could earn double-digit growth rate and the benefits of compounding if she remained invested for over ten years.

Poorvi loved the idea of being financially independent by the time she would be out of college.

‘No pressure to choose a specific course just to get a job to get by, and I won’t be a liability to my parents, too!’ Poorvi wondered happily.

After the speech, she met the financial advisor and expressed her desire to know more. Next, when she met him at his office along with her parents, she learned about the Super Young Achievers Club. Poorvi couldn’t believe that more than 100 other teenagers in Goa have already taken a pledge to become millionaires before they turn 25 years of age.

As Poorvi marched on to her journey towards financial independence, her parents supported her zealously. And although it was a bit difficult for her to curb her expenses and invest Rs 500 each month, she soon learned to differentiate between needs and wants.

Without even realising, Poorvi became financially disciplined. Also, as she took the responsibility of arranging her monthly investments through SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans), she became inspired to achieve the million-rupee mark much before the age of 25. To accomplish this, Poorvi religiously added to her portfolio any extra money she got from her family as a gift on birthdays and festivals.

Today, Poorvi is happy to see her portfolio grow. In spite of the market volatility, it is performing quite well, and there is little doubt that she would achieve the million mark by the time she turns 23, which means that a whole vista of opportunities would be there in front of her. She could choose to be a travelling artist or prepare for IAS or Civil Services, without being an expense to her family. She could borrow little from her portfolio now and then and it would grow back in due course, even if Poorvi stops investing – which she is certain she won’t.

Like Poorvi, many other Goan students stand a chance to join the Super Young Achievers Club and march on the road to financial independence.

With a view to spreading financial awareness amongst the youth of Goa on a large scale, Dr. Celso Fernandes and Nave Marg are organising the second edition of the Super Young Achievers Conclave on 14th November, 2018. At the conclave, eminent speakers and members of the society would help the participants to understand how to become financially independent by embracing financial literacy. More information can be availed by calling 91-9422058741.

Such opportunities are rare to come by and must not be missed.

Why Does the Slow and Steady Win the Race?

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The buzzer rang loudly, announcing the end of the classes for the day. The students stormed out of the classroom with high-pitched chatter and squeals, in a fashion that resembled the freeing of a thousand birds at the same time.

But Allisha kept sitting, staring hard at nothing, her mind in a turmoil. She darted a glance at Muriel, her friend and partner in crime, who was preparing to leave the classroom. Allisha, felt a pang of jealousy as she saw the happy smile on Muriel’s face. It fuelled her anguish.

The reason for Allisha’s sullen mood was her inability to register for an exchange program to a top university in France. It was an expensive program, but she was sure that her father would fund it, just the way he paid for all her expensive indulgences. However, he expressed his inability to pay for the costly program as he was experiencing some financial trouble in his business.

Allisha hated the idea of missing out on all the fun she had planned for her French trip. However, what added to her irritation was the fact that Muriel, who hails from a family with limited financial means, signed up for the program.

Allisha came from a well-off family. Her father was a successful businessman, and their family led a plush lifestyle. Muriel, on the other hand, had a modest lifestyle. Her father owned a little grocery store, behind which stood her old mud house. It was nobody’s guess that Muriel’s family managed just a little better than merely surviving.

Yet, Muriel never felt at unease owing to her financial background. She was confident, intelligent and full of life. A calm certainty of wellbeing sparkled in her eyes.

“Muriel, I need to talk to you,” said Allisha as her friend reached the classroom door.

Allisha tried to circumnavigate the topic, but couldn’t restrain herself from blurting out the thoughts that were troubling her.

“How can you … I mean … this expensive program?” asked Allisha hesitantly.

“You mean how can I, a poor girl, could afford such an expensive exchange program?” Muriel teased her friend good-naturedly. She could imagine how Allisha felt; in spite of being from a wealthy family, she was unable to pay the hefty program fee, while a girl from a family with a meagre income could.

“Hmm, it’s a long story,” said Muriel, “that starts precisely ten years ago …”

Both the girls sauntered towards the cafeteria, and over a hot cup of tea, Muriel shared her story with Allisha.

“The 2008 market meltdown is a very significant turning point in my family’s life,” began Muriel.

“Oh, the infamous financial crisis in the US that affected all economies around the world? A lot of people lost money,” interjected Allisha.

Muriel nodded to confirm the story but added, “Only those who panicked and sold their investments lost their money. The markets have boomed since then; especially the Indian stock market, that has achieved much higher levels since 2008.”

Muriel recounted how her father met a financial expert at a wedding. A group of people discussed the market meltdown and cursed the stock market. However, one person, who talked facts and figures, reasoned that market volatility is normal and a major market crash is a time to rejoice for serious investors as they can buy good stocks at a low cost.

Muriel’s father was quite impressed by the financial expert’s reasoning and knowledge. He met him after a few days to discuss the possibility of investing in a few shares.

“I remember accompanying my father to the financial expert’s office,” beamed Muriel.

The financial expert asked Muriel’s father about his financial goals and aspirations and chalked out an investment plan.

“He suggested that since my father wanted to invest in my higher education, he must make small, yet regular investments in mutual funds through SIPs (Systematic Investment Plan),” said Muriel to a slightly confused Allisha. She was having a tough time comprehending the story narrated by her friend.

Muriel explained to Allisha that mutual funds are a collection of money belonging to a large number of investors. A qualified financial expert, called Fund Manager, invests this pool of money in various stocks and bonds and other instruments.

“A fund manager is a smart person who keeps a tab on the market and makes educated decisions in response to the fluctuations in the market,” explained Muriel.

She concluded the story by revealing that her father had been investing in mutual funds on her behalf from the past ten years. The initial investments were as low as Rs 500, but he increased the amount gradually with time.

“The expert handling of the Fund Manager and the power of compounding in mutual funds has grown my portfolio significantly,” revealed Muriel.

As both the friends parted to go to their respective homes, Allisha couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenious plan of investing regularly to grow a large corpus. She realized that though her father earned a lot of money, their lifestyle was equally expensive to maintain. The idea of small, consistent savings escaped him entirely. Looking things into a new perspective, it dawned on Allisha that her extravagant lifestyle was a mere imitation of her family’s spendthrift ways. Muriel, on the other hand, spent only on things that she needed and avoided expenses that were borne out of an impulsive desire.

By the time Allisha reached her plush house, she had resolved to change the way she had been living her life. She was now determined to make regular investments out of her generous pocket money, and later, from her salary as she starts working.

A thin smile played on Allisha’s lips as she recalled being jealous of Muriel; her dear friend who taught her the important lesson of being financially independent.

Dr. Celso Fernandes, with his team at Nave Marg Financial Consultants, is working religiously to spread financial awareness towards the youth of the country. Author of five much-loved books, the financial Doctor of Goa, as he is fondly referred to, Dr. Celso believes that financial literacy is the only recourse through which we can build a happier, healthier and prosperous India. Join the Super Young Achievers Club, mentored by Dr. Celso Fernandes, that grooms youngsters to be millionaires before they turn 30 years of age.

Contact: +91-9422058741.

Is the Future of Your Dreams, Here?

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“Just wait for a few years, your bro would zip past by you in a red Ferrari,” Nash excitedly shared his future dream with his friend, Avinash.

“And you would drive down to my sea-facing grand mansion, and you will park your red Ferrari next to my blue Jaguar,” replied Avinash with the same zest.

“Avi, once each of us gets a job, we will go for a Europe trip. I so want to see the Manchester United home ground,” said Nash in a dreamy voice.

“Yes Nash, and we will go to Spain and play Tomatina.”

In their second year of college, the two friends sat in the college canteen and dreamt about a fabulous future. Though uncertain, they were quite sure that their future would be full of riches – after all, they would start earning in a few years.

“O.M.G! You guys are dreaming again, wasting time,” exclaimed Eldrina, as she marched towards her two friends.

“What Eldi, you ruined our daydreaming,” said Nash irritably.

“Yes Eldi, you ARE a buzz kill,” complained Avinash.

“And what are you two lazy bums? Do you really think that you will achieve all your dreams by sitting here, dreaming?” chided Eldrina.

The three of them were close friends since the first year. Avinash and Nash were famous in the college for roaming about aimlessly and making bizarre plans for the future. Eldrina, however, was totally different from her friends. She was a disciplined, focused and pragmatic girl. She believed in working hard and enjoying the rewards of hard work.

“Oh, we will pass the exams, and get a great job, don’t you worry about it,” said Nash nonchalantly.

“Oh yes, we know our future riches depend upon the job. We are not going to screw that up!” Avinash chimed in.

With a long, resigned sigh, Eldrina asked, “Do you guys seriously think that you will get rich once you get a job?”

“Of course!” chorused Avinash and Nash.

“Then, my friends,” said Eldrina with a dramatic pause, “You guys would remain poor all your life.”

Infuriated by the bitter words, both the friends fumed.

“So, you are an astrologer, too,” mocked Avinash.

“Ha! Pauper, my foot,” Nash joined in the rebuke.

“Not an astrologer. A financial literate,” said Eldrina with pride.

The confused look on Nash and Avinash’s faces made Eldrina laugh uncontrollably.

When she recovered, she asked rhetorically, “Do you think that when you start earning, you wouldn’t have any expenses?”

Avinash and Nash didn’t like to be rudely jolted from their pleasing dreams of the future, but they were curious. They had not thought of the expenses.

“Also, do you think that your starting salary would be so high to afford you expensive cars or houses or foreign trips?” Eldrina continued puncturing their dreams with her pragmatic speech.When she had their complete attention, Eldrina told her friends that to realize their future dreams, they must get their acts together now.

“Now? But we are still in college and have no earning,” said Nash incredulously.

“You have the greatest wealth in the world,” Eldrina said teasingly.

“Where?”

“What?”

The two boys exclaimed in surprise.

“Time,” said Eldrina with a serious face.

She knew she was going to be late for her next class, yet Eldrina stayed on to help her befuddled friends. “Okay, I will explain to you from the beginning.”

Eldrina explained to her two friends that to lead a grand lifestyle, they first need to accumulate wealth. And they can’t expect to attain wealth by spending on things they don’t need.

“The rich are financially disciplined. They don’t spend money, they invest it,” she said with passion.

She told the boys that they can start following a financially disciplined life by cutting down all unnecessary expenses on eating junk and buying expensive clothes and save a little from their pocket money each month.

“Come on, even if we save a little every month, we can’t possibly accumulate a lot of money in a few years,” said Avinash dejectedly.

“This is because you don’t know about the power of compounding in mutual funds,” said Eldrina smilingly.

“Dear friends, the famous proverb, ‘Time is money,’ is true after all,” she chuckled.

Eldrina explained to her friends that a mutual fund is a pool of money collected from thousands of investors. A qualified financial expert, or the Fund Manager, invests this pool into various shares, bonds, and other instruments.

“The good part is,” she said, “you can invest in mutual funds through SIPs or Systematic Investment Plans each month; as low as Rs 500!”

Eldrina told them that money invested in mutual funds earns a compounded rate of return. So, if invested regularly for a long period, say over ten years, the money invested in mutual funds can grow significantly and even if you stop investing then, the portfolio would still keep growing.

As the sun slipped down the horizon, Avinash and Nash basked in a revelation that would change their lives forever.

***********************************

The story doesn’t end here. Eldrina introduced her friends to her father, who was a famous financial consultant. He spoke to Avinash and Nash and penned down their financial goals, after which, he guided them to start SIPs in good plans.

Financial discipline, as Avinash and Nash realized, might not fulfill their bizarre dreams of buying Ferraris and grand mansions in the near future, but it will certainly help them attain financial freedom. The freedom to choose a profession they like, without worrying about pay cheques.