One of my favourite questions when I meet people is this: Is your money working for “You”?
- The most frequent response I get is this: ‘How can money work for me? I work for money, don’t I?’
- The second kind of response I hear is: ‘Yes, but it depends…..’ When I probe more and ask: ‘Okay, it depends on what?’, they say: ‘It depends on the share market, on the real estate market…’
- And there are a third kind who say: ‘Yes, of course! I make my money work for me’
- And there is a fourth lot of people, who don’t answer. When I insist that they answer, they say: ‘I don’t know!’
Where are you in this? Are you a ‘I work for money’ guy? An “It depends’ guy? An ‘Of course’ guy? Or, are you an ‘I don’t know’ guy? I don’t know about you, but when I was first asked this question by a dear friend, I gave a lazy answer: ‘It depends’ And my friend wouldn’t let me get away with this lazy answer. He probed me on my ‘It depends’ story. He made me pull out my financial papers: my property documents, my Mutual Fund statements, my FDs, my ULIPs, my Bank Accounts. He put them all in a spreadsheet and guess what it revealed?
A fifth answer: My money was seemingly growing, but adjusted for inflation, it was shrinking.
That was a shocker! The bigger shock was the realization that while my money is shrinking, a lot of others were making my money work for them! My savings A/c moneys and FD’s were working beautifully for my bank. My MFs were working well for my ‘Relationship Manager’ and his Bank. My ULIPs were working wonderfully for my Insurance Agent and Insurance Company. My stock investments were working amazingly for my broker but not for me, because of frequent trading, My home had appreciated well but the gains were notional as I have no other roof. Net net, my money was not working for me. But working wonderfully for others!
That got my goat. I kicked myself asking: ‘What is the use of all my IIT education, my experience of working for the best MNCs, if I can’t make my money work for me?’ I plunged headlong, single-mindedly, to get an answer to just one question: ‘How to make my money work for me, rather than for sundry others?’ My distilled wisdom after this deep search is this:
That, is a lesson I am glad I learnt, though a little late. Better late than never! I learnt that the stock market need not be a gamble. I learnt Value Investing. If you are one like me, I don’t want you to learn the lessons after another 20 years. Funnily enough, all the lessons we need to know, the Shastras, are all there. We at MoneyWorks4me.com are glad to share these timeless rules, these Shastras, every week, with you.
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(Co-Founder – MoneyWorks4me.com)
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