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Concepts & Tutorials

All the Financial Advice You’ll Ever Need

Sometimes, we over complicate matters, especially in this blog where I will tell you I invest in ultra short term funds because the yield curve is flattening or the flat curve is yielding or both. And then I’ll tell you about how the Nifty looks like it will fall because of a fabulous looking chart with a squiggly line that moves up and down often.

This is confusing. You don’t have the time. I get it.

So I will tell you the advice you want that should help you navigate your way to financial success.

First, make lots of money. Now you’re already a financial success, so I can just stop here.

Haha. I don’t hear you laughing. (Note to self: Never try that again)

(As an aside, “First, make lots of money” is the best financial advice you can ever get from anybody. The rest of this article is to help you not lose the money you have made.)

Now let’s get a little more useful. In the spirit of keeping things short, we’ll use the 4×6 card format borrowed shamelessly from here. (HT @gkjohn) but I’ll convert it into a 10-point format because if I wrote something on a piece of paper you’ll never be able to read my handwriting.

  1. Invest in stocks. Directly or through actively managed mutual funds. ETFs, because of their underlying indexes, are terrible in India.
  2. Invest in your provident fund (EPF or PPF) to the maximum possible.
  3. Have at least 6 months of expenses in a safe fixed deposit or a liquid mutual fund.
  4. Use goals for saving – retirement, car, house, and children’s education. Your kids can pay for their own marriage.
  5. Buy term insurance if you have dependants and are not yet rich enough. Do not buy Insurance as an investment.
  6. Pay off your credit card in full each month. If you want to pay 36% a year willingly, pay me instead.
  7. Do not trade unless you can devote significant amounts of time and money to it. Do not trade especially when everyone else seems to be trading.
  8. Diversify. Gold, Equity, Real Estate, Fixed Income, Startups. Maximize the potential of luck.
  9. Anything that gives you more than a fixed deposit has some risk. The less you know about this risk, the bigger it is.
  10. Don’t listen to bankers or financial advisors blindly. Don’t trust anyone. Definitely not those who give financial advice in 10 generic points.

Of course everyone’s different and this can’t apply to everyone generically. I have consciously avoided “tax saving” mechanisms because I expect them to change drastically in the next few years.

Remember, sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue. Hunker down in tough times, and build it back up in better ones. Never forget to have fun; money is only important if you intend to enjoy yourself during the journey, not just at the end.