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Personal Finance

Plan F: A Show On Personal Finance

Manish Chauhan of Jagoinvestor is part of a TV show called Plan F. The show features people like you and me, who speak about their financial health and then are profiled by personal financial advisors who eventually rate them and give them gyan. Here’s a sample:

My opinion: Firstly, if I ask you to watch the show, please also note that Manish is a friend, so I’m biased.

Secondly, while the show is interesting in terms of awareness, some of the elements leave me a little unhappy. Much of the show compartmentalises everyone into some bracket or the other, which isn’t the right way, in my opinion. For instance:

  • A 25 year old single kid had 52 lakh rupees of term insurance against a term loan of Rs. 28 lakh. No one seemed to question that. Firstly, the kid has no dependents – his dad continues to earn. Having a Rs. 28 lakh term insurance would have been more than enough. Secondly, even if he did have dependants, would the Rs. 24 lakh of extra insurance be anywhere close to sufficient? Probably not.  (Btw, in that episode, other than Sumaira, no one told the kid to go have fun, he’s jus 25! 25 is an age you should remember what you did at when you’re 40!)

 

  • In one episode one person was told that the one bad thing about his 30 years of investing was that he didn’t take professional advice. I think this is unnecessary. Professional advice is, for the most part, not a requirement. People are smart enough to learn, and if they did it on their own, no matter what their mistakes, more power to them.

 

  • Someone was criticised for either not adopting a goal based approach but just saving. While goal based investing is what I would recommend too, it is not necessarily possible – you can’t always know what your goals are when you are younger. Should you plan for a holiday in 2020? Should you get a bigger house because you will have twins after you’re married? If you have savings, you can easily devise your goals and do an allocation.

There is more, but the concept is that you can’t have a single piece of advice that applies uniformly for everyone. I like to tell people the golden goals – 6 months of expenses in a liquid fund or FD, Retirement, Kids Education and Material Desires (Car/House/whatever) are what you save for, in that order. But would I say that to a person who is 65, unmarried, no kids or dependants? Would I say that for a 21 year old? No way. But I digress.

Now for the good part. The show’s fun, concise (sometimes too concise!) and has Cyrus Broacha trying his best to not intimidate the blokes and make it humorous. It has some good pointers – I liked the one where they said, focus on action, not just knowledge. For you can know all that you know, and yet not make wealth for yourself!

The show talks about different people with different age groups, and you might identify with certain things and take action. It airs on CNBC TV 18 on Saturdays (7pm).

  • sandeepconsul says:

    Goal based investing is theoratically fine but as you rightly said “its not necessarily possible”. The real resason why the intermediaries in the financial industry are pushing it so hard is that, when returns of last 3 years or 5-6 years look pathetic, they have to divert the attention and say we should invest for really (really?) long term like 20 years for child’s higher education etc. so that after 20 years when the investor realizes that he was holding a lemon for 20 years, the Relationship Manager who sold him the product is long gone and there is no one answerable or accountable.