My recent article was about how just like we frequently do a stress test as part of our regular health check-ups, we also need to periodically “stress-test: our personal financial health to check preparedness for financial calamities.
While many of us thankfully may be financially secure and prepared for calamities, we nevertheless can still do better when it comes to taking money decisions. And there are enough practical life situations around us that we face (or observe) that we can learn from on how we can take our money decisions better.
While we might feel that we are good at taking money decisions, how good are we really? The best way to learn is from our own experiences and the last 12 months will have given you plenty of them to learn from! So, give this “practical exam” to learn how good you are with your money decisions.
While we make extensive plans for most eventualities, something suddenly happens that takes us by surprise and throws all our plans haywire. Take the last 12 months itself as an example.
In a way, we live our lives largely assuming things are going to be peaceful and are usually well prepared for peace-time events. We do make our plans and are prepared for some surprises, but it is when “war-time” strikes our lives that we suddenly find ourselves head under water and gasping for breath.
Such times are also the best time for us to learn about our resilience, our capabilities, our strengths & weaknesses and give us the best clues about what to change about ourselves, hopefully before the next “war” hits.
So, what are some of the “war” situations that has struck your life and how prepared were you? And how can one be better financially prepared for when “wars” strike?
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.
The past year has been uniformly difficult for most of us. However, for some people lower down the pecking order, things have been unimaginably bad. Most of us do help someone out financially, but usually this is a one-off case done without much thought.
My conversations on the topic of giving with most people always leads back to the same position, we are not there yet. When do you start giving? When do you acknowledge that you have enough for your needs? After all our wants keep expanding and the list is endless. If we wait to take care of all our wants, we are essentially guaranteeing we will never be able to give in our lifetime.
As we get into the second quarter of 2021, life seems to have come full circle, as they say, and we seem to be well into a 2.0 version of last year. But just a few weeks back, the memories of 2020 and the troubles wrought by the pandemic seemed distant and fading. Life had more or less returned to normalcy in most parts, and people seemed to be mingling as though social distancing was a bad dream.
While the memories of last year seem short-lived, I have a different view on this – keeping the experiences of the last 12 months alive in our memories and better still, taking actionable insights from it to prepare for the future, may be one way of being safer and more secure in a future increasingly turbulent and uncertain. So, as we go into a vicious relapse, it may be prudent to quickly assess how each one of us fared during those stressful times.
Most of you would have heard of a “Stress Test”. In personal health, a stress test assesses the state of your overall fitness and particularly your heart. Simply put, a stress test simulates the health and strength of any system that you wish to test, through appropriately designed procedures. Similarly, one can design a stress test to check how prepared one is financially to endure a financial crisis, like what happened in the last few quarters.
Answering this simple six question test below will be a rudimentary yet effective way to check how healthy your personal finances are. Our latest article, published on Money9.
Our behaviors towards money and the money decisions that we make at various junctures in our life are influenced by our experiences at a formative level, right from childhood.
Am sure that this comes as no surprise, after all, money experiences are also a part of the various influences that form us through our life. Where I see a bit of a twist is that while my family was a fairly orthodox one, the women in the family were curiously still quite involved, and to some extent, even dominant, in some of the money decisions that were taken.
How do you plan for your financial well-being? Are the priorities the same for everyone or does it differ depending on your unique circumstances? In our experience over the years, we have noticed that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to your finances.
When it comes to single women specially, their circumstances are different and to an extent unique, driven by not just their needs but also the prevailing laws, and therefore need to pay attention to the following.
A friend was talking to me recently about an interaction he was having with some others, where there was a furious debate on about where to invest, as well as which asset classes including geographies would deliver better returns going forward. As you would agree, this particular topic of debate is not uncommon at all and today’s information-empowered world has led to both more aware investors as well as more confused investors.
Investors usually seem overtly focused on “returns” and are always keen to know where to put their money next. This is especially so during a bull market, and when the recent past has given very good returns. But, excessive focus on returns is usually a function of “not enough focus” on a few other important yet ignored aspects. Focusing adequately on these other aspects leads to enough and more clarity on which asset class an investor should choose and what “returns” the investor should expect going forward.
Conventional wisdom has it that financial planning is the same irrespective of gender or marital status. I have interacted with a disproportionately high number of single women and beg to differ. The challenges that are faced by these women are vastly different.
|How then should they go about putting the pieces of their financial tapestry together?
When we discuss parents with most customers, they are prompt to let us know that their parents are sorted and are independent. Many believe that the situation will remain the same, and at worst one would need to increase the financial support to ensure the parents are not cutting corners and are comfortable.
What we have noticed over the years is something different. Many of them have lived life independently despite having a healthy and happy relationship with their parents. They do not envisage the need to become the primary caregivers to ageing, and many a times, sick parents. Not only can this throw your retirement cash flows haywire if not adequately planned for, it can also impact your planned lifestyle in retirement.
As we look forward to ringing in a new year, we are very hopeful for a better tomorrow. Any thoughts about 2020 brings a lot of bitterness and negative emotions. There are a lot of jokes doing the rounds which say one should not count this year to one’s age since it was mostly on a standstill.
While all of this is justifiably so, was it a complete washout? As a popular quote goes, “never let a crisis go waste”. I have quite a few positive takeaways for the year that has gone by, and I share a few of them with you.
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.