Finwise Person Sketch – Start Early, Learn from Experience and Stay the Course – basic ingredients for a financial fairy tale!

Finwise Person Sketch – Start Early, Learn from Experience and Stay the Course – basic ingredients for a financial fairy tale!

In the last couple of years, we have featured a few people in our Finwise Person series on International Women’s Day, giving you a sneak-peek into their approach to money. As part of our financial planning practice and even otherwise, we have had deep conversations with quite a few people on how they manage their finances. What stands out from our experiences is two things.

 

One, while many have managed to put themselves in line for a financially-secure future, only a few were necessarily financially aware or savvy from the word go. Most of them learnt along the way, from parents, peers or other personal experiences, to craft a path towards a financially-secure future for themselves.

 

Second, while many have got on this path, by design or by default, most are still playing catch-up, and only some have managed to get ahead in the journey towards financial security. Through adequate and diligent planning, they have secured their futures, outsourced their risks, and made provisions for estate planning too.

 

Our featured Finwise People have generally managed to clear both the above filters – gaining awareness as well as taking necessary actions to secure their futures. It is also interesting to understand how they traversed this journey, and our previous story on Mrs M did just that.

 

We are today featuring a detailed sketch on another Finwise person, and it is only a coincidence that this is also a woman, it could also be a Finwise man or a family, hopefully soon. This time we feature Uma Vinay Gathani,  an entrepreneur, who is 58 years old. She is financially savvy and has managed to secure her future as well as generously support her kith and kin who have not been as fortunate or well planned.

 

If you are thinking many people would tick these boxes, think again. While the number of people who do so are few, they are significant, and we would love to cover all of them. We understand though that not everyone is comfortable discussing their journey with unknown people, and we are very grateful to Mrs M and Uma who agreed to share their personal stories. The purpose of sharing these journeys is to encourage and motivate more people to take active interest in their finances and embark on their journey towards financial fulfilment.

 

We go back to the beginning to understand what Uma’s earliest experiences were.  We have noticed this could have a significant influence in the way we deal with money in our lives. She is the youngest among 5 daughters and was born and brought up in a well-to-do family. Her father was money wise and took it upon himself to provide financial security for all his daughters.

 

When she was young, she gathered that while her father did reasonably well for himself, he had many obligations and too many people to think of and hence was not very good with investing his money and prioritizing his own future needs. As a child she remembers her house was always filled with guests, some close relatives and some acquaintances. Her father was generous and took it upon himself to help people as much as he could and her mother was a warm, kind, and hospitable person making every visitor feel totally at home. She does not remember even one instance where her parents expressed any regret for not having any male child or dissuaded either her or her sisters from doing anything due to their gender.

 

When she was all of 17, she was pursuing her graduation and her college timings left her with a lot of free time. When an opportunity came her way to take up a job, from 11 to 5 (she was done with college by 10 am), her parents gave her their blessing and were happy that she was occupied doing something productive. Her first job meant she had a salary and she could do exactly as she pleased with her money. She spent most of her money on eating outside and some small indulgences on top of it. Her mother encouraged her to travel comfortably and even paid for first class train tickets. The job was never about income for her or her parents.  

 

Her earliest experience with savings was a local reputed chit fund, enrolled by her father in her name, and when she eventually completed her graduation and took up a job which paid better, she decided to start contributing towards the same. She did not have any pressing need to start saving, her only objective was to fend for herself and not become another responsibility for her father who already had plenty of people to worry about. While she started small, she was consistent with her savings right from when she started earning.  

 

She married into a Gujarati family young and was fortunate to have supportive in-laws who encouraged her to continue to pursue her career after her marriage. When she had a daughter, she was able to continue her career without a break, thanks largely to her mother and mother-in-law who supported her by taking care of her daughter in her absence. With new responsibilities, she started an RD and invested in FDs whenever she had a surplus, while she continued with her chit fund.   

 

Her first foray into building assets was buying a house, which came naturally to her as she had seen her father attach a lot of importance to real estate as an asset. She was clear in pointing out that she did not have any plan, and never thought of retirement or savings. She believed in enjoying her now, and in her early days would often deplete her entire financial savings to splurge on a vacation or something which took her fancy.  She also said that earlier she had no concept of emergency fund or saving up for daughter etc. When quizzed if she would do things differently were she given a chance to live her life again she said and instantaneous, emphatic “No”,  her retort was “we made some beautiful memories and if I were to do it all over again, I would do the same”.  That said, she strongly feels that savings should begin early, and one should be consistent to be able to enjoy one’s sunset years with-out any stress.

 

Her only form of savings was real estate since she purchased her parental home from her mother and since she was busy paying it off, she did not have much to invest in any other asset. When she realized she had to move beyond real estate, she decided to diversify by investing in stocks. Unlike now, nothing was digital, and she had to depend on a broker, she realised that she would have to outsource this to someone else since she did not have the knowledge, the time or inclination to manage investing on her own.

 

Some of her initial experiences were bad and she lost a large sum, when she trusted someone to handle her stock portfolio, and leave aside appreciation, she lost even the entire capital invested. That is when she decided to stick to simpler products which she understood. She started out with mutual funds by making a small beginning around 10 years back. She kept investing consistently and was able to diversify her portfolio.

 

While she is not a great believer in having a plan and sticking to it, she has a nose to sniff out risks and stays out of complicated products. She is able to sleep sound at night knowing that she is doing her best to ensure her lifestyle is not compromised post retirement. When asked why she was generous in helping others, she said it is the dual effect of genetics inherited from her father and a husband who believed that money is only a means not an end.

 

When we look back at her journey what strikes me is even though she may not have had a written-down plan which she followed meticulously, she was mindful of the fact that there will be a tomorrow where she may not be able to generate an income, and she was diligent in stashing away something for the future.

 

Her choice of assets have evolved with time, and it is smart to start with something you are familiar with and then look out for other options. She quickly realised that having all eggs in one basket, in this case real estate, was not desirable and hence diversified into financial assets.

 

Importantly, most people would be deterred by an initial setback, but she was able to look it in the eye and continue on her financial savings and wealth-building journey, by ensuring that now she relied on someone dependable but continuing with the process of investing.

 

She has also been prudent to ensure her risks were outsourced and she had sufficient insurance to cover any contingency. And despite having an only child with clear succession, she has embarked upon making a will and tying all the loose ends together.

 

All in all, this insight into the life of someone who has managed to take active interest in her financial wellbeing, recognise her limitations, persevere even when she was let down  and make best use of the resources available to her, makes for fascinating reading, as well as inspiration for others who are traversing the same path, towards financial security and well-being.

 

And this can also be comforting for someone who has not yet given a serious thought to getting his or her financial life sorted. Because, it is never too late, and a few years of consistent savings and focus can make a world of difference.

 

 

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps both NRI and resident individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.

To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.

For advice, please reach us at getfinwise@finwise.in or +91 9870702277/9820818007.

Dear woman, don’t be risk-averse in choosing your investments

Dear woman, don’t be risk-averse in choosing your investments

Last week, I did a financial well-being session at a well-known corporate, the participants being predominantly women in their 30s. While they were all keen on taking charge of their finances and made for an attentive audience, most of them were extremely risk-averse.

 

This was startling, since women, usually, are not in a hurry. They are very patient, and once they understand the way a product is built and have realistic expectations of the short-term as well as long-term performance, they wait out the turbulent times patiently and truly stay put for the long term.

 

Given this fact, it was surprising to see that most of the women mentioned earlier were shying away from equity since they perceived the volatility in the short term as risk. There are several compelling reasons for women to take more interest and understand the best options available to them when it comes to investing. Here are three big ones.

 

Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.

 

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/dear-woman-dont-be-risk-averse-in-choosing-your-investments-4981251.html

 

Image credit: Moneycontrol

 

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps both NRI and resident individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.

To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.

For advice, please reach us at getfinwise@finwise.in or +91 9870702277/9820818007.

Why discussing finances is mutually beneficial for spouses

Why discussing finances is mutually beneficial for spouses

I always wonder why it is so difficult to talk about money even with your spouse. You are comfortable talking about almost anything under the sun, but talking about money seem petty and crass. To my surprise some women refuse to do it even when they have a gun to their heads.

 

Why should you wait to be pushed against the wall to have a conversation? Marriages are meant to last a lifetime and it is impossible to traverse this journey without discussing money. At some point of time in a relationship one needs to move from Mine to Ours.

 

Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.com

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/money-matters-why-discussing-finances-is-mutually-beneficial-for-spouses-4877221.html

 

Image credit: Moneycontrol.com

 

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps both NRI and resident individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.

To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.

For advice, please reach us at getfinwise@finwise.in or +91 9870702277/9820818007.

How women should plan for their parents’ financial and other needs

How women should plan for their parents’ financial and other needs

Somehow in our society, while it is an understood thing that a man needs to take care of his parents, it is not such a given for the woman. It is strange when you think of it, since equal share in property post demise of parents is accepted by all, while equal share in responsibilities not so easily so.

 

However, a woman has the same instinct as a man’s and would like to be there for her parents, financially or otherwise. So how can you plan for such debts, which in a way, can never be fully repaid?

 

Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.com

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/how-women-should-plan-for-their-parents-financial-and-medical-needs-4579881.html

 

Image credit: Benjamin Elliott, Unsplash.com

 

Women must develop the right money mindset for a fruitful post-retirement life

Women must develop the right money mindset for a fruitful post-retirement life

When we are still working, we make so many plans of things to do once we retire. And as we get onto the home stretch in the last few years, the excitement begins to build, of course, with a few butterflies in the stomach as well. So many places to see, so many people to meet, so many suppressed aspirations to fulfil, all of course, while juggling one’s hard-earned wealth and believing that there is enough, not only for ourselves but also to bequeath.

 

But retirement is not always as rosy as you imagined it to be. The transition to retired life is sudden, and there is a vacuum of time, that has to be fruitfully filled. That vacant space has to be occupied with activities that need to be created, not only to feel gainfully employed, but also to feel good about oneself. The actual retirement, therefore starts with a whole lot of unexpected dilemmas and mental adjustments.

 

What are those scenarios that one must adapt and adjust to?

 

Read our latest article, recently published on Moneycontrol.com (link given below).

 

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/women-must-develop-the-right-money-mindset-for-a-fruitful-post-retirement-life-4479141.html

 

In retirement, the role of money is to allow one to fulfil our bucket list of desires, while ensuring that there is enough to take care of our balance life-times, including exigencies. Nothing more, nothing less. Hence, as a retiree, use money to bring you happiness and add meaning to your life, while taking care that it is safely working for you as well. 

 

Image credit: Moneycontrol.com

 

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps both NRI and resident individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.

To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.

For advice, please reach us at getfinwise@finwise.in or +91 9870702277/9820818007.

 

 

 

 

 

Empower the women who are also key contributors in your success through these 5 steps!

Empower the women who are also key contributors in your success through these 5 steps!

When Chuck Noll said “Every job is important, but no one is indispensable”, he certainly hadn’t kept the Indian working woman in mind! For us working women, one person who is indispensable and brings an immediate sigh of relief and a genuine smile to the face when she arrives, is the house-help. Our lives get complicated when she is on a long leave and turmoil in her life cascades to chaos in our planned hi-speed schedules, to overcome which needs a lot of “jugaad”.  Retaining her and ensuring that things are smooth-sailing is non-negotiable for us. Whatever the reason to do so, our latest article published in Moneycontrol.com (link shared below) gives you five simple ways to add a lot of value to the financial condition of these indispensable women, at literally no cost.

 

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/five-steps-to-ensure-your-domestic-help-becomes-moneywise-4249451.html

More details on their eligible government schemes are easily available online and are also on our website www.finwise.in. Apart from government schemes they could also invest in Mutual funds which are available to everyone. However, given their tendencies to trust people unconditionally, it is important that they have access to advice which is genuine and do not take undue risks with their money. You could approach your financial planner to help with these. A word of caution though, when you recommend someone, the trust they have with you gets automatically transferred to the person you refer them to, hence be sure you send them to someone who will give appropriate and genuine advice. They would otherwise be better off with government schemes that have guarantees.

 

From our point of view, life might seem unimaginably difficult for this segment of people, making us wonder how they would be able to save, when making ends meet itself is a problem.  But believe me, they are resilient and are able to manage temporarily even when they suddenly lose one of their many jobs. Taking some of the above actions will help your own “CAT (Cook/Ayah/Top-help) Commandos” secure their financial futures, while they help you effortlessly manage your present.

 

Image credit: Moneycontrol

 

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.

To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.

For advice, please reach us at getfinwise@finwise.in or +91 9870702277/9820818007.

 

Dear Woman, write a Will to ensure your wealth doesn’t go to undeserving hands

Dear Woman, write a Will to ensure your wealth doesn’t go to undeserving hands

Having a will is a must for easy and fair distribution of your wealth as per your desires. After all, it would be a shame that a lifetime of effort towards wealth creation for your loved ones, to meet their aspirations and goals, gets derailed in case of an unfortunate death intestate.

 

Read more in the below link about how a will can help you protect your wealth, in our latest article, published in our monthly column on Moneycontrol.com.

 

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/personal-finance/viewpoint-dear-woman-write-a-will-to-ensure-your-wealth-doesnt-go-to-undeserving-hands-4147641.html

 

Image credit: mastersenaiper, Pixabay.com




 

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s Day – 8

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s Day – 8

Our final Finwise Woman is Mrunali Majmudar Sathe, a successful corporate executive, someone who has worked at senior levels in the corporate world as well as has successfully run her own company. For her, money has always been a means to an end, towards achieving her ambitions and desires for her and her family.

Mrunali says,

“As a working woman I have always been financially independent, driving many of our financial decisions of key investments like house and big expenses as well. But as the kids grew up and I took a year off on sabbatical, it struck me that one day I may not be able to earn and the burden will fall on my husband alone or on our meagre savings.

Thats when I realised I needed a personal financial advisor. Enter, Prathiba. I have ever been so grateful that she came into my life. I can say that today my financial future is absolutely secure thanks to her meticulous planning and coaching. All I do is follow her. I can now even think of expensive college education for my kids which I had all but given up on.

In a city like Mumbai if both partners don’t think and act alike to influence their financial status, it is difficult to thrive. Thanks to Finwise, I am wiser and in charge of my and my family’s financial future.”

We hope you enjoyed reading the stories of how these women took charge of their financial lives and went about building financial security and independence as a bulwark for their futures. It is never too late to begin and we urge all women to begin their journey towards becoming “finwise” today!

#finwisewoman # financialindependence #womensday

Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps successful women gain financial and emotional security by helping them plan for their financial goals and achieve financial independence. For consultations, please reach me at prathiba.girish@finwise.in or +91 9870702277.

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s Day – 7

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s Day – 7

Today’s Finwise Woman is someone who is surrounded by aromas, both at her job and when she is not (her passion is to see the world)! Anusha Iyer is Creative Fragrance Director and is based out of South Africa with her spouse.

She says

“It’s been about 20 years since I started working and I’ve been managing not just mine but also our household finances till date. My goals in life were to have my own house, be debt free and travel the world. Successfully managed to achieve the first two and the latter is work in progress. Having become a travel addict and with a long-term goal of maintaining our current lifestyle I realized it’s time for me to up the game.With Finwise am looking forward to a great partnership to help achieve my dreams!”

#finwisewoman #financialindependence #womensday

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s Day – 6

The Finwise Woman series – In celebration of International Women’s  Day – 6

Our next Finwise Woman is Mandira Chowdhury, a retired Govt. employee who takes pride in being in charge of her own financial affairs, while pursuing her joys – her grandson and classical music.

She says,

“As a working woman, (in those days, it was not as common as it is today), I always had exposure and enough interest to understand finance and various options available to me.

Added to this, I was married into a progressive family with a strong mother-in-law. I was always aware of our investments and was part of healthy discussions regarding it.

 Therefore, when I lost my husband a few years back, I knew where to pick up the threads. While it is a blessing to have a concerned and affectionate family, consisting of my daughter and son-in-law, I take great pride in having the last say in managing my money while recognising the need for impartial and trustworthy professional advice. Prathiba has very ably and patiently helped me in my journey so far.One never knows what life has in store for us, best to wake up and take charge of your financial life now!”

#finwisewoman #financialindependence #womensday