Weddings are big in India, it is an event for which people plan and save for years, sometimes decades. The recent celebrity weddings have the attention of the entire nation. There is so much interest in what did the bride and the groom wear, the jewellery, the locations, the food, the guests… Everything is scrutinised and fed for public consumption which we lap up hungrily. What’s wrong with that? Who doesn’t want to look at beautiful people and extravagant weddings? True, it’s all quite harmless to be an animated spectator to a celebrity wedding.
But look closer home and chances are that you will see the same thing being repeated. The focus is always on the event. Somewhere, one forgets that the wedding itself signifies a happy beginning rather than a happy ending.
Curiously, in my many meetings with customers, I have noticed that we often behave the same way when we invest. We speak to a lot of people, make a conscious choice of the product and pat ourselves on our backs when we actually execute our decision to buy. But what after that? Are these reasons for the investment not important to remember later, when one decides to take a sudden decision to liquidate that investment prematurely due to a sudden (hitherto) unplanned need?
All the initial research and focus signify a happy beginning in your investment’s journey and its extremely important to stay focussed even later during the lifetime of the investment. One needs to invest with a purpose and a clearly articulated expectation from the investment. Expectation is again a two-way street where you need to put down what is it that you will commit to do eg. quantum of money you are willing to invest, the time for which you will stay invested and therefore the kind of returns you expect to make.
With many of my clients, I have noticed simply naming the investment with the purpose brings in a lot more focus and avoids knee jerk reactions which could greatly harm the portfolio. For eg. if you are saving for your child’s education you could name it “Anu education fund”. The other thing which keeps you on track is understanding the volatility and having realistic expectations from your funds.
Remember, while the act of investing itself is the wedding, the financial plan required to support it is the marriage, and just like in a marriage, it takes a lot of effort and time to keep investments on track. You must review your investments with your planner at regular intervals and evaluate if you would invest for the same purpose in the same scheme if you had to do it now. If the answer is yes then you are sorted, else it’s time to rethink and learn from your earlier decision. Wishing you the very best in your wealth building journey.
We would like to thank our unnamed friends whose wedding image has been used in this blog, with permission.