Struggling With Your Investments? shreeprakash sharma offers Help!
Ragini realised yet another financial year was nearing its end when she received a call from the accounts department of her company calling for investment proofs for the year. It was then that Ragini, a software engineer in a multinational company, sat down to calculate how much she had managed to invest over the last one year. Unfortunately, all she had managed were a few thousand rupees in her Savings Account other than the mandatory deductions for the share into the Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) and Group Insurance Scheme (GIS). Her husband, on the other hand, made huge investments in a host of policies, schemes and various other bonds.
There are several women who would be able to relate to Ragini. In patriarchal societies such as ours, women have always been deemed weaker when it comes to financial management and investment-making decisions. As per DSP Black Rock, a mutual fund company, only 18 per cent of single working women make their own investment decisions while a humungous 77 per cent absolutely depend upon their spouses, parents and close relatives. If you too are a novice in investments, fret not, here’s information that will help you get started.
Why should you invest?
With the escalation in the prices of commodities, you may find it very tough to beat inflation if you aren’t investing. The rise in consumer price index considerably brings down both the value of money and the standard of living of the common man. Even though you might have saved money in your bank account, this would not fetch you much in the long-run to sustain the same lifestyle you are currently enjoying. So, it is desirable on your part that you make a rational decision to invest in segments that will yield high returns.
Prioritise your financial goals
While making decisions to invest your money in various segments, you must be very specific about setting goals for all the financial investments you are planning to make. It also means setting priorities. Goals, generally can be categorised into short-term/mid-term and long-term. For instance, assume that you want to purchase a house in the next 10 years (long-term) or a car in the next five years (mid-term). Seek advice from a financial advisor on the best investment options you have, and invest accordingly. For instance, if you are planning to make a reasonable down payment for that vehicle you want to buy, it might be a good idea to invest in short-term policies. On the other hand, for long-term goals such as purchasing a house, investing in stocks, bonds and fixed deposits is a good idea.
When it comes to protecting our money and assets, we take it very seriously and even seek professional help. However, what is your savings worth if you do not insure your self? In fact, insuring oneself directly means insuring the financial well-being of your family and dependants. And thus, it is necessary to take your total liabilities into account as well. These liabilities may include various types of debts, inter alia, and loans (your children's education, home loans and car loans). Your insurance must be in proportion with all these assets and liabilities.
Do not ignore liquidity
Life is uncertain, and contingencies are inevitable. Investing your hard-earned money is a good decision but keeping aside a few months’ worth of expenditures in the form of liquid cash will help you tackle unforeseen emergencies. Keeping sufficient amount of cash with yourself helps a lot in dealing in daily transactions and serve as precautionary measures.
We are in the age of information technology where there is no dearth of information, guidance and counselling. From professional help and expert suggestions to a hoard of interactive websites and apps, we are overdosed with details of risk-free high return policies and investments schemes available in the market. They say that the longest journey of the world starts with a single step. So, start making investment decisions with or without the help of a professional. Don’t be afraid, start small but be consistent. One day, you’ll become an expert at it!