Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications
Our relationship with money starts at an early age when we notice or parents exchanging coins or notes for all sorts of stuff we like. The understanding of money grows as we start getting our pocket money. Slowly, we get more exposed to money and we start forming our financial behaviour and habits as we progress through these years. Once we start earning, we perhaps either continue or form new behaviour and habits, depending on our knowledge, understanding and our live-style needs. These experiences and beliefs may last throughout your life. The challenges however only multiply as we continue in our lives, have families, dependents and life goals.
Some concepts are very important when we talk of any investment journey. Having a good understanding of these concepts and ideas will go a long way in developing a strong foundation for our future financial well-being, irrespective of our age.
In this article, we will talk about 5 important concepts and ideas for wealth management. These can also be viewed as long-term strategies which, when practiced diligently, can help us strengthen our finances and reach the goal of financial well-being earlier.
1. Have an Evolving Appetite for Risk
William Faulkner said: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Investing is an art that is backed by logic. To master this, one needs to have an appetite to take calculated risks. Perhaps the biggest risk to your financial well-being is not taking any risk. Your willingness to take thoughtful and calculated risks is in disguise an opportunity to build wealth as you grow.
You must remember that to create wealth, you have to earn ‘real returns’ - returns above post-tax, rate of inflation on your investments. Anything below that is in fact losing wealth. For eg., even if you are earning say 8% on your bank FDs and fall in the highest tax bracket, the post-tax net returns would be just 5.6%, meaning with inflation at say 6%, you are reducing your wealth by 0.4% every year! Always calculate your real returns as a test.
2. Patience and Discipline
To yield good returns on long-term assets such as mutual funds, one needs to have patience. This will come from understanding the asset classes and their behaviour. There is no shortcut to success, similarly, any appreciation in assets takes time. Being impulsive and investing without adequate knowledge can lead to financial losses. Discipline when investing in equities can lead to superior returns, as ups and downs in equities is a normal phenomenon, staying invested in quality assets is key to value creation. One very good way of having discipline in investments is to invest through SIP in equity mutual funds for long term wealth creation.
3. Diversify Your Funds
The best English proverb when it comes to investing is ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is an old yet effective way to explain the importance of diversification when it comes to investments. Diversification, whilst not fully guaranteeing losses, helps spread the risk of investments to help reach long-term financial goals. Diversification can come across different asset classes and with different funds/products within a chosen asset class. Broadly the asset allocation is always between equity and debt. Some may even add gold and real estate to this equation. Diversification is dictated primarily by your risk profile, investment horizon and returns expectations. It helps provide contingency to adverse effects in one asset class. Your MF distributor or investment expert shall in a position to guide you on the level of diversification required by you.
4. Have Equity Exposure
Investment should be made keeping in mind your risk appetite. This is influenced by many factors including; life stage, income, age and experience of investment. However, for wealth creation, the equity asset class emerges as the undisputed winner amongst all asset classes. For young individuals with income, taking higher risk is recommended as compared to a retired individual with limited or no income. As said, the choice of an asset class is dictated by risk appetite and investment horizon. However, when it comes to returns expectations or required returns for achieving financial goals, the most likely outcome will be equities. There is also a lot of ease, convenience, flexibility and tax advantage while investing in equities as compared to physical assets like real estate and gold or debt investments. However, it is a more volatile /risky investment and hence prior understanding, risk assessment and guidance from experts may be required.
5. Focus on Financial Plans
Lastly, we strongly recommend having a working financial plan, always. You won’t reach anywhere, achieve your life goals, financial independence, unless you have planned it first and are regularly tracking the same. It is critical to start investing in opportunities that are aligned with your larger financial goals. One should be focused on staying on track to reaching these goals through remembering that long-term value creation takes time. Get in touch with your financial guide /expert /distributor to know more about this.