Mufasa, the king of the jungle, explains to his son Simba about the Circle of Life. In the movie The Lion King, he throws a light on the life cycle in the simplest possible way. He also warns Simba about venturing into the ‘no-go’ territory.
Your money needs you to apply these things.
Magic wands are only for fairy tales. Prosperity through wealth creation comes with patience. When it comes to our money life, the pace of growth is just like that of a plant that eventually grows into a tree, giving shade and bearing fruits. There are no free lunches. The earlier you understand that in your work life, the better it is for you.The economic and stock market cycles help you create wealth. You cannot control the external factors that are affected by these cycles. But you can monitor the internal factors arising out of your behaviour.
What can you control
Patience is an essential virtue in investing. We have often talked of the way rich people created wealth. “Nobody likes to get rich slow,” said Warren Buffett, the legendary American investor, when asked about people not following his style of investing. There is a lot of merit in this. No amount of expert advice can make a difference unless you learn to be patient. You may have to start tricking your mind into being patient.
The first step towards doing so could be to read a book on investing. It is time to invest in your mind first, as author and millionaire Robert Kiyosaki (who also retired at the age of 47 by becoming a successful investor) argues in a 1997 book titled Rich Dad, Poor Dad.What you invest in your mind is what brings your success, because that is your most valuable asset in any financial situation.
The trick to managing your finances is to keep on training your mind to do the right thing. For example, you need to step back and think before making an impulse purchase. Yes, it is hard. However, you need to ask yourself if you need that gadget or purse that you saw in the window. Delaying gratification may work. By no means, you need to sacrifice good things in life. You may have to spread out your spending through the year to make it simple for your finances.
Spending to saving
The moment you can get on top of your spending, you will start saving. That is an essential step in your financial life. Unless you have savings, you may not be able to grow your wealth. Your wealth creation has to come from your savings and surplus that you are working hard to create. The savings can have an incredible impact on your finances. If you are prone to using credit cards and rolling over or delaying payments, your savings will allow you to pay that off.
In the New Year, you should resolve to pay off short-term debts, like the credit card debt. If the public transport in your city is improving, use it. If you are planning to buy a second car, dump that idea immediately. Buy shares of good companies instead, or invest the EMI amount in a systematic investment plan of an equity-linked tax saving fund. Walking short distances is another idea. A lot of people spend money on staying fit. Regular walking comes free. It not only helps you stay healthy but also saves money.
You may have realised now that saving sounds like a lot of hard work. Yet, it is not a difficult thing to do, no matter what your financial literacy level is or your non-finance background. Knowledge can take you up to a point. However, a lot of your money-related decisions are based on the way you train your mind. Things you see as risky, someone else looks at it as an opportunity. If you become a successful saver, then you are on the course to becoming a successful investor. Patience is an important virtue. Your New Year resolution has to be that.
(The author is the editor-in-chief at www.moneyminute.in)