Financial planning needs much more than you think

The primary reason for you not to take up that responsibility is your inertia. The word ‘finance’ brings a picture of complexity with it.

Published: 15th March 2021 04:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2021 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

Rs 2000, cash,money

Image used for representation. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

It is an era where you can outsource many things. Financial planning, investing are no exceptions. When it comes to financial planning, most people want someone else to do it for them.

You want your money to grow while you sleep. 

The primary reason for you not to take up that responsibility is your inertia. The word ‘finance’ brings a picture of complexity with it.

As this column has often argued, financial planning and investing need your participation.

No matter the level of competency of your financial advisor or the stockbroker, you need to contribute to the process. 

Last week, a social media post by The Motley Fool, a US-based investment website, suggested three things you need to do.

The first one is living below your means.

The second is to be an optimist, and the third is to be patient. That is all you need to create a better financial future for yourself.

tapas ranjan

Living below your means 

Your future investing and wealth creation depends on your ability to live below your means.

Your choices of spending will determine the money you end up when you hang up your boots.

A monthly surplus is a must to create a basis for your future goals. If you cannot save money, you cannot invest. 

Living below your means is not easy.

A lot of your spending is based on factors like convenience, and that comes easily. Everything you can buy is now available at your fingertips.

No matter the wealth you possess, you can spend it all with the help of your smartphone. 

Your spending is primarily linked to the level of your financial awareness.

If you are reading this article, you are probably financially aware.

However, many may not prioritise things like financial goals and the planning needed to achieve them. 

When young, you rarely think about financial goals like retirement, childcare, dream home and future medical expenses. You want to have a good life.

A lot of you derive that sense of happiness and satisfaction by spending on worldly goods.

Yours truly is no exception. It has been a life-long struggle to save money. But at some stage, you need to talk to yourself about money. 

The pandemic situation opens up an opportunity to set things right. With more people working from home and commuting less, you may want to question cars’ ownership.

If you are into a small business, you may want to look at the need for permanent office space all over again.

The idea is that if you have an income and your expenditure has dropped significantly during the pandemic situation, you may want to maintain it at that level.

Be an optimist

The world lives on hope. The 30-shares BSE Sensex was 100 in 1980, 3000 in 2000 and near 50,000 now. There is no reason for not being an optimist. A young India’s economic growth will continue to drive businesses.

Profits these businesses make would translate into more shareholder wealth over the years. You have to keep that faith and allocate appropriate resources towards equity assets.

You will not create wealth by keeping the money in a savings account or at home. Stock markets are fraught with risks.

Over your lifetime, you may see volatile situations. Appreciating market cycles could be a way forward.

Be patient

A lot of your success in personal finance is based on that. It takes time for your money to grow. It is just like the way you would nurture trees.

Instant gratification is an illusion in investing. There is no other option but to invest regularly and stay invested.

Stock markets cannot just move in one direction.

They have to fall and go through cycles. Many investors talk about valuations getting heady. However, you are not here for the short-term.

Investing successfully means riding through market cycles and staying invested. Valuations of businesses peak around the end of the financial year.

As financial results are announced for the March quarter, estimates are made about the next 18-24 months of financial performance.

As the profitability of businesses grows, market value moves in a line. Your patience and optimism will see you through.

Post-pandemic planning guide

With more people working from home and commuting less, you may want to question cars’ ownership. If you have an income and your expenditure has dropped now, you may want to maintain it at that level.

(The author is the editor-in-chief at


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp