Everyone has an opinion about a view Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy expressed about working hours. He said that young people should work 70 hours a week. His comments have created quite a stir on social media and the press. There are extreme views for and against the argument. We will not dwell on the merits of that debate.
Regarding personal finances, your ability to earn more can affect your long-term wealth. A lot of youngsters are planning to retire early. It means saving enough to start your passion projects. To achieve that dream, you need to put a lot of effort into your work years. It involves working probably the time Mr Murthy refers to in the debate.
From a personal finance standpoint, you need to work smart. It does not matter the number of hours you put in at work. You must stay productive. If you have clearly defined goals, it is easier to determine the pace of your work. You will also know the years you need to stay active in a profession that earns you the desired income. In that context, you could work 70 hours a week.
Besides earning a living that ensures you have enough savings to invest, you need to make your investments sweat it out for you. Your money needs the necessary direction that helps you beat inflation consistently and earn that wealth needed to retire early from a run-on—the-mill job.
The idea to retire early does not mean you stop working. It is clear to seize control over your time and follow your passions, too. You will do more work, and productivity will be critical to your effort. Investing regularly towards defined goals helps you to meet your dreams. It is similar to cricket. When teams chase a stiff target, they have a goal in front of them.
Batters plan their innings based on the conditions and ensure that they break down the stiff target with controlled aggression. Your investments need to follow a similar plan. Your money can do the job if you give it sufficient time.
Most of you tend to pull money out quickly from mutual funds or other equity assets at the first sign of a fall. Equity markets need you to be patient enough to ride through multiple market cycles. If you look at the performance of benchmark indices like the S&P BSE Sensex or NSE Nifty, they have moved in cycles over the past 20 years. While the overall directional trajectory has been upwards historically, very few investors stay put.
Yours truly rues that he chose the comfort of a Maruti Suzuki car instead of the stock years ago. While the car is a depreciating asset, a stock is an appreciating one. There are times you must debate issues like thriftiness and physical effort. You need to ask yourself if you need that second car or can do it with one. To err on the side of more investments could require you to trick your mind. You must remind yourself constantly about your clearly defined goal of retiring early.
While you work hard in your jobs, you must also let your money do the job. Investing requires you to know quite a few things. These include understanding the big picture in an economy and the fundamentals of a business or a sector. If you wish to create something from your work life, you must include the time you spend learning new skills unrelated to your job at work. Knowledge about personal finance and factors affecting your investments is indeed that skill.
As long as you follow your dreams by converting them into clearly defined financial goals, you will know where you stand. It will also tell you the effort you need to take to achieve those goals. A professional expert can help you in putting it together. You must take help and chart a path to follow. The number of hours you work depends on this action plan.