CHENNAI: Twenty-six-year-old Aditya Kumar, who works at a leading consultancy firm in the city, was recently in a tizzy when he realised that he had not made any investments. “Between work and managing living on my own in a different city, I don’t know where the days go by,” he said. “I keep putting off savings for the next month because something comes up every month. Just by putting off savings and not investing in anything solid month after month, I didn’t realise how much time had passed. Before I knew it, we had come to the end of the financial year and I had to rush to invest money, “ he said.
Aditya is one of the many new-generation working professionals who find themselves clueless about financial planning. A week into the new financial year, CE spoke to some financial advisors and planners to help you make sound investments that are fruitful and ensure you don’t have to panic at the end of the year.
Hire an advisor
“Every month, I make grand plans to save some amount from my salary but it never happens. I have cut back on shopping and eating out, and yet I feel like my money comes and disappears in no time,” said 24-year old R Ananya.
It is these ‘grand plans’ that advisors firmly advice one to stay far away from. It is essential to be pragmatic and honest when it comes to planning your expenses. “Have a detailed long-term plan, which can be broken into short-term targets — quarterly, half yearly, annual — that are aligned with your investment goals,” said investment advisors from iThought Financial Consulting LLP. “Make sure to implement the plan and hire an advisor so you can ask questions to become aware of the process.”
Finance can seem like an intimidating space, which is also one of the reasons young professionals tend to rely on others for their investments. “I have always been bad at Math so I feel like I’d be terrible at tax planning and investment. I tried learning to do it once and it went horribly wrong and ever since then, I have just left it to my father because I have zero confidence in myself,” said S Jayashree.
Have a real plan
Advisors feel it is imperative for one to learn the ropes themselves, even if someone else — a family member or a professional — is handling their investments and portfolio. “There is a notion that tax planning and financial planning is about Math and calculations,” said a chartered accountant working for a well-known firm in the city, on the condition of anonymity. “But, it is far from the truth! Sure, it does involve numbers, but financial planning is just discipline. It is being able to draw up a realistic plan and having the discipline to stick to it and constantly look for ways to better it. It is the ability to understand your inflows and outflows, your needs and your aspirations, and the best ways to achieve them.”
TIPS TO FOLLOW
- Have a detailed long-term plan in place, which can be broken into short-term targets — quarterly, half yearly, annual etc — that are aligned with your investment goals and have specific time frames.
- Plan, and implement the plan.
- Hire an advisor and ask questions to become more comfortable and aware of the process.
- Be forward-looking. Past performances cannot be the benchmark.
- Diversify your investments based on your risk appetite.
- Avoid the noise. Be disciplined towards your investments and goals.
- Do not borrow to invest
- Think investments as second source of income
- Lower your expectations
*Source: iThought Financial Consulting LLP