Does your busy professional schedule offer you time to monitor your personal finance?
Balaji is working for an MNC. Today he has got a target deadline for a particular assignment. His day is fully packed. First thing in the morning, he received a mail from his Accounts Dept stating that today is the last date for producing proofs for tax saving investments ; otherwise a sizable amount will be deducted from his salary as tax. He wanted to do some tax saving investments urgently and submit the proof on or before end of the day.
Most of the financial and investment decisions are
either taken because of some compulsion or urgency or postponed because of compulsion or urgency in some other area of life. This is because we want to complete the urgent things first not the most important things. Many important things that play an important role in our overall financial objectives and give richness don’t tend to give any pressure on us. Though they may not be urgent, they are the things that we must focus, give importance and carry out immediately.
We concentrate and act upon things like pressing problems, deadline-driven projects, and official meetings. We don’t give importance to
- prepare for a meeting with a financial planner; appraising a financial planner before making investments
- planning activities like budgeting , children’s future planning, retirement planning ;
- activities that protect our financial lifestyle like taking a term insurance, health insurance , house holder policy;
- empowering ourselves by upgrading our knowledge with reference to investments and personal finance.
Why we are not able spend time on important things and spend most of our time on urgent things? The reason is, we are following a way that focuses on how fast or efficiently we are getting things done. We are not following a way that focuses on why we are doing things.
Take the case of Mr.Balaji. Why didn’t he do his tax planning during the beginning of the financial year itself? Why is he chasing at the last minute? Balaji is much worried about his target deadline for assignment than tax planning. As he is making investments urgently, it is difficult for him to choose the right financial advisor and also difficult to judge which one would be the best tax saving option for him. He will be investing with an advisor who can get the investment proof on the same day. Is this the basis on which we select an investment advisor? Will the relationship of Mahesh and this financial advisor be a long term one? Will this investment is going to be of any help to Balaji in meeting the higher education expenses of his son after 15 years?
Coming to the case of Mr. Mahesh, he had a couple of crores at 1.5% pre-tax return. He could have tripled his returns by investing in an Indian liquid fund which is very safe. There are also far better investment options available for him to choose. Unfortunately he has settled for 1.5%. If he could have spent a day or two in carefully choosing the right financial advisor and investment product he could have earned more. The earning opportunity which he overlooked with his investments might equal to his 6 months or 1 year salary.
He could have easily generated that passive income equivalent to 6 month or 1 year salary without any pressure from the top management; without meeting any target deadlines by just spending a day or two.
We are all really working hard for money. Is our hard earned money is working for us or lying in our SB a/c or really growing?
We find a ladder and see there are so many people trying to reach the top of the ladder faster. Then we also follow the group, target deadlines to be met in each and every step; focusing more on reaching the top and finally reached the top. Only after reaching the top, we realize that we have come to a very wrong place or a place which is not worth missing so many things and opportunities in life. This is how the today’s corporate world is.
Nothing wrong in working harder or focusing more on completing the assignment or spending more time on finishing the project on target deadline. These are all good things to do. But always remember, there are better and best things to do. We keep too many good things ahead of a few best things.
Setting up financial goals ; working out a plan for achieving those goals; and implementing those plans are all best things to do in life. You will come to know in advance where you want to reach exactly, by doing this exercise. As we progress, we enjoy the journey. As we reach the place, we really feel happy and we have not missed any important thing on the way.
Procrastination and not giving priority to financial goals and investment plans are costliest mistakes one can make. So let us stop procrastinating NOW and give priority to our financial goal setting and investment planning TODAY. Then life will be really so beautiful.
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