By Ashwini Patil, VP – Customer Success, Scripbox
Making your money work hard for you is as important as making money. And this means that you need to invest your money to create wealth that serves your and your family’s needs over a long period of time. While trying a mix of financial avenues, I figured out what works for me.
Read on as I talk about how I started, made mistakes, corrected course, and have been making my money work for me for 10 years now.
Started early: Invested some from my first paycheck
I have been working for close to a decade and pretty much have dabbled with investing for just about the same duration. Growing up, I have seen my dad be an avid investor and it is thanks to him that I made investing a habit from the very first paycheck itself. Starting early is key.
The first experiment: The lure of the stock markets
In 2008, when the markets were falling apart, I was just about to buy my first stock given I had a salary and a free demat account. This was a time when access to information wasn’t easy, smartphones and unlimited data were nowhere in sight.
At my workplace, access to internet was heavily restricted, where Facebook and trading sites were blocked. Tracking the markets and making the right trades weren’t easy, but given that I invested during the market dip, I saw handsome profits within a few months. Thus, began the lure of stock markets.
That greed of making a quick buck tempted me to try more. Just the unknown of how much more I could make with this one trade, kept me going, probably just like gambling.
Thankfully, very soon, I realised that it was tough to repeat success consistently with something as volatile as the stock market. I neither had the skills nor time to make this process repeatable. I had just gotten lucky ‘once’. As I look back, this self-realisation helped me save a lot of money and time in the long run.
Let the money grow
My next step was to turn to the experts. And that’s how I settled into investing in mutual funds through my father’s financial advisor. Without any thought, I started off with a small SIP amount. I never looked at my returns or my accumulation and kept adding at money at the same rate as instructed by the advisor.
After about five years of doing so, I decided to take a look at my investments and realised that the investments had grown very well. This prompted me to start reading about it more and I stumbled upon the power of compounding, terms like debt and equity, etc.
In hindsight, had I actively read about this or understood this better, I would have probably increased my investments as my salary increased, tapping into the power of compounding, which I lost out on. Also, I would have given more thought to my goals, what I would like to achieve in specific time frames. But, at the same time, since I didn’t watch my investments constantly, the fact that my investments may have dipped, given the volatility of the market, never really affected me.
Overall, my learning has been – outsource the job to experts but make sure you have periodic check-ins. Have a basic understanding of how the instrument works and then question the experts.
No matter what your goal is – .travelling the world, indulging in gadgets or jewellery, your children’s education or even early retirement, you can start today and take control of your financial independence...your life.