Recently I received an email from one of my best college friend after a long time. He remembered me for a specific purpose. He wanted to start meditation. And I was so happy to be of some help for my friend. His question was simple. How do you start meditation? He knew that I have been meditating for quite some time now on a regular basis and the post below is the email which I wrote back to my friend.
I meditate on a regular basis.
Idea is to make your mind focus, and put your mind under observation.
(You can choose any subject to focus on. Some people focus on the power of the word ‘Om’. I prefer to focus on my breath, which is the source of life.)
By doing this you essentially train the mind to strengthen the mind’s amazing ability of focus. This training of mind is similar, if you will, to the following example: In case you want to build muscles or biceps, you would do necessary training in the Gym to build those muscles.
By doing this, you can become aware of your breath, at will, you will slow down and then you can focus the mind on whatever subject whenever you want.
How is meditation useful? (more…)
The Best Investment you can make is on yourself. These 12 tips (In no particular order)will definitely enrich you in the long run and make life successfull, peaceful and happy
Have this question on your mind when dealing with friends, family, coworkers, children, parents , strangers….. It will make you grateful, compassionate, helpful, selfless human being.
“Death is certain and Life is uncertain.”
You work hard, You earn , You save. You plan and have dreams. You do this to secure your future and the future your loved ones.
However, your untimely demise, can jeopardize the future of your loved ones. Emotional needs, of your loved ones and your dependents cannot be replaced or compensated.
However in case of financial needs, you can always plan ahead, so that your loved ones are left behind with adequate financial resources to take care of their future needs. This is all the more important in case you have dependents who are financially dependent on you (like your non-working spouse, children , old parents etc.).
This is where “adequate” insurance of “life” assumes such a significance.
Life Insurance is the foundation of financial planning and you should ensure that it is properly planned, first.
Many a times , I am truly surprised when I ask clients and people about their insurance coverage. I get responses like the following :
– “I believe I am adequately covered” (– Salary 20Lacs/yr, Home Loan 40K / month, Car Loan 3Lacs, 2 young school kids, Insurance coverage – sum assured around 40Lacs ONLY – 2 policies, annual premium around 2Lacs) And he believes he is adequately covered. Badly mistaken……………
– “I have one investment flat, and one flat in which I currently live – In case something happens to me , my wife can sell that flat and that can easily service the needs of the future”. I told him, why does he need to wait for his death, in order to sell the flat. Why is he not doing it now.? An hence why should his spouse sell the property to finance family needs ……………? This person understood the crux and went ahead to increase his insurance………….
– “My father tells me about the futility of insurance – See, he is 65 yrs of age and he is still going hale and hearty” – This is such a stupid response. It is really difficult to believe seemingly intelligent people making such comments………….
– “I will get 20Lacs at the end of the policy” Upon asking , how much money his wife will get in case he were to die today – His reply was ” I do not know, I will have to check my policy”. He does plans his weekend outing to Lonavla and Khandala or other places near Mumbai along with friends meticuluosly. But hey , no plans for life………
– ” I have a child insurance policy which will give me 15 Lacs in due course apart from my endowment life policy of 20Lacs” — Again , this fellow has been sold into these policies is paying roof high premiums for paltry insurance. And by the way, why insure your child , when you yourself are inadequately covered. Also does one really need child’s life to be insured to cover financial needs. No……….
– ” I have a ULIP (Unit Linked) policy and the agent has promised me guaranteed (LOL……..) returns in next 15 years” ……… I am sure the agent also must be laughing his way to the bank ………..
– ” I had bought policy from LIC to to save taxes. And I am happy to save on taxes” … Now buying insurance just to save taxes is one of the worst mistakes one can make. Buying Life insurance to save taxes or to invest is just not right………
These are responses of intelligent,hardworking , well educated people. However, they fail to get the financial planning act together. I am sure that they can also put in little extra effort to get this part right as well.
As you can see, all the responses above have one underlying theme – all of the different sets of people have inadequate Life Insurance coverage. In some cases unplanned, some have planned but due to thier ignorance have been sold products which will truly not help in case of insurance.
Let us face it , no one likes to really think about his own death. However, the truth also cannot be denied that death is indeed certain.It can happen in (a) normal course of time (let us say avg 70yrs) (b) earlier in an untimely fashion (let us 30 -45yrs) — this is prime time when dependents really need you (c) or later than normal. (>85+ yrs)
All the three cases can be properly planned for.
So, that brings us to the question — What is adequate life insurance coverage?
Simply put, an adequate life insurance coverage should cover the current liabilities of the descedent and should financially secure the foreseeable future needs of the dependents in such a way that the lifestyle of the dependents remains unaffected going forward and life goes on normally as if nothing truly happened……………..
Later we will see , how much insurance do you need. Or How to arrive at the magic figure of sum assured. You can read the post here at How much life insurance do I need?
The world of finance can be intimidating, But as Raplh Waldo Emerson says “Fear always springs from ignorance”. The stock market and so called greater financial world is not complicated once you become aware of the basics of investing and dispel fear of ignorance.
First let us see What is not a Investment? Now, This is fun….
First of all, Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. (There are other risky, very risky avenues of speculation to get-rich-quick which very often turn to get-poor-quick for people with no discipline and patience. Remember – High Risk , High Return, Less Risk, Less Return) . Investing is not speculation. Investing is not buying stocks on a “Hot Tip”. Always remember a Hot Tip leads to a bottomless Pit.:-). Investing is not following the herd which often leaves the investors high and dry. Investing is not listening to channels to analysts and always clicking on your portfolio to see it (along with your heartbeat) fluctuate on a daily basis. Investment should not be done emotionally (Oh, my uncle’s wife’s son’s friend’s sister wants to sell me a insurance cum investment policy, How can I say No. Well — Learn to say No. There are many things in life where you have to say No. ). Investment is also not just about returns.
So that brings us to What is a Investment : Well, What does wikipedia have to say : “Investment is the commitment of money or capital to purchase financial instruments or other assets in order to gain profitable returns in form of interest, income, or appreciation of the value of the instrument”
Investing is putting your money to work for you in order to generate wealth. Generally Money is earned by income generated for some work done for which we trade our precious time. Problem is: for more money, you have to work more hours and give more time. And time is a limited resource. One way is to make your money work for you and start earning. Quite simply, making your money work for you maximizes your earning potential.
Again, Investments have to be planned and done with a purpose, a meaning, and should be done to realize goals of life. Investments are not a one-size-fits-all manner and are individual specific, situation specific. Goals like, Retirement , Child Education, Child Marriage, House Purchase in future, Purchasing assets in future, — goals in different times/ stages of life. etc. And so Investment Planning is utmost important. Plan , Plan , Plan and then execute. Look at the big picture and do not miss the forest (long term enrichment goals) for the trees (unplanned short sightedness)
There are many different ways you can go about making an investment. Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETF’s , Money Market Liquid Funds, bank FD’s etc., or real estate , or starting your own business. It does not matter which method you choose for investing your money. However, the objective is always to put your money to work over long periods of time (5 yrs-10yrs-15yrs+) with adequate margin of safety, and let the magic of compounding take over, so that it beats inflation and generates wealth and fulfills the purpose and more or less achieves the goals.
This is the most important concept in investing.