I invest like a girl because there is a lot which is right about investing that way
Saying that I find gender stereotyping annoying is an understatement. I’m also an optimist who likes to spin things on its head to look at the positive side of it. So, here’s how I invest like a girl.
If you haven’t seen the ad “#LikeAGirl”, you probably should Google it and see the difference how men and women think of womanhood versus how little girls think and you will get my point. When the men and women are asked to show how to run like a girl, they mock it and run lamely. However, when a little girl is asked to “run like a girl” she says it means to her to run as fast as she can. This is the difference!
So, I invest like a girl because there is a lot which is right about investing that way. Here’s how I do it.
1. I need some money handy: I need about three months of expenses handy at all times. Yes, at all times. So, I have money in my liquid mutual funds, not in my bank account because I tend to spend money if it is lying in my account (I have accepted myself for who I am and I ensure that doesn’t come in my way).
2. I invest in safe instruments next: I need some money which is safe. I have my EPF and PPF. I have company bonds, NSCs which are “safe” investments. I know these don’t give me growth, but these give me peace of mind.
3. I invest after I ask a lot of questions: Before I invest, I ask a lot of questions. Who will manage my money, how much is at risk, what are the risks that this particular option has, who is the fund manager, what is his track record, what happens if he leaves the fund house, what kind of scheme- mid cap/ large cap/ multi cap etc etc etc and more etceteras.
4. I invest systematically: Once I have chosen equity schemes for investment, I invest on a monthly basis. I also have earmarked my investments towards specific goals- my next vacation, my retirement. The SIPs happen automatically and I account it as a “future expense” and move on. I love shopping and spending so this helps me visualize my future spend; it helps me visualize my vacation to Europe and I smile whenever I look at the portfolio irrespective of red or green there.
5. I nurture my investments in bad times: When markets are bad, I do introspect and review my actions to see if I made a bad call. However, if I haven’t, I end up feeling that this is the time my portfolio needs me and I go into the nurturing mode.
6. I exit when I say I will: I usually have a goal attached to each investment and I exit when I’m nearing the goal. So, I have seen my investment portfolio look very heavy to almost empty when I bought my home because a majority of the money was for the house at the time.
7. I don’t get emotional about my investments: I am not egoistical when it comes to my investments or even emotional about them. If I have taken a good call, great. If I have taken a bad call, too bad - I learn and I move on.
I like stability, I like security, I like growth. But these are different aspects when I consider investing. In my head, I have compartmentalized them and so I can sleep peacefully at night.The writer is COO of International Money Matters