Don’t alter your investment strategy or goals just because a new fund is launched in the market
In our 12 years of helping more than 500 affluent and wealthy families with their financial planning/wealth management requirements, one thing is common. Most families just want to know one thing, "Am I doing ok?". We have validated the same with countless other families and advisors that we have met with over the years. However,billions of dollars are spent every year by Wall Street and every other such street to get people to think about investing as returns, products, benchmarks and so on.It's not a surprise that making investment decisions by thinking about the product first leads to poor clarity on why are you really investing (Seriously Why ?).
And people cannot be blamed for having developed this kind of attitude because most wealth management solutions,banks, experts and even the media solidly focus on Returns,Products, Kitna Deti Hai, Large Cap, Mid Cap, Benchmark, Active, Passive, Index and so on. Despite this, people still wonder whether they are doing okay. It is thus very important to change the way people think about investing and first making them aware of their own needs and goals (Why are you investing?). Just like a doctor wouldn’t prescribe anything without having done a thorough check-up, an investment shouldn't be made without a clear and quantifiable financial goal defined.
In every individual's lifetime, there will be good times and bad times. The challenge however, is doing well or well enough in the bad times. Carl Richards, in his book 'The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money' brings a common trend to our attention. He states, "At the top of the market we can’t buy fast enough. About three years later at the bottom, we can’t sell fast enough. And we repeat that over and over until we're broke. No wonder most people are unsatisfied with their investing experience."
Sonja Lyubomirsky , Author of the book "The How of Happiness" states that "Committing to your Goals" is an Intentional Happiness Activity that one can undertake. Hence when you commit to a financial goal , it helps you work towards your version of happiness.It is thus very important to understand what makes you truly happy and work on it. This is not just a feel-good philosophy but a rock-solid strategy which organizations around the world have begun adopting. More than half of the Fortune 100 companies in 50 countries have initiated work on happiness research
Over a decade of helping countless families has helped us identify a simple formula to help them achieve happiness
Purpose + Money = Happiness
In Short Investing with a Purpose or Purposeful Investing is at the Heart of Investing for Happiness
It is often said that money cannot buy happiness but having a handle on one’s finances and knowing how close you are to achieving your goals certainly helps you earn the most valuable assets in the world; the freedom to live worry free and achieve your version of happiness!
As Carl Richards rightly put it, “Financial decisions aren’t about getting rich. They’re about getting what you want—getting Happy."
Essentials of a HappyRich Life
HappyRich Life = Physical Health +Financial Health+ Mental Health + Family Health + Philanthropic HealthHere are some key lessons to help you attain your HappyRich Life
- Define your vision, your financial goals and what you like to be known as. These should be the guiding forces for your actions. Your Goals and objectives are key, nothing can supersede your goals and nothing should. Robert Louis Stevenson’s quote "An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding" sums this up.
- Don’t alter your investment strategy or goals just because a new fund is launched in the market. How well it fits within your situation is more important than anything else. Sticking to the plan is as important as creating one.
- Say No to financial pornography that is thrown at you in the name of newsletters, insights and new funds.
- Keep a Savings Budget.The best way to save but at the same time, indulge is to keep a savings budget as opposed to an expense budget. The idea is to set a savings target of 15-25 percent of one’s gross annual income and deposit this money in a mental account called "My Goals".
- Build a solid base. Your wealth should be like a pyramid with a solid base of contingency funds, relevant insurances (to transfer all risks), limited liabilities and investments.
- If you are a business owner, invest well in team members, technology, and research.
- Since most of you lead a very busy lifestyle that leaves very little time for your family, spend time with your family and distress. Needless to say, you must take good care of your health.
- Make a will. Do not leave this to chance.
- It is also very important to Know Yourself. Socrates said, "It is the key to human self-advancement". Understanding your emotions and behavioural biases can help you avoid many costly mistakes.
- Finally, just knowing and reading will not help you. I know and see many people who know stuff but never do it. Do not procrastinate, as actions can only generate results. So if you have learnt one, two or more things from this column, make sure you implement them and as the Nike tagline says "Just do it".
Author is Founder & Chief Happyness Officer at HappynessFactory.in