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Financial wisdom | An ode to Amrita Pritam and Warren Buffet

While Buffett, synonymous with the world of investing, as investors around the world hanging on to his every word, Pritam, too, has a rich, deep and insightful treasure trove to derive financial wisdom from, along with, of course, the intricacies of love and women empowerment.

August 31, 2021 / 10:39 PM IST
Buffet also said that the biggest learning from the pandemic is how ill-prepared the world is for such emergency situations. (File Image of Warren Buffett - Source: Reuters)

Buffet also said that the biggest learning from the pandemic is how ill-prepared the world is for such emergency situations. (File Image of Warren Buffett - Source: Reuters)


The legendary Amrita Pritam stares down at me from a frame of a snippet of her popular poem ‘Main tenu phir milangi’, which hangs on my wall. This, just when I am settling in to read perhaps what can come closest to the biography of the great investor, the Oracle of Omaha and institution Warren Buffett himself, penned by Alice Schroeder, namely The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.

In the book, at one place, he says that intensity is the price of excellence. He talks about the significance of compounding too, when he says, “On me personally what has been the most important was to understand the value of time. What you do when you are young (and as you use time over your life) can have an exponential effect so that if you are thinking about it, you can really have powerful results later, if you want to. Because, my friend, Time is the friend of the wonderful business and the enemy of the mediocre.”

That reminded me of one of Pritam's lines poetically describing intensity, time, and additionally, the forte of her expression, love. “Umr ke kagaz pe tere ishq ne angootha laga diya, hisab kaun chukayega?” And much to my surprise, she also indicates towards, or so I think, about financial independence in her poem, Mera Pata, where she tells everyone to find her wherever there is a vision and hope of spiritedness and freedom (Jahan bhi Aazad Rooh ki jhalak pade, samajhna vahi mera ghar hai). 

While Buffett, synonymous with the world of investing, as investors around the world hanging on to his every word, Pritam, too, has a rich, deep and insightful treasure trove to derive financial wisdom from, along with, of course, the intricacies of love and women empowerment. Read on:

Tera Milna aise hota hai
Jaise koi hatheli par

Ek Vakt ki Rozi (earning) rakh de 

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Your portfolio and your financial future perhaps feel exactly the same, when you dedicatedly commit and meet your SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) investments every month. Ek vakt ki rozi might sound small, but their accumulation over the course of time is enough to make you reach all your major life milestones. An SIP as small as Rs 500 might just be a pizza meal for you, but imagine the power of these SIPs compounded over time, to build the castle of your dreams. Or as Warren Buffet says, “Someone is sitting in the shade of a tree today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”. Planting the seed is the first step towards absolute financial well-being. So, don't miss out on your SIPs, starting today!

Jo kamana hai, vahin khana hai
Na koi tukda kal ka bacha hai

Na koi tukda kal ke liye hai 

Who aspires for a frugal, hand-to-mouth existence? No one, right? Spending all your income for your desires and wants means you’re axing the needs of your future self. A major portion of your income should be allocated for savings and particularly, investments in stocks and mutual funds, which further generate handsome returns for you in the long term. Because, If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. Buffett’s words, not mine! Spend reasonably, save significantly, and you have your key to financial success. 

Mera Shehar ek lambi behas ki tarah hai
Sadken-betuki daleelon si
Aur galiyan iss tarah
Jaise ek baat ko koi idhar ghaseetta
Koi udhar

Market crashes and lows are not as much a question of if, as they are of when. They are certain, inevitable, and impossible to avoid. Navigating through the haphazard, disarrayed shehar can be discomforting, but that’s exactly how the state of affairs is, and there's no changing that! 

Don't feel disheartened when your portfolio is in red, because sooner or later, the market will come roaring back, swaddling your investments in green. Linearity is not the market’s favourite movement, and your expectations from it must not follow this course, as well. But what you can do best, as Buffett elaborates, is to prepare for it adequately. Because, “predicting the rain doesn’t count, building the ark does”. So make sure your ark is all prepped up, with stable assets like debt instruments and gold cushioning your volatile equity returns!

Mohabbat ki kachchi Deewar
Lipi Hui, Puti Hui
Phir bhi iske ek pehlu se

Raat ek tukda gir gaya

Think you’ve got the perfect portfolio? Think again! Because even the investing superstar Buffett is prone to mistakes and losses. But, as he puts it, “After 25 years of buying and supervising a great variety of businesses, Charlie and I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. What we have learned is to avoid them." And how? By regular assessment and evaluation of your portfolio and adapting to the market trends to make the most of them! The oracle further explains,” Keep things simple and don't swing for the fences. When promised quick profits, respond with a quick "no." That temptation to earn some quick bucks might punch a hole through your investments! 

I stare back at Pritam, and then at the book next to me. Buffett, as always, is smiling from the cover, while, I feel observed for the good, like Pritam pens down, “Tere canvas par utarkar, ek rahasyamayi lakeer banke, khamosh tenu takti rahungi”. 
Ira Puranik
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