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What Kargil Vijay Diwas tells us about the young Indian financial spirit

July 26, 2021 / 08:04 PM IST
The epic battles of Tololing, Tiger Hill and others were recalled and 559 lamps lit in a tribute to the martyrs at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass area of Ladakh as events to mark the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas commenced on July 25 in the presence of top military officers, family members of the army personnel and others. (Image: ANI)

The epic battles of Tololing, Tiger Hill and others were recalled and 559 lamps lit in a tribute to the martyrs at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass area of Ladakh as events to mark the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas commenced on July 25 in the presence of top military officers, family members of the army personnel and others. (Image: ANI)

26th July 1999. India recaptured the crucially strategic high outposts of Drass, Kargil, and Batalik in Kashmir from the sudden, disguised Pakistani infiltration. Captain Vikram Batra (Param Vir Chakra) was one of the more prominent faces amongst the countless heroes of this two-month-long Indo-Pak war, which saw more than 500 of our men laying down their lives, only to secure India’s victory. His valour and shehanshahi, feared even by enemies are etched in history, and it was his popular war cry of Dil Maange More that drove the Indian spirit to reclaim Point 4875, now known as Batra top in his memory. All this, when he was all of 24! 

He wasn’t alone. Former Lieutenant Balwan Singh (Maha Vir Chakra), fondly known as the Tiger of the Tiger Hill was all of 25 when he conquered the treacherous terrain. Manoj Kumar Pandey (Param Vir Chakra), who was martyred during the battle of Jubar Top, Khalubar Hills in the 1999 Kargil war, was just 25. 

There is no stopping the young, the new blood when it comes to making a mark. There is also no stopping adversities and calamities, which have a penchant for arriving suddenly and unfavorably, despite our best efforts, much like that Pakistani siege, which was in clear violation of the Lahore declaration signed just 3 months before the debacle, in February 1999, which strongly endorsed bilateral peace. 

For all the millennials out there, your age and reduced financial responsibilities at this age is an asset you should utilize. Here are five reasons how you can focus on investing successfully early in your career, while simultaneously building an emergency corpus for all your rainy days. 

In your 20s? Perfect! 

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Say, you invest Rs 15,000 every month for 10 years, starting in your early 20s. The expected rate of return being 10 percent, you’ll have amassed almost Rs 13,00,000 in returns and Rs 18,00,000 as your invested corpus by the time you’re in your early 30s. 

But the same would not be true if you start investing late, automatically reducing your investing duration. The same Rs 15,000 invested every month for just 5 years would slash your returns to just Rs 2,00,000, totaling your invested amount at Rs 9,00,000. See the difference? That's the power of compounding, which simply means generating returns over your returns in the long-term, multiplying your total gains in the long run. 

As personal finance expert Sanjeev Dawar puts it, “Begin your personal finance journey right from the first paycheque. While the retirement age remains unchanged, life expectancy has gone up. Increasingly, there is a need for a bigger corpus to support millennials for a longer duration.”

But remember to:  Keep aside a solid chunk of money covering around 6-12 months of your essential expenses in case of a job loss or sabbatical. It’ll come in handy because you won't have to break into your long-term investments to fund your regular expenditures.

Ye Dil Maange More! 

Oh, what fun is it to be young, wild, and free. Your heart certainly aches for more of everything! And that also means more risk-taking ability, when it comes to the stock market. Traditionally, equities are a risky asset class, while debt and gold are considered safer investing havens. Take a look at the returns of equity, FDs, and gold over the span of the last decade :

 
Asset ClassHistoric returns (In Percent)
Equity (Sensex)185.41
Gold20.2
Fixed Deposits6

Source: Bloomberg Quint, ValueResearch 

But higher returns entail undertaking higher risks. So reach out for more! In the words of financial planner Nema Chahhya Buch, “When we are young, our risk tolerance is high, and we have a good time horizon to plan our investments. So, it is advisable to invest in asset classes like equity and other alternatives with higher risks during this time.

But remember to:  Keep aside for medical emergencies, of which Covid has given us ample proof. Hospitalization can be expensive, not to mention the cost of post-treatment care and medications. Having a sufficient amount kept aside in a savings account or a liquid fund can help you save for such rainy days while also earning a few extra bucks! 

Discipline

The tough army culture of incessant discipline, regularity, and routine is no secret. And perhaps that is why our faujis is one of the strongest and formidable fighting units in the world. Turns out, it bears us well in financial life as well to have some discipline and continuity. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and certainly, building the financial future of your dreams cannot happen overnight as well. But here is where SIP or Systematic Investment Plan comes into the picture. Here, you can periodically set aside a specific amount to invest in mutual funds or the market. This period can be monthly, weekly, or any time frame per your convenience. But remember, this is a long-term investment route because SIPs need the magic of compounding to generate solid returns in the future. 

Remember to: Stick to your plan! A good way to stay on track is to save automatically, just like your investments, by setting up auto-deductions every month. This will keep you on track and enforce this fund's long-term objective for you- emergency purposes ONLY! 

So, go ahead, start your investing journey young. Start today and conquer your Kargil of financial fitness! 
Ira Puranik
first published: Jul 26, 2021 07:20 pm

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