Celebrate Diwali Differently

Don’t just clean your house. Clean your mind and portfolio and make a new start
Celebrate Diwali Differently
Celebrate Diwali Differently

Diwali is the festival of lights. Lakshmi Puja is an important part of Diwali festivity. It is believed that goddess Lakshmi blesses devotees who clean their homes, decorate it with lights and rangoli and prepare sweet treats and delicacies as offerings.
 Our traditions have often converted a scientific message to a ritual for easy understanding and mass following. For example, our ritual of eating before sunset is good from health point of view. Medical science has also accepted it after thorough research. The message was given religious touch to make it easier for people to follow. Sometimes rituals become blind following and the scientific angle is missed. Purpose and meaning are lost in the process of execution.
 Our culture gives equal importance to goddess Saraswati (knowledge) and goddess Lakshmi (Money). Lakshmi Puja was probably made part of the Diwali celebration for people to realise the importance of wealth creation and money making.
 This Diwali, don’t just blindly follow the ritual of lighting lamp, cleaning house, making rangoli and preparing sweets for Lakshmi Puja. There is no guarantee that goddess Lakshmi will shower her blessings on you for performing the rituals.
 However, to please Goddess Lakshmi, following things may come handy.

Clean your portfolios
Many people will have shares, which they would have been bought on tips (mostly at much higher than prevailing prices). Ignore your cost of acquisition and take a hard relook at the portfolio. Do I want to own this business at current valuation? If the answer is no, call your broker and dump the stock. There is no point in keeping garbage in your portfolio.

Clear your minds
Recently an elderly gentleman told me at a public meeting that stock market is gambling. Such individuals need to do a serious cleaning of their mind. Such cobwebs restrict wealth creation and keep people in poverty. Open your eyes to the wealth creation opportunities by analysing the past and forecasting the future. Risk and return go hand in hand. Don’t throw away the opportunity of gaining returns with a thought process of possibly avoiding risks. As someone rightly said, you won’t reach your destination if you walk only on a sunny day.

Start an SIP
Kotak Mutual Fund recently celebrated August 26th as “SIP Day”. If you don’t have an SIP in equity stocks or mutual funds; then it’s about time you join more than one crore smart Indians who are doing SIP in equity mutual funds. Regular investment over longer term is the most simple and effective way of creating wealth in a growth market like India. If you are part of the one crore smart Indians doing SIP, then consider an SIP top-up if your income has increased more than your SIP amount or smart SIP to take advantage of market volatility.

Hire a financial adviser
Move from “do it yourself” kit of managing money on your own or through tips or fluctuating between greed and fear. Seek professional advice by hiring a Financial Advisor to plan your finance. Retirement planning, daughter’s education, son’s wedding, foreign tour etc... isn’t going to happen by savings alone. It will need navigational counsel of a professionally trained advisor. Like a family doctor, get a family financial advisor.

Be Optimistic. Be Cheerful
Our forefathers knew that we will live a life full of “bhagambhag” & stress. Our day to day struggle will make us view things far more pessimistically than probably they deserve. Festivals are created to bring cheer in day to day life. Bring the spirit of Diwali festival in your investment. The world in the past has seen all kind of troubles, which you can anticipate in future and has moved on and grown. Despite all the near term concerns things will improve. Equity Markets will grow. Indian GDP in FY16 was about USD 2 trillion. Depending upon how much efforts we put, we will double GDP in next 8 to 12 years in USD term.
 The whole of today’s India will be recreated in next 8 to 12 years giving many opportunities to make serious money. Have faith in India’s growth story. We are the luckiest generation to see such thing happen in India. Be a shareholder or participant of that growth. Don’t stand watching the roller coaster. Join the fun by riding on it. You may probably curse your decision during the ride. But at the end of the ride, you will be glad that you stuck by your decision. The world has seen it all and yet grown.

Buy some Books
Invest in yourself. Welcome to the knowledge economy. Enrich yourself by acquiring knowledge. Buy some good books and make it a habit to read it a little every day. As Charlie Munger says, Reading will make you a better person every day.
 Celebrate Diwali differently this time. Instead of cleaning house alone, clean your mind and portfolio. Instead of making Rangoli alone, make a financial plan for yourself with the help of your friendly neighborhood financial advisor. Instead of making sweets and delicacies alone start SIP in equity stocks or mutual funds. Be a regular investor. Be a long term Investor and maintain a balance between greed and fear through asset allocation.
 May Goddess Lakshmi bless you this Diwali as well as in more Diwalis to come.

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