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Pertinent Personal Finance Queries with My “Impertinent” Answers

Question 1. Someone told me about risk, return and various asset classes and the tools that can provide 12% returns at even 0% risk. I am not sure whether its true. But I am ready to take 100% risk to earn a minimum return of 25-30%.

Answer 1.a) There is nothing as 0% risk. Those who say so, do not fully appreciate and understand risks. Further, if someone can earn 12% returns with 0% risk, he has no need to work anywhere. He can sit at home and make risk-free returns. So it is all untrue. It is like all those so-called experts who come on TV and tell where the market will go after 1 hour or after few days. I wonder, if they were so sure, why aren't they sitting in Switzerland and making money in online trading, instead of spending their time in TV studios.


b) I am sorry but your expectation of 25-30% returns is unrealistic. No one, not even Warren Buffett, has made those kinds of returns. One-of case may be Ok, but consistently making that kind of money is impossible. So I regret I won't be able to help you with your objective of earning 'minimum' 25-30% returns.

Question 2. My monthly income is just Rs.12000 and I am new to my job. Everyone's saying that you need a good savings to start with. I am confused? I can save at least Rs.8000. Kindly suggest something? How much should I invest with per month.

Answer 2. Suppose you sit in a car and start driving, what will happen? You will waste time and petrol (both precious and non-renewable resources). Logically, you should know beforehand (a) where you want to go and (b) the best routes to reach there.

Exactly the same logic applies to investing — (a) what are your financial goals and (b) the best ways to achieve them.

Of course, if you have only limited petrol, you may not reach your desired destination(s). So you may have to do with a nearby location or try to get more petrol.

Exactly the same logic applies to investing — if your savings are not sufficient to meet your desired goals you may have to either reduce your expectations or try and earn more.

All said and done, you have to have a financial roadmap. This will guide you to choose the most appropriate investment for you from time to time rather than investing in an adhoc manner and not achieving anything fruitful.

No one knows how the future will unfold. All we can do is to make some logical assumptions, start investing as per the roadmap prepared and then make changes from time to time depending on whether we meet roadblocks on the way or expressways.


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