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Knowing Your Options in Life (KYOL)

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Do you have a Dream?

Mr. Intikhab Chougle,
Associate Vice-President,
HSBC India

Last week one of the weekdays, I happen to go to my daughter’s school to drop her off and saw a little commotion in the school compound. This attracted my attention and I decided to walk my little girl upto her classroom, my curiosity was getting me and hence while on my way back I stopped by the administrators desk to enquire if all was well and what was the reason for the chaos in the compound. I was informed that Maharashtra Board declared the results for standard tenth and the crowd was the students and their parents waiting to find the results for their wards. It was a very exiting experience and it immediately took me down the memory lane and reminded me about the excitement of the student to find what percentage he/she has secured, the nervousness of the families to know what will be the future of their child post school completion and the pride that the schools take to showcase the success of their wards.

Completion of School to a student means freedom from the do’s & don’t that were enforced upon in school, similarly for parents it means that their ward will now move more stably towards achieving their dreams of becoming a successful individual. But at this stage, we should not forget the confusion in the mind of students and parents to choose the right stream / subject & the colleges where they would like to pursue the further studies and achieve their set academical goals. Also many a times, things do not work as per the plan due to the College cut-off percentages, lack of planning at your end or many a times simply because all the available options were not explored.

One incident that comes to my mind is when I almost got admission in Science Stream while I was looking out for Commerce and it was a result of standing in the wrong Queue. The moment the professor sitting on the admission counter asked me if I would like to take Computer Science or Biology as an optional subject, I was lost as I did not really know what my options were and it confused me further that how can Biology be offered to a Commerce student. I realised it later that someone guided me to that queue as my secured percentage was higher then the cut-off required for admission in Science Stream of the College.

Today, I might think of the incident as a one-off stupid-act done due to lack of information. But however on a serious note, a very dear friend of mine who had secured a lower percentage then me, exactly knew that he wanted to be in the field of medicine and he knew what was required to achieve his dream, he had prepared himself with all the information and the options that he had at that stage and then went ahead with securing the admission. He today is a successful medicine professional and he truly deserves his success as he had walked that extra step to explore all the options to achieve his dreams.

I find life to be a very serious business and the fundamental of this business is very basic, your returns will be aligned to your investment & knowledge that you have applied. Similarly the stage where most of us are standing, the biggest challenge we face is to identify the channel from where you can procure knowledge about the options that you have in life. At this stage of life when we start thinking about options, the first thing that comes to our mind is the possibility of making your hard-earned money grows. It is a known fact that all of us earn our money the hard-way and have a hard time figuring out how to invest the money in safe way.

While you are trying to understand how you are going to invest your hard earned money, you will also want the same to be safe. To start off you would have to define a target of how much you want to investment and where will you want to invest. Once you have a goal, set-up for your plan then you may want to make some serious changes to your lifestyle to ensure the required target is met by saving or directing the right kind of funds towards your goal / objective.

It will be helpful if you understand how you are going save your money to invest. While you are figuring out how you are going to make a budget for yourself you should make sure that you know what your necessary expenses are and make a note of the same as these expenses are essentials and should not be compromised. Starting with whatever is necessary to live will be a great start and it should include expenses like the basic essentials, home rent / emi and monthly utility bills first so that you are able to stay comfortable and healthy in your home. If you are not sure how much money you should be spending you may want to look at your past history of spends and draw a parallel.

When you understand how much money you have spent in the past you can start to figure out how you are going to cut corners. There are a lot of people that do not realize how much money they are spending throughout the month on things that they do not need. While you are figuring out how you can save money you may want to start dealing with all of your purchases in cash. There are a lot of people that swipe their card without realizing how much money they are spending. If you are going to buy everything with cash this will actually assist you to practice better control on spend and will help you avoid the expenses that are not essential.

The best way one can plan his savings is through compulsive savings or committing to expenses towards building up of long term assets. One example that comes to my mind immediately is of investing your money in a under-construction property, where you will have to pay the house value over the period of 2/3 years with a spread-out payment plans. Another option could be an investment in real estate through the channel of home loan, where the commitment towards emi payment is compulsive and the outcome / value of the property keeps appreciating over a period of time and hence rewarding you for your fixed forced commitment towards savings.

As I have maintained that all of us have different needs and goals so it becomes essential to first identify your needs or define your goals and post that put a plan in place. Once you are clear about the goal and have a plan, move on to executing the same with all your experience. Kindly note that you should never forget to explore all your options available to you during the planning stage as the better you are equipped with the knowledge of options available to you the better will be the end output of your investment plan.

Last but not least, always be sure of the investment plans where you are placing your money as the safety of your money is directly linked to the decision of your investment plan. Do not get carried away by the lucrative offers and the unrealistic deals being offered. Always put your safety of hard earned money above everything and if you are investing you money in stocks then ensure that you buy blue chip companies, if you plan to invest in real estate then be sure of the market reputation of the developer and if you plan to plainly park your money in mutual funds then hedge your bets and do not go for the higher risk exposure.

I feel the best instrument to invest is ‘yellow metal’ or gold, the good part of this mode of investment is the flexibility that it provides to the investors. Buying of Gold can be done in smaller or bigger denominations depending on the amount you want to invest and it also offers the facility of being the most accepted form of investment to liquidate as and when required. The value of Gold has always been incremental due to its demand amongst investors, for the flexibility it offers and lastly the acceptability to liquidate is very high and quick.

To be honest, one should try and not stand in a wrong queue because someone has suggested doing so. It is always helpful to explore your options and then using your experience and expertise around you, take a right decision. These decisions, where in academics, profession or financial planning will always help you reap the maximum potential benefit from your capabilities.

Take time to think, it is the source of power. I used to say, ‘I hope things will change’. But one day I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.

As somebody told me ‘Success is never instant, it is a series of little efforts that you put in on a daily basis’

Mr. Intikhab Chougle, is Associate Vice President with HSBC Group in India and has been a retail banker for past 11 years. He has completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Mumbai University and is currently pursuing his MBA with major in 'Banking & Finance'. With a total working experience of close to 15 years in Mumbai, he has been an active member in social service in Mumbai for promoting causes like 'education for girl child' and promoting medical assistance for old and deserving people. He has also traveled to Malaysia, Paris, a part of UAE market for professional reasons and has acquired vast market knowledge about investments and business approaches adopted in different markets.

He believes, it is very important that we must return back to the community what we have earned and learned from the society and hence is willing to extend his support to the people who would want to seek his expertise in setting and achieving their financial goals.

He can be reached on his email id This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: As part of our mission to provide our users with valuable information about matters of job, health, investments etc., iKokani actively seeks a diversity of viewpoints in its columns, consultancy, commentaries and other opinion-based content. Opinions expressed in these articles are not intended to represent iKokani editorial policy and do not necessarily reflect the views of iKokani's staff, members or supporters.

Comments (3)
Great article
3Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:51
Mohsin Rakhangi
Rightly said Br. Shakur. This is a nice article written by Br. Intikhab Chougle. We hope to see more of him in writing for Kokanis.
2Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:17
Shakur Tisekar
Once again good article. I like the way you told about getting in the wrong que but what I like most is how you meaningfully summed up at the end sayiing one should not stand up in wrong que because some one has suggested doing so. That is really powerful punch line. You really have a knack of writting.

The initial few paragraphs could have been shortened as I felt like you are dragging opening as initially i was not sure what is your main topic but when I read that punch line, I admired your writting ability. If I had known your writing ability before, I would have asked you to stand in Arts que & probably we could have KOKANI WRITER today.
Jazzak Allah for your feedback
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 14:38
Intikhab Chougle
You are being really generous with your kind words. The knack of writing is something that I have inherited from my father and I am proud of the same.

I like to keep my article very simple and to the point, but I always start with sharing something that might interest the readers and attract them to read further. Too much of Literature at times makes a person loose interest and my attempts are to generate interest by sharing the experiences of my past. Most of us would have gone through many such incidents in life but life has never given us a chance or opportunity to extract the right learning's out of these incidents. We are so busy with our daily chore's that we generally tend to move on to the next thing in life.

Once again, I would want to thank you for your feedback and would request you to keep writing your feedbacks as that surely encourages me to move in the right direction.

Jazzak Allah Khair
1Monday, 04 July 2011 07:48
Ashfaque Wagle
As rightly mentioned by the author only way things are going to change when you change. One has to have a right and measured approach to reach the desired goal.
Thank You
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 15:34
Intikhab Chougle
Brother Ashfaque,

Thank You for your feedback & support.

Jazzak Allah Khair

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