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Are Your Savings Enough to Earn Expected Future Returns

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Do you have a Dream?

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

Life post the month Ramadhan has totally changed and we have gone back to our routines of being professional and most of us are now following the practices of life what we used to do, prior to the holy month of Ramadhan. There are very few amongst us, who have been blessed and have taken the practices of the holy month into their day to day life.

ISLAM has defined the ideal way of life and I am sure we all would love to choose and follow the same. Few of us who are blessed are doing it, few of us are making honest attempts and few continue to believe otherwise. As our life’s and goals are separate from each other, so is the attitude that we adopt towards Life.

This actually makes me think ‘Is it enough, what we do at our best’ or ‘Is life about pushing ourselves for a little more or little extra effort all the times’. The million dollar question that comes to my mind is, ‘who will decided, how much is enough for you’ and the only logical conclusion I reach every time is for every individual he or she should decide how much is enough and what is it that they are trying to achieve.

It helps, if an individual decides what his wants from life or what his desires are and then probably plan to achieve the goals in life. The reality is that there is always a gap between your wants or desires and your capabilities to achieve the same. This gap can be fulfilled by an individual only by focusing on few very important attributes of life which he or she controls directly.

In other words, if you have been a working professional for more then a decade and have not managed to cover a substantial distance to achieve your dreams then in all probabilities following could be the reasons:

You save money without any fixed financial goals: Saving aimlessly will prevent you from investing wisely according to your financial needs. As a result, you will find yourself spending your money on anything that is remotely exciting only to find that you don't have money for what you really want.

Have you ever wondered how your colleague of same level or background is able to take international vacations or buy a new car or maybe invest in plush new flats? Well, it's called focused saving and one must cultivate this habit for a long term benefit.

You put all your eggs in one basket: The worst financial mistake you can make is put all your money into one Investment Avenue. You could land up losing everything. Currently the real estate market is very lucrative and doing well, but who will really know what will actually happen tomorrow?

Your investment portfolio must include a good mix of different investment instruments like Gold, Real Estate, Mutual Funds and other secured instruments. Don't be afraid to try out a new investment opportunity based your appetite for profit and only under advice from your financial planner.

You do not review your investments: You decide to deploy funds into a particular investment plan expecting good returns in long term or short term. However, there are times when investments do not perform like we expect them to depending on the markets and other external factors.

Hence, it's important to do a periodic review of all your investments and keep a check if the growth of the same is aligned to your expectation. Always remember you must give your investment sufficient time to yield results before considering other options.

You do not develop your thinking: If you cannot seem to think beyond your limited scope of earning income and the few unprofitable savings that you have made over past few years then how can you ever expect to bridge the gap between your desire and your market potential of achieving the same.

Dream big, as I believe only if you dream big will you be able to achieve them in a long run. Also ensure that you stay in the company of people who spend, invest and behave wisely and you will learn from their ways and adopt to things or behavior pattern suitable to you.

You live beyond your means: Its one thing to think big, it's quite another to live beyond your means. Don't try to live up if you have limited resources for fulfilling your dreams. If you can't afford a fancy three-bedroom apartment or a new Car, don't buy it.

Don't spend more than you earn. In fact, you must try and save at least 30 per cent of what you earn and you will see yourself being capable of reaching your goal over a period of time.

You have never heard about the 'b' of budget: Budgeting is most essential if you do not want to overspend. Set specific (but slightly flexible) amounts that you can spend on bills, everyday expenses, enjoyment etc while keeping in mind that you need to save to.

If you find your budget going haywire, it would be a wise thing to start tracking expenses for a while to find out where exactly your money is going.

You do not have a contingency fund: Emergency home repairs, unexpected illness, a job layoff etc can really eat into your finances. That's why it's important to always have a contingency fund that you can dip into at such times. It beats liquidated your investments for sure.

Make sure that your contingency fund is about three to six months’ salary.

You use your credit card all too often: If you are not financially disciplined, living on credit could turn out to be a terrible financial mistake. If you believe that you may not be able to clear your credit card debt in a couple of months at max, don't get into it at all. Debt is one of your worst enemies when it comes to building up of future savings.

Above mentioned are few important aspects that come to my mind that may deter you from achieving your goals over a period of time. We must try and take our chances at right time and with right calculations in place, of course the final outcome will be decided by the externals factors such as market conditions over a period of time.

I have in the past advocated what I strongly believe in and that is ‘LUCK’. It has always worked for me, the harder I have worked in life the luckier I have got. So my friend, my only view is if you want to extract something from life then simply add the same to your goals and work hard with all honesty to achieve your goal.

IF YOU WANTED SOMETHING IN LIFE AND DIDN’T GET, MAYBE YOU DON’T REALLY NEED IT.

A human mind is like a Clock that is constantly running down, it has to be wound up daily with good thoughts & focus on goals that are required to be achieved.

 

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 (2)
Request to Brother Intikhab Chougle to write one more article.
2Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:47
Shakur Tisekar
Dear Intikhab brother
You have written a good article.
In my opinion, you should write one more article for the benefit of Kokani people about how much people should save for their independant retirement. At the moment, there is no pension for retired people unless you work in Govt department. Retired people typically depends on their sons. Those who don't want to depend on their kids when they retire needs to have proper planning for their retirement.
How much you need for retirement is again million dollar question. There are many good articles on this which gives impirical formula or thumb rule to work out amount of saving required. However those thumb rules are more suitable for western life style. We need to have formula, that is relevant for our Kokani life style.
Therefore, I would like to request you to write article on this subject for the benefit o the kokanies.
Shakur TISEKAR
In-Sha Allah
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:23
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Brother Shakur,

Thank you for your kind words.

I appreciate your feedback and would like to mention that it only makes me happy to read your inputs. This truely means that my thoughts and experience that I want to share with my readers are reaching to all.

As requested by you, I will In-sha Allah base the research of my next article around your request and try to generate a formula which is more useful for people from kokani community. The general trend in our community is that once you have completed your education, you start looking out for options on international shores and that is where the actually connectivity with the options available to do savings (long term & short term) is lost by us.

I will In-sha Allah try and come up with some recommendation which will be acceptable to many of us from a long term prospective.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your generous words and would request other readers also to update feedback on the article as it helps me understand if I am moving in the right direction or not.

Jazzak Allah Khair
Are your savings.........
1Monday, 03 October 2011 12:58
Ashfaque Wagle
A very balanced article with a broad view about investments along with individual customized options. It also higlights the do's & don'ts as per a individual's capacity/finances. Keep up the good work going.....
Thank You
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:01
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Brother Ashfaque,

Thank you for your encouraing words, I will in-sha allah continue to put in the efforts for the benifit of all readers.

Appreciate your support & kind words.

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