I have written earlier in most of my posts on your financial freedom that you should choose to use the investment to get life experiences.
Today I was watching ETNow Swadesh. Its a business channel in India. I am always looking out for pieces of wisdom from people who are much smarter than me. So there was an interview going on with Sunil Subramaniam. He is the CEO of one the Sundaram Asset Management (Mutual Fund)company which runs mutual funds.
While everyone talks about creating buckets for different life goals while making the investments and choosing the type of investments. He came up with a unique logic which is more attributable to people who live in developing countries like India. Our currency on an average depreciates by about 5% every year with respect to the US dollar.
So in case your aspiration list is about visiting multiple countries, like mine is, his logic is, to invest in global funds where the depreciation of your local currency will not have an impact. Otherwise your buying power falls by that amount compared to the USD.
If you are in the US/Canada/Eurozone/UK then this logic will not be of too much benefit to you because your currencies are typically pegged to the USD. But if you are from a developing nation and if its legal in your country, then you should look at this logic.
Since I practice what I preach, most of my investments happen as SIPs (Systematic Investment Plan) I need to figure out how this logic would work because as the currency depreciates, my ability to buy US stocks becomes weaker, so how are my returns going to be protected.
Till I figure that out.
This word is suddenly in vogue or I have suddenly started noticing it. I have come across this word in more than 6 books in the last two months. Initially this word sounded very dangerous to me. Even though I read the meaning, it didn’t register with me in one go.
Remember I have told you multiple times, that you should get the money automatically deducted from your savings bank account and deposited into your investment fund – a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP). This way your brain will not need to make decisions every month. If you try to do this physically yourself, your brain will always show you all the reasons, why this won’t be a good idea because of some fear it throws up.
Since your brain was designed to ensure your survival as its primary objective, you can’t blame it for throwing these curve balls at you to ensure that it save energy for an attack, when it will need to be in full action.
During my recommendation for these SIPs, I also mention that you won’t even realise after some time that the deduction has happened , because you will adapt to spending only from the money that is left over.
This adaption to the new normal which human beings undergo so easily has a term in the English language called “hedonic adaptation”. In simple terms it also means that we quickly get involve into a new inertia, based on our environment very quickly.
This is exactly what happens when you get a pay raise. When you get the letter with your raise, you are euphoric. Then you get your first pay which is at the increased level. The euphoric has turned down to happiness. By the second month your increased salary also gets completely spent like the earlier salary. Its because you adapt to the new salary and your expenses increase to match the new salary.
So use this human tendency to your advantage to move towards your financial independence.
Till next time then.
I had written on this topic in May also. Financial discipline is absolutely critical if you have to be able to come even close to getting financial freedom.
Our biggest problem with the education that is imparted to kids in India is that they are not given any training on financial matters. I know because I am part of the same problem.
I think its a similar problem in North America as you will notice from the amount of student debt and the lack of savings that exist for retirement for the baby boomers.
Sine we did not learn it in our 16 years of education we tend to have inertia to try and learn it. Anything where there’s inertia, the brain tends to put it back in the line, because it has to do more work to get into action.
The more urgent and easier things take precedence like a phone call from a customer or an email or one more meeting and the day gets over. And I am not preaching this. It happens to me all the time and it happened to me today again.
I was supposed to deposit money into my account for buying a stock whose deadline was today. But being the quarter end , there were supplier pressures, there were our own pressures for closing order bookings and this just slipped out of my mind.
Which brings me back to the basic problem for humans. If you leave it to your mind, chances are that it won’t happen. And for us middle class folks , this costs us dearly in the long run. Therefore I keep writing about ensuring money goes out of your bank automatically into whatever investment you target on a regular basis like a SIP (Systematic Investment Plan).
That’s the only way I have been able to bring in some kind of discipline into my financial life.
Till next time then.
A few days back I had written a post on why you need discipline and not money to get financial freedom.
I have been sharing with you that I am reading the book The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. I was introduced to this book by Joe Polish. I had heard him speak a lot about this author in multiple podcasts. So I searched and found an interview where Joe is interviewing Keith.
I liked the ideas that he spoke about in the book and therefore ended up buying it. The ideas and especially the thinking questions are worth pondering on. Today I spent close to about 4 hours on the 3 questions I had listed yesterday in my blog post and did get somewhere with the answers that I got.
Coming back to the headline, while reading the book I had happened to chance on this sentence. It struck me immediately because I continuously keep harping about the need for discipline to reach financial freedom.
This discipline is not possible if you base it on will power. Will power is something which get exhausted very fast on a daily basis. Your brain gets exhausted so fast that the more decisions it has to make the faster the energy depletes. With energy gone you cannot exercise will power.
So you need to put in systems which take the decision making away from you. That’s possible only when you automate the investment process with things like Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) or the equivalents in your country. You could go with ETFs or Mutual Funds or direct stocks. The item is not important. What is important is to get into automating the process so that there is no concept of using will power. Then let the power of compounding work for you.
Till next time then.