The youth specially the ones with a new job and their own cash at their disposal have little idea of how to invest safely and smartly. Many end up falling into financial traps or invest in the wrong products. Being safe with money is very important at such a young age in life. A special orientation programme on this score was held in Moneylife Foundation Knowledge Centre for the management students of Centre for management, Bandra (Mumbai).
Eminent journalist Ms Sucheta Dalal, Trustee Moneylife Foundation took the first session where she explained how to be safe with one’s money and the several ways one can lose large chunks of one’s savings. Ms Dalal in her session began with an overview of investing and said that one should keep it simple and should invest in just a few products—products that are safe and well regulated. “There is no guarantee that you will not lose money, but it is safer to invest in products that have regulatory oversight”, Ms Dalal informed the audience. One should be extra cautious, while dealing with your banker as well. Ms Dalal narrated to the packed audience incidents where “relationship managers” have taken genuine and educated customers for a ride.
She talked in detail about the various dubious schemes like QNET, Pearls, Citi limo, Japan Life which could be clubbed to category called then Pyramid scheme or chain money schemes. These schemes claim to provide extremely high returns luring the unsuspecting savers. She talked at length about new phenomena like Phishing and Vishing on the internet that traps the gullible public and robs them of their hard earned money. She also explained how usurious are the rates charged on credit card outstandings.
The second speaker today was Mr Debashis Basu, editor & publisher of Moneylife magazine. He described the rules for smart investment and stressed the importance of planning for the long-term and the power of compounding. He explained the powerful concept of compounding that one benefits from by saving regularly and investing in safe products. He explained how inflation erodes our wealth which can overcome by investing in blue chip companies and equity mutual funds over the long term. He also informed the participants on how to look at each asset class and identify the risks involved.
According to him the most seasoned of the investors focus a much or more on risk rather than returns. Mr Basu showed the audience various routes one can use to invest safely and smartly. To a younger audience consisting of post graduate students his main emphasis was to save at least 20%-25% of their salary and invest at 85% of it in equity mutual funds regularly.
While answering a question he also talked about the macro economic scenario where rupee is on a downward spiral and the implications of the Federal Reserve affecting the trade and capital market of our country.