Friday, August 28, 2009

How much should I save for retirement?

You retirement amount is a combined factor of the lifestyle you want to live during your retirement,your current age and the age at which you wish to retire.
Lets say you are 30 years old,have monthly expenses today of Rs.15000 pm and will retire at age of 60.
Lets assume in Indian scenario, inflation stays at 6% and your savings grow at 9% (if you make more the better)
To live the same lifestyle,you will need approx Rs.90000 pm after 30 years [ FV(6%/12,360,0,-15000) ]
Lets say you will leave another 20 years without any health problems.To live financially independent you will need approx 1.8 crores (this is being too optimistic that you dont face hospitalisation expenses from your savings)
To save 1.8 crores in 30 years, you need to save at least Rs.10000 pm, compounding it monthly (or annually) at 9%
If that looks easy to you,remember it requires discipline to save that amount and invest it every month growing at 9%. If thats not possible,may God save you!

Even if you do the above, at the end of it,you will just be able to sustain yourself.
The question is do you want to live that way in retirement?
I leave it to you to find the answer. Should you need my help feel free to mail me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Financial Security: Necessary Today More Than Ever

I believe you will be equally stunned as I was to read the article in link below.

The very thought of retirement and the challenge to accumulate that huge retirement sum gives me shivers, given the ever escalating expenses.
Accept it or not, your boss, the government, the economy and everybody else decides your retirement amount.I discovered early on in my career that no matter how much efforts I put at my job, my rewards are going to be decided by someone else.I need to have the power to decide what my rewards should be for my efforts.
While I was in Japan 5 years ago, a friend introduced to me Robert Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad Poor Dad and my world changed after that.I had bought an apartment in an upcoming Mumbai suburb sometime ago and was proud of having my own apartment.
After reading RDPD, I realised that my house was not my asset but a liability. An asset is something which puts money into your pocket while a liability takes money out of your pocket. According to Kiyosaki, if your house is your biggest investment you are in for real trouble. But that is what the working class does.As their incomes rise, they go for bigger cars, bigger homes to be more comfortable.I learnt that the lack of financial education and the way they think is the reason why the poor and middle class are where they are.
As you look back, probably the subprime crisis could have been minimised,if not avoided, if people who bought homes beyond their repayment capacities had been financially literate.
To become rich,you need to learn to make money work for you.Of course, being an investor like Warren Buffett helps you do that.But how many retail investors actually understand the investments that they are putting their money into.So they put all their money into Mutual funds or Stocks on other people's recommendations.A little effort on self learning and understanding your investments can go a long way in protecting your hard-earned money.
The fastest way to become rich is to move from being an employee (E) or self employed (S) to being a business owner (B). While I was thinking on this and exploring entrepreneurial books, I met a senior management professional through a common friend who introduced me to the direct selling business.
Before I read RDPD, I was really against direct selling and looked down on this business as below my calibre.But after listening to CDs of the likes of Hal Neuball, a Harvard medical graduate, Professor at John Hopkins and a Nobel prize nominee,I realised that I have to raise my calibre to do this business.In this business, I have to raise myself to achieve not only my personal goals but help other people to achieve theirs.In today's challenging times, when people are losing jobs, families and lives, this business is a godsend lifeguard. The essense is to build the business when you are not in dire need. There are innumerable stories of professionals like us who have retired Rich and Young, something which most people only dream of.Anyone building this business seriously can retire in 5 years and build a financially secure income for generations to come.
Before I end let me give you a few points to ponder on:
1. We have backup for everything at our jobs, what is the backup we have for our job income?
2. If we lose our jobs or are not able to work for the next 6 months or 1 year, will we able to support our families or have the same lifestyle ?
3. Even if I am the CEO of my company, I cannot give my job to my children.So what are we putting them into, an endless rat race ? We cannot leave our jobs for our children.
4. A recent economic data says 95% of the world population doing jobs shares 20% of the world's wealth while the remaining 80% is controlled by the wealthy 5%. Imagine all the office stress, politics and race to finish first is for just 20%?
Friends, Lets get a bit wiser and start our journey to the 80% wealth today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where is Nifty/Sensex headed in short term?

Today the Sensex closed at 15378.96, with a gain of 147.92 and Nifty at 4568.55 with a gain of 44.80, which brings us to an interesting point. If Sensex and Nifty are able to clearly break out the earlier levels of 15580 and 4689 respectively next week, the bullish phase is bound to continue.
However RIL Q1 net is down by 13%; experts expect the stock to correct on Monday. Since RIL is a major contributor to the Sensex and Nifty, I see a correction happening next week, which slims the chances of bull run continuing.More so I expect the SENSEX to be in a trading range between 13500 and 15500. and Nifty to be between 4000 and 4600. However individual IT, Infra , Metal stocks, especially midcap stocks may continue to go higher till the earnings season is on.

Disclaimer: No one can accurately predict the market 100% of the time. The above is purely my view, please do your due diligence before taking any action.Happy trading !

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It pays to enrich your Brain Power

Someone truly said ... The human brain is the most amazing thing that has ever been created.

In a tenth of second, it makes so many calculations that even puts a supercomputer to shame.

Yes its upto you how well you take care of this precious asset you have !

I came across this great article on how you can enhance the capabilities of your brain.

Check it out yourself

Monday, June 8, 2009

Writing a Financial Freedom Plan ...

4. Revisit and Adjust:

At times you may get out of track, make mistakes. Its ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are a great part of learning.If you look at life, thats the way we learnt. We fell many times, before we learnt to walk. We lost balance and scraped our legs many times, to learn to cycle.If all seems to go wrong,just take a break and start afresh with a new strategy for your trade. Its ok to lose, just dont lose the lesson.Adjust your plan to make changes where necessary. Take expert guidance, if required.
For a refresher let me put the workflow from my earlier post.
^ _____________________/

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing a Financial Freedom Plan (Contd)

3. Plan your Work and Work your Plan

This is the easiest part and the most important part of the process. Action. Since you have defined your long term, medium term and short term goals, chosen the path, you need to take short term goal and determine the set of activities that will be required to achieve the goal.Determine the number and sequence of steps you will need to achieve this short term goal.e.g I want to make a million dollars net worth in the stock market in 5 years, Long term Goal = 1000000 in 5 years i.e 31 May 2014Medium Term Goal = 50000 in 2 years i.e. 31 May 2011Short term Goal = 2000 in 3 months i.e 31 Aug 2009
To achieve this I need to start with a sum of at least 1000 SGD to make it more realistic and achievable.Next I need to choose a vehicle that will let me make that amount of money in 3 months.Options are a good way of making that.To do so, I have to learn and practise dummy trades using options before I do actual options trade.One small mistake and I can lose the whole capital. Its wiser to spread and diversify your risk across mutiple options instead of putting all your money into one option.A single options trade can make as much as 300% profit if you plan and execute it properly.
Do your due diligence,plan the set of activities and consistently follow on a daily basis.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Writing a Financial Freedom plan

1) Setting the Dream :
Writing your financial freedom plan is just like planning a trip. You need to know your destination,clearly and precisely, estimate the time you will need and plan your way to reach there. Exactly the same way when you sit to write a financial freedom plan, you need to have your goal or destination in mind. This is your benchmark or goal post against which you you will constantly monitor yourself.It could be anything like having a passive income of $10000 a month or buying that multi million dollar dream house or a Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, Porsche or a month long world tour in the finest hotels and destinations, or international eductaion for your children or buying house and taking care of your parents or donations to charity etc.The list can be endless but whatever your dream is, make it an emotional dream, the thought of which inspires you,that brings tears to your eyes,one that gives you the adrenalin rush, the fire in the belly kinda feeling.This is gonna be your fuel cell, your everlasting source of energy in your voyage to your destination.Once you have made your dream clear in your mind,put a date to it.
Dream + Date = Goal
My Goal is achieve that $10000 a month in passive income within the next 5 years,and I am gonna do it whatever it takes to achieve that.No one can steal that dream from me.
Well this goal is a long term goal, so you need to break it into smaller goals like medium term goals and short term goals.
Medium term goals are goals to be achieved in next 1-2 years. Short term goals are goals to be achieved within the next 1 to 3 months.

Now that you have set your medium and short term goals, you can now set out to think on the paths to achieve your goal.

Hot Tip: Write down your top 5 goals in a piece of paper and carry it in your pocket! You will be AMAZED to see the results!

2)Choose your path
There are many paths you can take in your journey to financial freedom.You can trade in stock markets, buy real estate,gold, currency markets, internet business etc. Take the path which excites you the most and one which would like to go on.Once you have chosen your path, do your research on the path. If you want to get into real estate, do some due diligence in checking related material on the internet, buy books, audio cds, study tax laws etc. Join forums where you can meet people who are involved in similar activity. Associate with them and you will learn more than you could ever on your own.Take up some good training courses in the area that would help you to understand the area better.
Personally I am big fan of Robert Kiyosaki. He has shared his wisdom in such plain words in his books and audio cds that anybody can learn and follow it. Of course, it needs a lot of commitment and persistence. To begin with, I would suggest play the cash flow game devised by Robert. He recommends playing it at least 10-15 times and learning to get out of the rat race. Believe me, you will have the time of your life when you will see your real life decisions being reflected in the game. In addition, it is great fun to play. I love playing it and keep playing it every now and then.
Helps me to get my perspective right !

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Road to Financial Freedom

Happy New Year and a warm welcome to all you voyagers reading this blog. Its been quite some time since I posted updates on my voyage ahead.I have been contemplating various options to the path I want for financial freedom.Well what is financial freedom? the freedom to choose to spend your time the way you want to. On our honeymoon last month, I was wondering what it would be like to have every day of my life like this.Is that possible?
There are some key questions you should ask yourself if you are into a job,just like me.
Does my job allow me to spend my time the way I want? No matter how terrible I may feel,I have to take still make my way to my job.Is my job that bad? Honestly no, the work I do involves a good mix of techno functional and management skills, a coveted job that many may want to have, and it is my job that gives me money to pay all my expenses.
Do I want to do the same job all my life or maybe get promoted and do what my boss does today? No, however lucrative I wouldn't want to. Moreover, when I stop working the income will stop too.
Does my job make me enough money to save for my retirement? Well thats very hard to tell.No matter how much I save inflation takes it away making all the savings and investments look so meagre.
The above reasons make it all the more important to have a plan, the financial freedom plan, a plan that will lead to the kind of life I want to live without having to work for money.That is possible if the passive income(to the unitiated, passive income is money which works for you e.g. rental income,income from stocks, bonds, royalty,real estate etc.) from other streams is enough to take care of mine and my family's expenses. To actually record your income and expenses into an excel format, you can do a google search to find a lot of sample expense organisers on the internet.
Then you can put the income and expenses columns on a separate excel sheet along with two more columns for assets and liabilities below them as shown.




Those who have read Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad would know how important this is.This simple step is your first step to financial freedom, i.e taking stock of your personal situation.By doing the above you are building your personal financial statement or balance sheet.
A brief overview on the items in the balance sheet:Assets by definition are those items that generate income, while liabilities create expense.Our homes, cars, etc. which we term as assets are not actually assets but liabilities since we need to pay for the maintenance of these items, which is an expense. In Kiyosaki's words, liabilities take money out of your pocket every month while assets put money into your pocket.
A house would be an asset only when it generates income for us i.e only when you let it on lease or rent, not when you are staying in it.
There are a wide variety of assets to invest in e.g real estate, stocks, bonds, derivatives,gold,commodities etc.
The simple trick to achieving financial freedom is simply to reduce your liabilities and create more and more assets that generate passive income.You may ask if this is so simple then why there aren't many people doing it.The reason is ever since we have been in school we have all been taught to get good grades and get a job.I was a high ranking student at school and college and have been doing well in my profession.But over the years I have been exposed to the teachings of Kiyosaki and have broadened my vision for my future. After having created the financial statement, the next question is how do I write such a plan.
(To be continued...)


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