We have said this before: Indians are more aware as consumers than they are as investors. That is why they are better savers than investors. But there are signs that this could change within a generation.
A combination of multiplying choices, higher income levels and easy credit has already made an increasing section of urban Indians less restrained consumers than their parents. That’s not necessarily bad. Because, for generations, Indians weren’t actually intelligent consumers; they were restrained consumers — restrained by limited options, limited means and a non-existent credit culture. One cold comfort of this ignorance-cum-denial-induced low consumption was high savings.
The challenge for the present generation is to ensure a rising living standard with high levels of savings. This is where intelligent spending comes in.
In addition to doing occasional stories, MONEY TODAY has been running a couple of regular sections on smart spending. These were Small Fortune (how small changes in habits can deliver big savings over time) and Affordability Meter (expressing product prices in EMIs rather than MRPs).
Having run 30-odd instalments of these, we are replacing them with two equally exciting regulars: Bargain Buy that comes in place of Affordability Meter in our data pages, provides our pick of two most value-for-money models of a consumer product and one top of the league model.
The idea is to help you match your need with features, rather than simply picking up a model that is full of features that you may never need. Beginning this issue, we also replace Small Fortune with Now & Then. This page will help you understand how inflation really affects your finances and why the inflation rate that you hear or read about in the news has little to do with your family’s own inflation rate.
Understanding this is the key to expense management, without which you cannot get a grip on your true saving potential and investment needs. Expect more from us on intelligent spending in future.
Our core mission, of course, remains making you richer by helping you earn the most from your investments. This is why we present MONEY TODAY’s first “annual” in the form of this issue’s cover story — India’s Most Wanted Stocks. It attempts to solve one of the biggest investment challenges of our times: how to make stock investing least risky and yet most rewarding.
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