Fatalism abounds in this country. Many of us, cutting across class and creed, believe in destiny and feel that events and their consequences are all pre-determined. We expect that whatever has to happen will happen, no matter how hard we try to alter the flow.
Such thinking makes us submissive to events and open to the risk of not trying to work out proper plans for the future. And when it comes to setting out a plan for our own future financial needs, fatalism can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Not having a financial plan of your own, whether for the near term or for the distant future, could mean severe hardship should things turn for the worse. Whatever your level of income, you should work out a broad plan that ensures that you sail through in all circumstances.
You should be financially prepared not only for life's predictable big events like your wedding, buying a house, educating your children, but also for your retirement years and sudden and unexpected bad news such as losing your job, divorce or the untimely death of an earning member of your family.
How many of us have seen near and dear ones suffer because they never put a financial plan in place when the going was good?
Thankfully, things are changing for the better, or one hopes they are. There seems to be a growing awareness of the need for financial planning which involves setting out life goals and preparing accordingly.
In our cover story package, we look at some of life's major events and how you should prepare for them in advance and also how they work as triggers to rework your plans for the future.
In case the plethora of investment options and the marketeers blandishments confuse you, the best way to go about it is to sit across the table with a financial expert and work out a plan. We also tell you the benefits of seeking professional help and how you should go about it.
The money you earn needs to work on its own to create more wealth by being deployed into productive investments across asset classes. Inflation slowly whittles away idle money. The earlier you take a step forward the better.
As we go to press, the Reserve Bank of India has announced a sharp 50 basis points cut in its benchmark repo rate, reversing its three-year tight money policy. The focus clearly shifts towards growth which has been languishing, though inflationary concerns remain.
The markets have rallied on the rate cut and the trend could well continue, to investors delight. You could also see the rate cut as an incentive to adjust your portfolio and your near-term financial plan.
SARBAJEET K. SEN