Why is it difficult to write on personal money matters

Why is it difficult to write on personal money matters

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Its way back in February 2013 when I accidentally came across Scott Adams book, “DILBERT and the way of the Weasel” when browsing through a book shop whilst waiting for a delayed flight on the Mumbai Airport – being a die-hard admirer, I could hardly wait to settle down on the flight and go through those super cartoon strips, when my eyes caught the heading “Everything You Need to Know about Personal Investing”.

I couldn’t believe what I saw – the briefest but almost complete financial plan ever.

What on earth was a cartoonist, OK a super cartoonist, doing writing so expertly on financial planning? I thought.

(Only to discover later that, Adams was had a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Hartwick College in 1979, had earned an MBA in economics and management from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986 and had also worked at Crocker National Bank among other things as a commercial lender and product manager. Actually, far more educated that, many writers of the subject!).

However, what I could never get over was how easily Adams had made me appreciate the challenge for all those making a living by writing about personal money matters – after all they had to churn out this one page, day in and out, using different props and stories – all the time watching out to balance between the demands for integrity from their readers and on the other hand for payback from their advertisers.

Conceptually, personal finance is really darn simple.

What is not simple is putting those concepts into practice.

I remember when I asked my father to pay for me to enroll at the neighborhood gym; Are you sure? he asked; You will have to ( i ) be regular and disciplined with your exercise schedule without letting it hamper your focus on education and       ( ii ) eat healthy. Whilst I had already known of the tiring regimen involved; what do you mean by eating healthy? I asked. Simply put my son he said, “anything which is good for health is bad to taste!”

Personal finance is very much the same – nothing exciting, no sense of adventure and I dare say even outright boring.

Let’s be clear, it’s not about “how to become a millionaire ” or ” how to make a lakh of Rupees every day by trading on the stock market” or “finding the next multi-bagger stock”. To me as a working professional, it was also never as much about investing as it was about saving.

So why is it difficult to write about Personal Finance?

First and foremost, I have this morbid fear of sounding preachy because almost all who read what I write are likely to be well educated in their chosen vocation and I would hate to sound condescending; and secondly, there is temptation to over intellectualize in an attempt to make it seem as though I have something important and technical on offer.

One tends to overlook the fact that, most readers pursue an active and busy professional life which demands both time and excellence. It is critical that they can continue to focus on their chosen profession and enjoy the results of their labour with those they love, whilst feeling secure about their future – This means it’s important to keep money matters simple.

I have always been steadfast in the belief that, there is only one person who can look after your money – YOU!

Not being able to take care of our own money is as pitiful as gambling it away on a poker table.

Everyone who earns money the hard way and saves after paying taxes should at least learn enough to separate good advice from bad – so that, one does not end up asking a barber if they need a haircut.

That old saying “one can take a horse to the water but cannot make it drink” never sounded more appropriate in any other context. Therefore, you should follow this series only if you really want to join me in understanding how to manage your money in order to achieve your life goals – which means to get the potato out of that couch!

 


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6 Replies to “Why is it difficult to write on personal money matters”

  1. I had this experience : a lot of people started calling me or personally met to find out whether I’d invest in their business/I needed advice…etc soon after retirement. More than anything,I always wondered how people get to know that you’ve some funds.

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