The problem with simple steps is most people do not believe it. I remember that sometime in 1999-2000 in  class somebody asked me ‘give me some simple steps to great wealth’.

I said : You mean?

He said: suggest 3 shares which will make me good gains over the next 10-15 years.

I said: If you are not planning to actively manage, it makes sense to invest in 3 mutual fund schemes.

He said: No. No. I want good shares ONLY.

I said: I can tell you 4-5 shares in my portfolio take your pick. HOWEVER i review it on a Quarterly basis, may buy, sell, trade,…so you run the risk of not keeping in touch with me.

He said fine.

I opened my list and showed him Hdfc, Hdfc bank, Kirloskar Cummins (now called Cummins), Coromandel fertiliser, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Grasim, Infosys,  L&T.

I actually have no clue of what he did, but he looked aghast and said ‘these everybody knows‘…….!!!

Now it was my turn to be shocked!

So here are some golden nuggets, first read them, then say ‘Shit! this everybody knows’ and then cross your heart and tell yourself how many times you have forgotten while living your life:

1. Wash your hand before you use your fingers for eating: People who have read Malcom Gladwell will appreciate this better. If you have not read MG, go and read all his books. They are interesting.

2. Spend less than you earn: On a month to month basis you may be living within your means, but look at those times when you are worried about who will pay your credit card bill. ALSO putting away money for ALL your future goals like marriage, children, children’s goals, retirement….is what one means by saying ‘spend’, not just daal chawal.

3. Borrowing is avoidable: If you have money use it. I found a man earning Rs. 5 lakh a month being encouraged to take a Rs. 12L loan to buy a car. I said wait for 3-4 months, surrender one stupid ULIP and the car will be yours :-). Attitude towards debt HAS to be ‘shit, I hate you, and will touch you ONLY IF I HAVE TO)

4. Cars and Airconditioners have a greater running cost per year on fuel MUCH more than the EMI. See if you can afford that.

5. Save, Invest, Index and take a term insurance. Medical insurance is not much of an option if you are over 35 years. Till then if you depend on company medical cover, it is not so scary, but as a rule, if there is a risk it should be covered. Simple Risk Rules.

6. Take care of your health: I know a 87 year old man spending Rs. 1000 a YEAR on medicines, and one 55 year old spending Rs. 3800 p.m (and to be spent for the rest of her life). Do you need a PhD in maths to know who will have more money in the bank, assuming the corpus is not very different?

Seriously, there are zillions of such things – and you also know most of them, the question is do you do it?

Life is about doing, not just knowing.

Like Nike says ‘Just Do it’


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  1. Bang on point!!! As always. A learned man said to me: A person with ordinary intelligence and extraordinary discipline is likely to go farther than a person with extraordinary intellig
    ence and ordinary discipline.

  2. I don’t know how you do it over and over again, give such important lessons. I hope youngster like me are reading this and most importantly, following. I sure am.
    I stumbled upon your website while looking for something, I feel very lucky to have landed here. Keep up your work Sir.

  3. Leonardao da Vinci,was on tsrget when he said, ” Knowing is not enough , we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do.”
    Thanks Subra, for revisiting the basics, which is what we tend to ignore and forget.

  4. Subra,

    Another simple and well written one.

    “Life is about doing, not just knowing.” – Such a nice line to end the nice article.

  5. all points are imp. for no.3, as such,the car, even you do not use for daily travel (i mean , kept as status symbol!),it would be more harming, as the finance cost, depreciation cost including technological obsolete,insurance cost, would cost more than rs.1 lec per year for mid category rs. 5 lec car.

  6. Thanks to Subra…we learned to avoid making friendship with WHITE ELEPHANTS..Be they be..CAR ,AC,HUGE EMIS …and OWING HOUSES BY LENDING 20 YEARS OF OUR LIVES TO LARGET MORTAGE COMPANY….Instead we BECAME…RENTERS …AND WE ARE SO HAPPY !!!


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