Advisor: Sir Please make this investment, it will get you great returns.

Client: How much will it give?

Advisor: Sir it will give at least 15% return over the next 5 years

Client: That is not exciting. May I have something better…

This is such a normal conversation, that I cannot even believe what is being missed. For me this is not a normal conversation.

Instead I get to see the situation like this.

One Sunday morning sitting with a client and his wife, she comes out with “I found this document, see if it is of some use…” and I find that it is a IDBI Bond matured in 2006, not claimed till 2009.

Bounced cheques – deposited in the wrong account – and now stale.

2 Life Insurance policies taken paid for 2 years…and then FORGOTTEN to pay the premium. Amount lost Rs. 23,000 in 1997 (paid for ’96 and ’97)

Shares bought, NOT transferred kept in a box in a cupboard. Cupboard cleaned up after Dad’s death – shares were bought in 1992. Shares of Century and Wipro. Benefits missed out worth lakhs in Wipro alone!

To me these are clearly not ‘investment’ mistakes, but INVESTMENT disasters waiting to happen.

Why does this happen?

1. Buying products without knowing what has been bought

2. Paying too high a premium (so policy lapses because you cannot afford it) or paying too little as premium (so you do not care about the lapsation).

3. Not keeping track of investments

4. Not buying products according to a financial goal / plan – so not missing the asset!

I Just opened my old cupboard…and found another….Oh my God! Not once again I said….

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  1. “I found this document, see if it is of some use…”
    This reminds me of someone close to me who expired a few years ago.

    Only thing is, there were no ‘financial disasters’, but rather a small windfall gain 🙂
    Because the physical shares and all the updated docs were found safely in the cupboard.

    I have been tracking all my investments and expenses in Excel files since the past few years, and find them very useful for many purposes.

  2. One other thing Subra.

    Sometimes I don’t have anything to say on a post, but would still be interested in reading what others have to say about it.

    So, is there any option to subscribe to the comments of a post without first making a comment on it ?

  3. It’s really easy now-a-days to keep records using MS Excel, MS Word, Sticky Notes, etc. like applications. Even smartphones have applications like to keep notes and remind.

    Once you create your files, you can keep them safe by uploading on Google docs or Dropbox and access them from anywhere in the World.

  4. Atleast that bond/note in ur cupboard will be seen by ur family after our demise. But how can they see the excel in our google account after our demise?

  5. @PrAvEeN, that’s simple… keep a hand-written hard-copy of all your ‘digital assets’ in a separate file.
    Usernames, passwords, etc…, the whole works !

    I have done this about 2 years ago, and keep updating it regularly (once every few months).

    And of course, you must also ensure that your wife / husband knows that such a file exists, and where it is kept 🙂

  6. Shares bought and not transferred – I did not get that. If the children are heirs of the estate they should be able to claim it right ?

    Do you mean not transferred in the Dad’s name ? Is this an offline kind of buying ?

    I have heard the opp story where shares bought years ago and after Dad’s death ( 6 years gap ) were worth 2 crs !!!

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