“Subra I am 38 years of age, and I wish I had come to your blog earlier – it would have changed my life”. Anon reader.

I am not sure what many of these readers mean when they say that they should have come here earlier!! However let me hazard a guess. I think most of them wish that they KNEW the following and that they REALLY used it:

1. Knowing the importance of savings: Really if your parents did not teach you this, I would be surprised. Assuming you are in you 20s or 30s, your parents are the 1950 or 60’s generation, and they have been brought up being taught about frugality. YOU were taught for sure, YOU did not bother to learn.

2. The Power of small numbers: ‘Only when we came to your blog did we realize that even Rs. 40 a day is a good start’ – yes many parents would have missed teaching this. This is a illusion problem. The human mind cannot comprehend the power of compounding. Not your fault, blame God. Hey, but you did learn compounding in class 7 did you not?

3. Learning the power of Equity: Sorry, this is a class issue. Only a few communities in India invested in equities. Do not blame your parents. Blame should go to the community to which you belong, your parents, your siblings, friends, education….choose!!

4. I wish I had known about why my take home pay was much lesser than my gross!! I did not learn about taxation. I wish my employer had told me.

5. I wish somebody had told me that “Fixed deposits” to save taxes is such a ‘not cool’ kind of an idea. It is plain, downright stupid especially for a 23 year old fresh engineer. I wish my college syllabus had some basic financial knowledge chapters.

6. I wish I had understood the power of equity. At least I would have started an ELSS SIP.

7. I wish I had not listened to my Dad’s friend. He has sold me a premium of Rs. 33,000 per annum for a 30 year endowment policy. Now I am being told this is unadulterated shit. I wish my parents had not made me ‘dependant‘ on such people for financail advise.

Well, that is all for now!

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  1. Regarding point #5, I think FD is far better for tax saving comparing with Endowement Insurance Policies. Most people regret purchasing LIc policies for tax saving.

  2. Shyam thanks for sharing the link..!
    I see it first hand, people living beyond their means.People driving huge SUV’s, Mini Vans and large houses to heat. How can you save 10% of your salary for retirement in such a situation? All the people who feature in this documentary are not the minimum wage earners, i would be worried about people who earn minimum wage and not people with double income blaming Stock market for their short comings.
    Only good thing about the documentary is it talks to Jack Bogle! It was funny to watch reactions of Michael Falcon of JP Morgan Chase, he couldn’t understand maths behind high expense ratios eating into returns of the investors. Retirement planning is not all that difficult, Choose low expense Total Market Index funds, Bonds funds, maximize tax savings and matching provided by employees, have asset allocation based on your risk appetite and recommendations for your age and you should be all set!
    The lady from Prudential should read “Common Sense on Mutual Funds by Jack Bogle” 🙂
    Most of what is shown in the documentary(except mis-selling) is still not applicable to India, since our markets are not efficient and developed like USA, i hope India will catch up. For India we will have enough data by 2025, i would like to look retrospectively at the performance of Index vs Actively managed funds in India then.

  3. Money Learning: I wish my parents had taught me!!

    – that the govt, corporations, your family, your relatives, your spouse, your children, your friends, all ads will always try to plunder your hard earned money throughout your life. so be careful

  4. In my case, my MoM (59 years old today) had told me as early as 18 years ago itself to start a Recurring Deposit and to keep putting money in it. Unfortunately, I was too lazy and not motivated enough to do it myself. I sometimes wish that she had just gone ahead and done it for me – given that I used to hand over all earnings to her anyway.

    Today, at the age of 37 (ironically, the very age when she had pleaded with me to open a recurring deposit), I now realize the power of compounding and the value of the most precious gift – Time.

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