Many a times people ask me for a ‘one pager on financial advice’ that one can give to a 23 year old. So here it is:
- Success in life comes from investing. So first invest in a good education. There is nothing to beat a good education – a good institute, a good library, some amazing professors, and a great bunch of batchmates. Investing in a good degree like BE (IIT), CA, MBA (top colleges) cannot be ignored. If you have a poor MBA, reconsider a good MBA. It will propel you higher. So first invest in yourself. At 23 it is the only asset you have!
- Invest in Good Health: This starts from good habits, exercise, eating sensibly, learning to read food labels if you MUST eat ready foods. Investing in learning to cook is a brilliant thing to do – you control what goes into your stomach – no preservatives.
- Good wealth comes from Investing too! If your grandparents or parents told you that you should save money as soon as you start earning, they were only partially right. You need to Invest the savings into equities in a SIP.
- Invest in learning personal finance. Unfortunately there is no good course on personal finance and your generation will be hard pressed for time. Just remember investing time to find a good adviser is also a good investment.
- Invest in continuous learning. It is fun. And guys you are lucky. The Internet is a great place to learn and there are some brilliant websites for you to go to learn. The Khan Academy, Coursera, are the top of mind recalls, but there are others like Bloomberg, Wiki, Investopedia, ..omg the list is endless.
- Keep your life, finances, relationships simple. Simplicity comes from truth and the willingness to live by your own rules.
- Stop worrying about what others think. They are busy thinking about what others think about themselves, they have no time for you.
- Follow some simple rules like saving 15% of your income. If you are staying with your parents pay for food, rent, utilities, etc.
- If your parents do not accept money do a SIP of that amount. Remember at some stage if you need to help them this figure is actually THEIR money and you are just a trustee till they ask for it.
- Love the things that you do. Do things that make other people love you for that. Not just what you love. I may love to watch TV and idle my time. However more people love me for my blogging and my lectures. So more love is generated by doing work which others ‘love’ you to do. Read this concept again. If looks easy, it is not.
- Do not buy useless stuff just because you feel good about it. Learn to say no to Instant Gratification. It helps in life.
- Take life insurance if appropriate. If your parents are rich do not bother – wait till you get married or take a loan.
- Understand that transportation is a commodity. Shelter is a commodity. Only thing of value is Financial freedom.
- Work your butt off for a few years. Then let your money work hard for you.
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