Learning how to invest and how not to invest is a continuous process…so here are some more learning:

  1. There is nothing like a continuous out performance: over 4-5 years you may have one or two brilliant years, 2 reasonable years, and one bad year. Over all if the fund manager has beaten the benchmark and stayed true to label during this period, you should hold on to that fund manager
  2.  Investing early in ANY instrument is better than late investing: the cost of delay in investing is huge. So in the early days if you did not know about Index funds, etc. even if you did invest in PPF – it is better than not investing at all.
  3. Anyway you invest, there is risk: Investing in equities, investing in debt, keeping in savings account, keeping in market fixed deposit – whatever you do there is risk. So do not wait to learn everything about everything. Till you do not know what to do invest in an index fund..and once you know and understand you can re-allocate your investments. My Granpa kept money stuffed in the pockets of the clothes in his closet. He believed that the maid servant did not know that –  because he thought that was risk free, but he missed out on any potential profits and, obviously, returns lagged inflation. What if the house burned down? There are no risk-free investments. Period.
  4. Some friends who live far beyond your means should not be your friends at all: It just does not match. You need to mix with people your spending levels only. Do not over stretch. The small indulgences – a CCD or Barista or Starbucks – may seem trivial, but all that add up to a big amount at the end of the month.
  5. When you sign up for a SIP sign up for a TOP UP SIP. This constantly raises the amount on a  regular basis..and Icici Prudential had shown me how it works…
  6. An investment professional who wants to rip you off will find a way to do it. So finding a good IFA to help you is step #1
  7. Most of the scams in investing could not have happened without trust. Most of the time those closest to the bad actor are the first victims. Bernie Madoff bilked members of his religious community and other friends and family!! Obviously, you need to trust your investment professionals by all means – but remember what Ronald Reagan said : “Trust but verify” .
  8. All frauds are not big hairy and audacious. Leaving a blank signed cheque, leaving the Transfer Instruction slips with the broker and tempting him is an amazingly stupid way how people have been wiped out. ….

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  1. Good one. Would just add a couple of things: Investing early in ANY instrument is better as long as it beats inflation. And in the list of small indulgences add cigarettes. The lifetime amount spent on cigarettes is actually astounding and would be even more so if it didn’t kill the consumer.

  2. i can vouch for the sticker shock on CCD bill – it is hardly trivial. i have no idea how they jacked up prices during the last few years (when i had no good reason to visit them). a simple cold coffee with some add ons coming to 200+tax – it seemed to cost much less in USA!!!
    i really wonder how some of the college kids afford these places on a regular basis. surely they all can’t be from filthy rich families…

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