How I became a millionaire – real story

STORY SENT IN BY A READER IN Bengaluru…he is headed to becoming a USD millionaire…soon..in about 3 years max…a nice story…worth reading..

Let me share my story so far. I belong to a ‘middle class’ family from  south India. Father was an entry level soldier in Army and mother a house wife. Have a brother who is 9 year younger to me. He was diagnosed with cancer when he was 14 years old (undergone multiple major surgeries). I studied in a govt local medium school in our village. My father hasn’t had any considerable savings. While he was in service, he used to send money to my grandmother and she used to run the family. My mother was never into any ‘money management’ – even now also. Long story short, neither my father nor my grandmother had any savings; except that there were around 1 acre of land as ancestral property and an old house.

By the time I started my graduation, father was retired. He got around 1.5L at the time of retirement. He had met with an accident post retirement. ~50K of his retirement amount got spend for the treatment.  Some part of remaining cash was spend for home renovation. And remaining money were given to his sisters for some of their needs.

I have taken CS for graduation and passed out with a distinction as college topper. There were hardly anyone to guide on what next. Dad wanted me to get into some job and start earning.

After graduation, I came to Chennai in search of a job. She helped me to get into attend some interviews, got into a private finance company as a Jr Assistant – a clerical job. Starting salary was Rs.1200/-. That was my first job. I was living in a hostel at Chennai with a monthly rent of Rs.500/-. Tried managing all my expenses in remaining ~700. Mostly ran out of money during the last week of the month. Thank god for having that govt canteen in Saidapet; Idly @ Rs 1/- became my breakfast and lunch.

By 2001, managed to find job in a software company. Salary now became Rs.5000/-. Now I could afford visiting my native once in a year. Joined an institute to lean Java programming. Got some good friends. Made some small savings (Rs.8000). One fine day a hostel mate (a sr person of 65+ years) told he has some contacts in textile business, and has orders to do export. He asked my help to fund around 8K to get some paperwork done so that we can start our export business. He took the entire 8000/- to get the paper work done. I never saw him again; and my first business is closed before starting. Net worth after working for closer to 5 years is now stands at ‘0’!

By 2004 (at the age of 26), got a job at Bangalore in a US based software company. The salary become much better. For the first time in my life there was some amount left over every months. A lot of money got spend with friends. Also I was not having any goal per se,  so I didn’t want to get into any long term commitment. Meanwhile most of my friends were buying plots (that was the time when Bangalore real estate prices was going up every other day). I didn’t get into buying property or any commitment because (1)the money I had was not that significant (2) I was also not very excited about taking loans (3)literally no goals in life.
Sometime during 2004, I got introduced to Mutual funds and stocks through one of my good friend. I liked MF because of couple of reasons (1) liquidity : can buy and sell whenever one want (2) there is no minimum money required; can invest as small as Rs.500 (3)It was growing; though not at a pace comparable to RE. Got a demat account opened and started  SIPs (mostly Rs 500/- or Rs1000/-).  Also that was the time IPOs used to make a quite a good listing gains. So invested some amount in couple of IPOs too including TCS.
I had been an avid reader from my childhood days – mostly newspapers, current affairs etc. I also liked playing with data and generating metrics. So started tracking investment details in an excel sheet. Though during early 2004 there were literally no money, by the end of the year there were I had saved close to 1.5L. The SIP continued, and I was chasing the top performers, so lot of churning was happening. Remembering selling HDFC top 200 since JM Basic was doing much better :). I became more confident slowly and increased the SIP contribution as well.  The net worth grown steadily

  • 2004 – 1.5 L
  • 2005 – 6L –> got a promotion as a team lead
  • 2006 – 8.4L –> purchased first vehicle (maruti swift) financed 80% through car loan. That was the first loan I have taken. Saw EMI is reducing monthly savings.
  • 2007 – 9.5L –> got promoted to a manager & I got married too 🙂
  • 2008 – We were blessed with our first daughter. Taken a term insurance. Got hired in one of the top tech companies in the world and moved to Chennai. Used the joining bonus to do pre-closure of the car loan. Things were going great; and then it happened. For the first time in life saw that market can go down too. All the money made from market from 2004 got evaporated.

I was shocked; stopped SIPs. Wanted to get out of the market at the very fist opportunity. But that never came any time soon.

I used to purchase and sell stocks based on some tips; some of them made big losses (had an 80% loss too); making the net a big negative.

Meanwhile got introduced to couple of good sites including yours and started reading about personal finance. Around 8-10 months after the shock; slowly restarted SIPs with small amounts. Also used excel sheet define a monthly budget and start tracking expense, cash flow etc; thanks to the learnings from those sites. Stopped chasing best performing mutual funds every year; rather started looking at their long term performances (not on risk yet).

 

  • 2011 – Got blessed with our second kid. Taken a second term insurance. got promoted in office.
  • 2012 – net worth reached the 1 Cr mark. It took 12 years to move from 0 to the first 1 Cr.
  • 2014 – net worth reached 2 Cr mark – mostly driven by savings and good performance from Equity.
  • 2016 – Touched 4 Cr. Mostly contributed by power of compounding & savings. net worth growth is bit ahead of expectations (expected to reach ~3.4Cr by this time). Sold the first car due to a bunch of legal issues; car was still in great condition just 40K km in 10+ years, never claimed insurance. Took an entry level SUV with full down payment.

Subra’s comments: he has sent me an excel sheet showing how his networth grew..obviously not sharing that..or the name of the reader…but a good story and good learning…

 

http://www.subramoney.com/2016/07/looking-rich-or-being-rich/

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14 Responses to “How I became a millionaire – real story”

  1. @Subra: Networth increased from 10L to 1Cr from 2009-2012 🙂 Probably joined Amazon in Chennai and got RSUs. It has grown 4 times since 2012 which explains the 4Cr in 2016 !!

  2. Inspiring story , almost sounds too good to be true. Was the increase in net worth because of ESOPs or primarily through investing in MFs/Stock.Will you mind sharing how much monthly investments you have to do to reach thr ?

  3. Srinivas Muthadi on August 4th, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I should really appreciate the guy for the great achievement and also his persistence. The credit (also)goes to the excel sheet. And also using the opportunities. Tracking the NUMBERS will make us realise the direction our investments are taking.

    For those who are not aware of freefincal.com, lots of excel sheets are there.

    Thanks to Subra and Pattu!

  4. Initial bump up required anyways. 1 cr. network was the tipping point. One needs to have good job to reach some sizeable portfolio and then let the compounding do the magic (coupled with discipline and some bit of luck).

  5. lakshminarasimman on August 4th, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I want to add 2 3 points here

    go back and read previous post on the big number bias article on real estate. same thing applies here also.

    second – everyone’s circumstances/situation is different. don’t try to investigate whether it is esop or amazon or whatever reason is the cause so and so was able to do but I am not able to do.
    accept the fact that lot of things have to align at right time and right place – for good or bad– things beyond our control in everyone’s lives.

    third – keep doing what you are doing and live your life. not somebody else’s who shared their life story buying colgate shares in 1923 and never selling it.

  6. Every one makes money in their own way.. getting an RSU or ESOP are pure luck and cannot time it.. some people time the company to get RSU and those are very few.. Over all life is very much interesting with twists and turns.. reading others story will be inspiring may be for few days.. but create your own discipline to create wealth and remember just by focussing on growing your asset dont miss the other intesesting aspects of life…

  7. Good story. Inspiring story for others.

  8. Dear Subra sir,
    Can we have some stories from people who have severe job uncertainty, may be not continuous joblessness but for short period.and still could rise above the wave.

    Being in IT, many of us face the threat all the time and hence unable to take plunge in equity.
    All the focus goes in first get a solid roof over head and then think of anything else. I would request comments from readers as well.

    Thanks

  9. @Sangita: Whether its IT or any other salaaried profession. Assuming a career of 35 years, atleast be releavant to the industry for 20 years.. even if there is a jobloss we dont have any choice other than finding a new job.. so keep a buffer of 6 months find and keep track of your PF to see how long you can survive with your PF incase the job loss is for longer period (but this may not be a senario for the 1st 20 years of career). Give priority to equity investing for a longer horizon Most of this you might need incase you lose job after 20 years or you can opt to go to a low profile job incase if you are not interested in current job..

  10. @Sangita…. You hit the bulls eye. Remember equity is never 100% of asset allocation. You could begin by pure debt FDs, get that roof over head (limit to 1bhk) and close loans ASAP and begin the HNW journey and still make it. Personally I have seen folks with less salary and very less or zero RSU/ESOP overtake networth by the time they are -16-20 yrs experience. They still have about 20yrs left to work./earn.

  11. Nice and inspiring story.

    I would like to know if his Equity exposure via only Mutual Funds or both MF and direct stock’s.

  12. Good one. I also has same case. But I purchased houseiinstead of equities. My 30 L house will be 50 lakhs now. But now I stopped real estate and stared in equities through MF and directly

  13. Hey Subra,

    We have been trying to reach you since long. It would be great if you can connect with us at bavity@blogadda.com or 9869224807. Please treat this as urgent.

    Regards
    Team Blogadda

  14. Dr. Basudev Tewari on August 7th, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Another inspiring story by Subra sir. But the giant leap from 10L to 1cr in a few years has not been clarified…

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