HOW ANYONE CAN START THEIR INVESTING JOURNEY?

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HOW ANYONE CAN START THEIR INVESTING JOURNEY?
When it comes to investing so, in my opinion, it is very important to do, you can say that it is a necessary act rather than your choice but at the same time you also have to understand all the things otherwise it wouldn’t work for you. It is super important to have financial literacy in this era, and how investments are made. People are making money, if you are a youngster then in the near future you will start making money but if we don’t know how to manage it then probably, we have to continue doing work till our 60’s. Unfortunately, they aren’t teaching this in schools & colleges. That’s why most working professionals end up having a lot of debts with themselves. So, today we are going to know why having financial literacy is important? why we should do investing? What are the places out there where we can invest our money? what are the things you should keep in mind while starting out? etc. let’s start,

1] WHY HAVING GOOD FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE IS IMPORTANT?

It is important because as human beings we all want satisfaction at the end of the day. We all want to live a happy life and money can bring happiness to our life. Definitely, it is a tool we use, but it isn’t everything. You might have noticed in my articles that I often talk about money, and finances, and the reason I do this is because, I have picked up that niche to do research about, know about, and write on, I found this interesting. So, when it comes to having a good life, money plays a very important role and that’s why we have to understand how we are using that tool. We shouldn’t be egoistic people after having a lot of money but it can bring you a lot of freedom and that is the most important thing. It will give you the liberty to do whatever you want to do, whom you want to work with, wherever you want to work? and whenever the term comes ‘financial freedom’ means you have to be smart when the subject of money comes. You should invest wisely.

2] WHY WE SHOULD DO INVESTING?

It is important because we don’t have any other options in front of us except investing if we want to grow our money. It is important because if we do not invest, we will start losing our money because of inflation. We all know the simple meaning of inflation, it is the rate at which the value of a currency is falling & consequently, the prices for goods and services are increasing. In India, the inflation rate is roughly 7-8%, and it seems that it will continue to increase, generally, when the inflation rate is around 4-5% or less than that, so, it is considered a good rate of inflation. Now it is high and there are a lot of reasons behind this rising, recently, we have come through the covid crisis, there was a massive crisis happened in the market also, people were losing jobs, then didn’t have money to buy things, and it could affect the GDP of a country, that’s why RBI had to print a lot of money in order to run the economy of India. That is another factor that after printing a lot of money, still, the growth of GDP has decreased. I will talk about inflation in another article, for today you have got an idea why inflation is not a matter to avoid. Each and every year, inflation is taking away the actual value of money. If we keep money at home then it is losing its purchasing power by 7 percent every year, if we keep this in banks, on an average-banks are giving us 3-4 % of returns so, that is again not the exact place to grow our money. Next comes a popular place where most of the Indians, especially, the older generation keep their money in, it is FD. If you are a 60 years old person, and you need security then it is a good place to keep your money over there because it is a safe option, normally the return we get from FD is around 5-6%, including taxes. In FD’s also we lose our money by 1-2 percent. But it is bearable somehow.

But here, I am talking about how to get financial freedom? And it is not going to happen by just protecting our money, we have to grow it, one of the famous books on the basic finance named ‘rich dad poor dad’, the author Robert Kiyosaki said that in order to get financial freedom we have to create assets rather than liabilities, the simple definition of these two are, assets are the things which can bring money to your pocket and liability is a thing that takes money away from your pocket. One point here is that the house we live in, isn’t an asset anymore because it isn’t generating any money in our pocket, people sometimes think a home is an asset because that is their largest investment, but until it generates money for us, it is a liability. We are living, and enjoying our life, it is okay but we should know the difference between an asset & a liability.

And if we want financial freedom at an early age for example in our 30's or 40's then it is very important to have good financial knowledge. In order to achieve that goal, we have to create assets along the way. It could be your rental income, dividends, stocks, etc. we cannot simply invest in FDs and stay calm. We have to beat inflation in order to grow our capital. That is the simple rule, now we have to find a few places where it can beat inflation, and hopefully, we have a few places to invest that could give us inflation-beaten returns.

Let's see them one by one,

1] The first option would be the Indian stock market, I have talked about the stock market multiple times in my previous articles, but now I am not getting into more details. You can directly go through equities if there are a few good stocks in your portfolio and if you hold those stocks at least for 10 years then you can expect 15-20% returns on average. And when it comes to purchasing equities directly then you should have a basic knowledge of how to pick stocks, think about the companies that can sustain for long terms if you are planning to invest for the long term, rather than investing in large-cap companies you can pick a few mid or small-cap companies because large-cap companies are already explored there are a lot, they cannot give returns beyond a limit but small or mid-cap companies have no limits to grow now, if the company is good then no one could stop them from growing.

If you want to know about the stock market then look at that article:

https://medium.com/@sujanghoshz/investing-in-stocks-127c4f24fc43

2] If you have doubts about your stock picking skills or if you just do not want to take any tensions of learning fundamentals and technical part of companies then you can simply go with an index fund. It could be nifty 50 or Sensex 30, nifty would be a good exposure because here your money will be invested into 50 large-cap companies. You can simply go through a passively managed nifty 50 index mutual fund and you are done. If you look at the data then you would see for the last 20 years nifty 50 has been given 12.2% returns on a yearly basis. But in the middle of those 20 years, it had gone down and gone up several times, in fact, the biggest recession happened in 2008 in that period the only people who made money were the people who remained invested.

If you want to know more about mutual funds then you can go through this article:

https://medium.com/@sujanghoshz/mutual-fund-9801cdd13e62

3] The third place is the US stocks because here you get two benefits together. How? Let’s understand this, for example, when you buy any share from the US market so you do not buy that share by paying money, you buy that share by paying dollars. It means you have to transfer your money from rupees to dollars, then you get to buy US stocks. And as I said you are getting two benefits together means your share’s value is increasing with time, that is the first benefit and the second benefit is the value of the dollar is also increasing compare to money with time. What an amazing thing, right! The percentage of dollars against INR has increased roughly by 4% in the last 10-15 years. There can be several reasons behind this. I will talk about the details in another article. So, I hope you have got an idea of how things work. And if you are able to generate at least a 10 percent return yearly basis, so the percentage would be 14%. There is no doubt you will be making more than 10% because the US market always performs better than the Indian market. That is why we should invest in the US economy.

4] The fourth option is corporate bonds, here you give your money to the companies as a loan & instead you get a commission of nearly 7-10%. That is like fixed deposits but a better half of it. The security of bonds is slightly lower compares to FDs but at the same time, the return is also higher.

5] The fifth option is our gold and silver. Whenever you buy gold as your investment then remember to buy SGB (sovereign gold bond). Because when you buy SGB that time you don’t have to give 3% GST, almost 5% of spread charges you could save, and because you are holding this gold that’s why RBI would give you 2.5% of additional interest rates and most importantly after completing the lock-in period whatever the capital gain you would have, it would be totally tax-free. Amazing right, never buys gold as a form of jewelry otherwise you would lose a lot of money, there is also an option of purchasing gold digitally but it is also not the best possible way out there, after buying gold instantly if you would try to sell it then you would have to give 5% of spread charges, GST, etc. So, always go with the SGB. Normally, Gold gives us 7-8% returns but if you invest in SGB then your return could touch 11-12% which is amazing no doubt.

6] The sixth option is not for everyone, if you believe in that then only go with that otherwise there are plenty of other options out there to invest into except that one. It can be risky for you. Yes, I am talking about cryptocurrency and NFTs. I have talked about crypto and NFT in my previous articles, you can check this out. And most importantly if you are investing in cryptos then in my point of view max to max it should be around 5-7% of our portfolio not more than that and invest only in coins that you believe in. For me, it is Bitcoin, Etherium, Polygon, Solana, etc. It is a very volatile market btw. So, if you cannot take 20-30 or even 50% loss in your portfolio then do not invest in them. Nowadays, the crypto market looks very scary, everything has fallen down by 50%, 60% from its peak, Luna has fallen by 100%, and has destroyed the whole coin in a day. So, prepare for all kinds of risks. That’s why it is said that never ever invest all your eggs in the same basket.

If you want to know more about metaverse, and NFTs then check out this article:

https://medium.com/@sujanghoshz/what-is-metaverse-what-is-nft-51ea185097ba

7] The seventh option is real estate. Real estate has been the commonplace where the majority of Indian invest their money. Data says that in India if you look at most of the people’s portfolios then you would see a majority of their portfolios are covered by real estate investments. I am not saying it is a very bad place to put our money but we have to understand the market. There are kinds of places where you can invest in real estate space. It mainly depends on your location, which purpose you are buying the property, are you taking this for construction purposes to have rental income, it is essential to have a purpose. It is a vast topic, I will write all about real estate investments in another article, today let’s understand the basics, whenever it comes to investing in the real estate it requires a lot of money together, so, if you are just starting out your career, usually you do not have that much money what you would require to buy a useful land, it needs at least a few years of savings, after saving your money either you will buy a home for your living which is not an asset anymore or you will buy a piece of lands. And when you buy land then automatically a lot of taxes are there that you have to pay. If you have a good property in a good location then you can expect it will grow by 6-9% growth, it is not that volatile and your returns depend on a lot of factors. One more problem that comes with real estate investments is liquidity, you cannot sell your property whenever you need, it takes at least a month of time, but in other instruments, for example, mutual funds you can withdraw your money whenever you want, if you would need that money instantly, you have to sell your property in a loss. As I said it requires one article and I will try to cover all the related points, comparing with other investment options, which will be better for the long term & a lot more things on investments in real estate.

8] The eight’s options are PPF (public provident fund) and EPF (employees’ provident fund). These are provident funds are created by the governments. These are one of the safest instruments to invest our money. There is a limit when it comes to investing in EPF that you can only invest 2.5 lac rupees each financial year and in the case of PPF the amount you can invest here is 1.5 lac each financial year. And returns are also good compared to FDs. For EPF, the return is around 8-8.5% & for PPF, the return is around 7-7.5%. And the best part is that whatever the returns you will get would be completely tax-free.

So, when it comes to having a diversified portfolio then there are a bunch of places where we can invest in order to play a safe game in the investment space.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN YOUR MIND BEFORE STARTING YOUR INVESTING JOURNEY?

Whenever I talk about investing, it simply means long-term investments. And you can decide your long term. So, my point here is in your long-term period there will be a few moments where your portfolio might go down for any reason irrespective of how good investments you have made, if you look at the stock market these days then it has roughly fallen by 10% from its peak. And there might be a lot of reasons, nowadays a lot of things are happening to the world, we have just crossed the pandemic, we are at all-time high inflation in the last 10 years, the Russia-Ukraine war, Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, new, new variants of covid are coming each quarter and a lot of things happening which are bad for the market. That’s why it is important to have an emergency fund. You should always have 6-12 months of your expenses as your emergency fund, never invest your emergency fund in the stock market, just simply make an FD, and you are done, if something happens to your portfolio or if you lose your job so you will not have to withdraw your money from the market which might be in a red circle. And the second most important thing is you should have your insurance, it is a super important product so if something wrong would happen to your health which nobody wants to but life is very unpredictable right! so, you will have your insurance to take care of your health.

A few days back I was just going through one of the finest books on basic finance called “Rich dad poor dad” and I got an observation that people do work by giving their precious time and in that process, they are making their bosses wealthy in a minimum wages, then they pay taxes to the government and then they keep that money in bank’s which banks are using in order to make more money by giving loans to the companies, investing in the stock market, etc. Don’t you think we have to become a little bit smart when the subject of money comes? I am leaving this up to you. What is your viewpoint here, let me know in the comment section. It’s been more than 10 months since I have been in the stock market space, during my journey, I have done plenty of mistakes and got a lot of learnings, I have recently written an article about my investing journey. https://medium.com/@sujanghoshz/mistakes-learnings-of-mine-from-8-months-of-investing-journey-f9a273c68dd2

I hope you would get some benefit from my experiences.

for today, I think that is enough, If you have any questions related to the article or feedback for me then feel free to mention them in the comment section.