AIFW – a unique personal finance Facebook group is about to hit one lakh members! 

Published: February 3, 2022 at 7:00 am

Asan Ideas for Wealth (AIFW) is a personal finance group on Facebook. It is on the threshold of a major milestone – one lakh members. In this article, we trace the growth of its membership and how it has helped members manage money better.

The group is owned by its sole admin – the one and only Ashal Jauhari. Ashal is one of the most intelligent, perceptive, generous, passionate and compassionate persons I know. His understanding of financial legalese is second to none. He has confidentially helped countless members on a variety of topics – finance, legal, emotional etc. without charging a penny and unmindful of the time spent in spite of a hectic schedule and complicated work-life structure. To know more about him see: Interview with Ashal Jauhari: Relentless Financial Awareness Activist.

The group is extraordinarily diverse and helps members sort out problems on a wide variety of topics – investments, financial planning,  smart buying, parenting, career options, emotional assistance etc.

Ashal has single-handedly managed the group with a firm, but kind hand. His affable personality is contagious prompting members to typically offer sincere help. Many members are addicted to AIFW.

How to use the group:

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    1. Join AIFW on Facebook
    2. Read the group featured post
    3. Implement the recommendations
    4. If you have any doubts ask a question.
    5. Like any other resource on the internet, you should expect all sorts of responses. Which you choose to take seriously will define how useful you find the group.
    6. We have people who ask “which mutual funds to invest in?” on Monday and answer other threads like they have seen it all on Tuesday.  Caveat Lector.
    7. Half the group’s population has only been there for a little over three years (the group will be 11Y old this May). So always look at when a person joined and who he is (MF or insurance distributor, financial advisor etc.) before taking their comment seriously.
    8. Pay it forward and help others with their questions but be transparent about your own experience.
    9. Many old-timers in the group have either left or have unsubscribed from notifications as their money management is in place.

    I have been part of the group since late 2012 or early 2013 (A Facebook bug removed me from the group a few years ago so the exact date of joining is unknown). Ashal has been extraordinarily generous and tolerant with me. No one else can put up with my caustic personality which has often led to undesirable outcomes for Ashal in the past. Anywhere else I would have chucked out. Between 2014 to 2017, Ashal and I conducted non-profit DIY personal finance workshops all around the country. Everything I have learnt about behavioural finance is from Asan Ideas for wealth.

    Other articles related to AIFW

    Growth of Facebook Group Asan Ideas for Wealth

    The group was created by Ashal on 11th May 2011. The initial members were his friends and contacts from MoneyControl Forum and the Jago Investor Forum. I met Ashal via the Jago Investor Forum and he had invited me to join a little later.

    The group just went past 98,000 in membership and is likely to cross the 1,00,000 milestone in the next 2-3 weeks. The following data was gathered from Ashal’s announcements and other threads or comments made by members.

    This is the growth of AIFW membership. We can see from the graph that attributing a single growth parameter (like CAGR) does not make sense as the growth was not uniform.

    It must be kept in mind that a Facebook group is like cotton candy held by a stick. The cotton candy is the total membership and the sick the active membership. We should never make the mistake of looking at a few loud voices in the group and assume everyone there does the same!

    For what it is worth, this is the since inception CAGR

    DateMembershipDuration (years)CAGR
    11-05-2011100 (approx)
    01-02-202298000       10.7490%
    Growth of Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group in normal scale
    Growth of Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group in normal scale

    Members are always comparing the growth of AIFW to the Sensex or the Nifty. I hope this graph (and the CAGR numbers) will make them stop.

    Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group membership compared with Nifty 50 TRI growth since the inception of the group
    Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group membership compared with Nifty 50 TRI growth since the inception of the group

    This is the same plot on a log 10 scale.  This allows us to easily appreciate 10x growth.  For example:

    • 10^2 = 100 so log10(100) =2
    • 10^3 = 1000 so log10(1000) =3
    • 10^4 = 10,000 so log10(10000) =4
    • 10^5 = 1,00,000 so log10(100000) =5
    Growth of Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group in log10 scale
    Growth of Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group in log10 scale

    * approximate anticipated date of 1,00,000 membership

    100 –> 1000 took about 2.06 years

    1000 —> 10,000 took about 2.19 years

    10,000 –> 1,00,000 about 6.5 years

    If that sounds intuitively unappealing let us look at the rate of doubling since inception (except the last entry)

    DateMembershipDuration (years)CAGR
    01-06-20131000         1.1385%
    14-03-20142000         0.78142%
    10-11-20144000         0.66186%
    26-05-20158000         0.54261%
    13-09-201616000         1.3070%
    29-06-201732000         0.79140%
    03-08-202064000         3.1025%
    01-02-202298000         1.5033%

    We can also repeat this exercise with respect to trailing membership

    DateMembershipDuration (years)CAGR
    03-02-20156000         0.56248%
    01-05-201612000         1.2475%
    18-01-201724000         0.72163%
    19-09-201849000         1.6753%
    01-02-202298000         3.3723%

    AIFW goes through periods of boom and mellow periods. The boom might correspond to stock market bull runs and the pandemic.

    Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group membership compared with Nifty 50 TRI in two different scales
    Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group membership compared with Nifty 50 TRI in two different scales

    I say “might correspond” because the above is a suggestive representative and not technically correct.

    Even when the group has not seen a dip in membership, the growth rate is volatile as seen above. It is therefore simplistic to attribute its growth to the “power of compounding”.

    How much traffic does freefincal get from AIFW?

    Among the many misconceptions about freefincal, one that often does the rounds is, “freefincal traffic depends a lot on AIFW”.  While I like sharing freefincal articles at AIFW, the dependence is not significant.

    YearTotal site viewsViews from Facebook*Facebook share of traffic
    2014   5,61,371       16,8803.01%
    2015 16,73,002       62,0583.71%
    2016 18,11,191       87,1084.81%
    2017 20,93,958    1,14,7555.48%
    2018 24,51,267    1,39,0065.67%
    2019 35,29,222    1,05,922(?)3.00%
    2020 53,06,393    1,96,8423.71%
    2021 56,34,533    2,79,5554.96%

    * Here we assume the entire Facebook traffic is from AIFW ignoring other sources like the Freefinal Page and my wall.
    (?) Surprised to see the fall in 2019 🙂

    On the occasion of his important milestone, I commend Ashal Jauhari for what he does in the group and also outside of it and congratulate all group members. His message to AIFW members is apt at this time.

    Please keep helping each other. – Ashal

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      Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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