How Abhineeth plans to achieve financial independence and build a house

Published: April 11, 2023 at 6:00 am

Hi, this is Abhineeth. I am a 30-year-old working as an Engineer in the state government service. I joined this position in 2016, and this is my 7th year. This is how I aim to achieve financial independence and buy/construct a decent house for my family.

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My initial investment journey. After joining the job in the tax planning phase, I decided to invest in PPF as, at that time, I was unaware of the ELSS schemes. As I was already in the National pension scheme to cover the balance amount of 1.5Lakh under the 80c section, I used the PPF account, and due to a friendly neighbour-uncle (LIC agent), I got an endowment policy of Rs.5 Lakh instead of a term insurance policy which I regret to this day.

I later learned that investing & insurance are two different things that should not be combined. I even started a 5-year Postal Recurring deposit of 5000 per month, assuming it was eligible for a tax deduction. After finding out that it was not eligible, I stuck to it, and it matured in 2021 with an interest income of around 7.6%.

In the initial years, even after reaching the 1.5L limit in the 80c section, I continued to invest my savings in PPF. I maxed it out after learning the compounding benefit we can achieve after 8-10 years of investing in PPF.

My father had taken a home loan, and the EMI of the loan used to be around 20k. After joining the job, I used to pay the EMI, but I found it to be a great burden to pay that EMI (it was around 43% of my take-home pay at that time); hence we prepaid the loan using part of my savings & few retirement benefit amount received by my father (he is also a retired engineer from the government sector).

In the initial days, I invested my savings without any goal. As I was a default member in the NPS scheme, I found out about the NPS Tier-2 scheme and started investing in it, as I was not aware of asset allocation, I invested in the moderate risk scheme with equity of around 50% and I played around the asset allocation even kept the equity allocation to 100% at one point of time.

2nd phase of my investment journey: During the covid lockdown, I thought of utilizing the abundant time available to learn about the stock market. Subsequently, I learned about mutual funds (Debt & Equity) and the importance of emergency funds, Term insurance, Medical insurance & goal-based investment strategy recommended by Pattu sir; I was fascinated by the level of detailed analysis provided by him in the field of personal finance.

Firstly I tried to build an emergency fund of about six months of monthly expenses and later increased it to 6 months of take-home pay. I use liquid funds & FD for this purpose. I took term insurance from a private insurer for about 15 times my annual income.

I have withdrawn my savings from my NPS tier 2 account and invested in mutual funds with 75:25 (Equity debt ratio) with Nifty 50 & Nifty Next 50 index funds for the equity component & Short term debt fund for the debt component.

I regularly invest 32% of my take-home pay in these funds in addition to my mandatory NPS contributions for retirement planning. My retirement portfolio is about three times my annual expenses, with 42% in equity. I intend to achieve 50% equity within 2-3 years and maintain it up to my 50th year, then gradually decrease it to 20% by my retirement age.

To achieve my 2nd goal of house construction, I am investing in a Sensex index fund & using my already present PPF account as a debt part. I have 20% of my target amount invested in these funds, and I intend to achieve the target by 2032, by which my PPF account matures. I have 41:58 (Equity: Debt ratio) for my house portfolio, and I intend to achieve 50:50 and maintain it for up to 5 years and then gradually reduce the equity part to 0 by 2032.

I thank pattu sir for allowing me to share my investment journey. He requests young earners like me to share their investing journey, and I hope this article might help a few others who are just starting their investing journey.

Reader stories published earlier:

As regular readers may know, we publish a personal financial audit each December – this is the 2020 edition: How my retirement portfolio performed in 2020. We asked regular readers to share how they review their investments and track financial goals.

These published audits have had a compounding effect on readers. If you would like to contribute to the DIY community in this manner, send your audits to freefincal AT Gmail. They could be published anonymously if you so desire.

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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 ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), 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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