Imbibe, Implement, Ignore:Suggested New Year Resolutions for Investors

Published: January 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

Last Updated on January 2, 2018

To me, personal finance is nothing more than common sense.  Commonsense is simply nothing but mathematics expressed in a spoken language.

Before I started the blog, I knew nothing about investor behaviour and aspects of behavioural finance.  It was irrelevant to me. Now I find myself learning about the different ways in which people handle their finances and how different ‘attitude towards money’ can be.

Please find below some of my findings listed in the form of resolutions.

  1. I will list my financial goals first, plan a strategy and then worry about investments
  2. I will recognise the returns I need for my financial goals and invest accordingly.  I will not madly chase after returns.
  3. I will ensure all my tax-planning is perfectly aligned with my goals.  I do not care whether it is April or November; my tax-planning depends only on my goals, and I, invest for my goals all through the year.
  4. I will not search for a ‘good pension plan’ or a ‘good child plan’, for I recognise they do not exist.
  5. I will not worry about my mutual fund holdings each time the market slumps.
  6. I will learn to analyse investments on my own …. using tools available at freefincal 😉
  7. I will not be swayed by posts/comments/news that predicts market movements, suggests stocks, gold, real estate, bonds, anything. I don’t give a rat’s fart.
  8. I will not ask for an opinion about an investment option and wait for someone to agree with me!
  9. I will not hold a lump sum in my SB account and wait for the next set of bonds or the next big investment opportunity.
  10. I will recognise that I can die anytime (even before I finish reading this post! Perhaps because of it!) and take a term insurance policy and write a will (thanks to Bharat Shah for pointing this out).
  11. I will recognise that there are a million diseases that can make me sick anytime. If I rely only on my company health benefits and wait until I retire to get my own policy, I may not be able to get one.  So, off I go to get one for all my dependents right now!
  12. I will recognise the importance of inflation and stop obsessing about ‘regular income’.
  13. I resolve to streamline my personal financial life as quickly as possible so that I don’t have to read blogs, follow FB groups on money, watch TV shows, etc. anymore.
  14. I will understand what conflict of interest means and recognise how deep-rooted this is in the financial services. This will help me with resolution no. 13.
  15. In any case, I resolve to stop reading the one written by a pretentious idiot named ‘pattu’.

To me, that is the best way of becoming financial literate:


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  • Imbibe the basis, asap
  • Implement the basis, asap
  • Ignore the bull shit, asap

I do hope you agree with this list. Would you like to add (or subtract) to this list?

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About The Author

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 for promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We have all made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it and teach him several key ideas of decision making and money management is the narrative. What readers say!
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