My Ten Resolutions for 2014

Published: December 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

Last Updated on January 2, 2018

I have always been cynical of new-year resolutions.  The way I see it, a man who waits until the dawn of the new year to bring about a positive change in his life is unlikely to follow through with his resolutions.

While I continue to hold that sentiment, I have decided with immediate effect to improve my lifestyle in a few ways.  I hope you do not mind my sharing these with you.

1. Diversify my investment portfolios I had shared my retirement portfolio in the comments section of the year-end personal financial round-up (be sure to read the wonderful insights of Ramesh). While my folios are not terrible, it is certainly not optimised across market caps and international equity. So I am going to work toward that.  I will post my learning soon.

Diversification across asset classes and within an asset class is crucial for preserving the fruit of compounding.


 You can use this tool to check your folio : Equity Mutual Fund Portfolio Comparison Tool

2. Write a will Although I foresee very few legal issues if I drop dead, a will is important.  My net worth is increasing continuously and if I do not instruct my wife on how she should use it after my passing, I am worried she will be stuck with a useless pension plan.  Therefore, I need to make a list of actions for her to take.  This will ensure her financial independence and pay for my son’s education.

If you are interested, I have automated this process in the insurance section of the Financial plan creator

3. Learn about post-retirement investment options There are many ways to invest post-retirement to effectively combat inflation and make the corpus last our lifetime.  Here is a bucket-strategy simulator I made for this and a related income ladder calculator.

I need to learn more about this in order to be prepared for my retirement, make new calculators and help others with their retirement.

I strongly believe expertise in distribution phase planning or post-retirement investment strategy will be the most sought-after skill-set from a financial planner.

4. Learn about portfolio management My goal is to create tools in which mutual funds can be evaluated in-depth and investments/financial goals can be tracked easily. I will soon release an automated mutual fund and financial goal tracker as part of this plan.

To take it to the next level I need to learn about portfolio management. It is tough as I find it quite boring and extremely soporific.  Turns out, I actually need to read a decent portion of such books in order to learn! That is like being forced to eat cucumber salad each day!

5. Write more Someday I would like to author a book. In order to do that I would like to hone my writing skills. No better way to do that, than be regular with freefincal posts.  Writing is like an exercise regimen.  It is fantastic to keep negative thoughts away. My friends have urged me to write more articles for young earners. I must take this suggestion seriously.

I agreed to write a series of articles on basic financial planning for Market Express. I wrote one part and am yet to get to the second part. Will have to do this asap. Here is part I, if you are interested:  Financial Planning: Using Common Sense to Achieve Fiscal Fitness

6. Make freefincal faster, accessible and popular  Thanks to a suggestion by Basavaraj Tonagatti who runs BasuNivesh.com, I am learning about search engine optimization and have now made freefincal fast and optimised so that search engines show my blog more often in the first search-results page.  This has resulted in an increase in blog traffic and visibility.  I aim to optimise it further and make the calculators more accessible.   

Do lend me a hand in this goal by sharing posts/calculators you find useful 🙂

7. Lose weight. 

Four years ago, I was 95 Kgs fat, fighting back-pain, obesity and cholesterol. I then resolved to change my life around.  I dropped to 72 Kgs (perfect for my height), over the course of 2.5 years, without exercise and managed to hold on to it for more than a year.  I felt younger and fitter than ever before!

Then I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. My weight started to drop alarmingly fast to 69 Kgs within days due to a benign tumor in my thymus gland.  I was depressed and started to eat junk food again.  The fact that I was (and am) on steroids also contributed to this eating.  Thankfully, my weight went up only to 79 Kgs.

So from today(29th Dec)  I have resolved to lose weight again. I would like to do it the way I did before:

  • Minimum carbohydrates
  • No processed food.
  • No oil, except a little Olive oil.  Microwaves are wonderful in this regard.
  • No sugar. Well, at least as little as possible.
  • Not eat anything after dinner
  • More vegetables and fruits (not a fruit and green veg. lover but must try to eat more)

8. Exercise Resume my exercise regimen. After I fell sick, I stopped exercising.  I have now resumed exercising – to the extent I can.  Exercise is awesome for creativity.

N.B. Losing weight and keeping fit are very different goals.  We need to eat right for the former and exercise regularly for the latter.  Related post: Weight Loss and Long-Term Investing

9. Watch more movies! I know that does not sound intelligent.  Most people who use my blog, assume that I read a lot. This is not true at all. I don’t remember the last time I completed a book! I love collecting books more than I love reading them. I love comics even more and have a decent collection.  I stopped buying comics when I realised it is not a smart way to spend money.

So I am never going to read more….just not me.

Also, I would like to think reading books, affects original thinking!  I am disgusted by those who keep quoting Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. How many people like Buffett for his frugality?

Anyway, I love watching movies.  After my Myasthenia, I stopped watching ‘art’ movies and have leaned on popcorn entertainment.  I would like to watch more cerebral movies, particularly those from Europe and South-Asia.

Someday I hope to be part of a movie in some capacity.

related post  Babette’s Feast: An Extraordinary Movie About Wealth, Food and Devotion!

10. Ensure I follow through with the above resolutions!

  Wish you all a happy and healthy 2014. May we edge closer to our dreams this year with hard work and a bit of well-deserved good fortune!

 Thank you all for making freefincal a success.

Your participation makes me a better person.

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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18), Gamechanger, Chinchu Gets a Superpower! and seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations based on money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association, IIST Alumni Association. For speaking engagements, write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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