Plan to Quit As Soon As You Start Working!

Published: September 13, 2017 at 11:44 am

Last Updated on October 21, 2021

It was when my seven-year-old son declared that he wanted to be a fruit seller that I realised that the …. er … apple has not fallen far from the tree! Yes, I too had similar aspirations and I nurtured it for years until I heard the plight of a pharmacist. In this post, I discuss why we all need a plan to quit, as soon as we start working.

This was first published a few months ago when my second book was about to be published. I thought the titular topic is worth a revisit.

The pharmacist told me that his was a 7 x 12-hour job. He could not step out of the shop or even take a holiday because there was no one trustworthy to take care of the shop. My friends family had a grocery shop and after college, he took over the business – just as his father did and his grandpa did. My friend’s plight is not very different from that of the pharmacy owner or any small shop owner.

Aside from the presence of a regular salary and paid holidays (like weekends!), there is not much of a difference from such shop owner and salaried employees. Unless we have a plan to become financially free, we are trapped in our jobs.


Many people confuse income with productivity. I can offer a service or even pursue a creative endeavour with worrying about putting food on the table (among other expenses). Initially yes, income depends on the work that we do.

We need a plan to systematically free our income from our skill-set and the services that we are capable of.

Even if liabilities like home loans slow down this process it is more than possible. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, most 30-somethings suddenly recognise the need for an income that keeps pace with inflation after retirement (aka inflation-protected income). A 35-year-old with a home loan taking control of his/her finances can strive to become financially independent in 15 years. That is quite an achievement. There is no need to worry “I started investing Late, Can I Catch Up?” Of course, you can.

We made this slide show as part of the Gamechanger promo.

This week’s Q & A

Due to the release of the robo advisory template, the questions last week were mostly about it. So the few other questions are discussed below. If you have a generic question on finance, you can use the form below.

Sampath: Hello Sir, What is your opinion about ‘Focus’ mutual funds which invest in only limited stocks? Example: JM Core 11, DSPBR Focus 25

Pattu: I don’t see any need for such funds. Instead, I will try and ‘focus’ on building a diversified portfolio using funds that have a clear market cap mandate or a clear sectoral mandate: Building a Diversified Equity Portfolio with Sector Mutual Funds

Sridhar C: Dear Prof, Curious to know if the AMC representatives have any say/influence in the corporate decisions taken by the board? Whats their role in the AGMs. Does SEBI say anything in this regard. Thanks.

Pattu: A mutual fund house is created by a “sponsor” who appoints a board of trustees after SEBI approval. The Trustee are expected to protect unit holder interests. Corporate decisions are taken by the sponsors which are monitored by the trustees. I hope I have answered your question at least in part.

Venkateswara Rao Pothina: Dear Sir, I have recently come across this site and started reading various articles. I am 56 years old and wants to plan for my retirement with additional investment in equity based mutual funds. I already have investments in tax free bonds, PPF, and bank FDs, and looking for mutual funds that provide consistent decent returns on risk adjusted basis. My concern is: “Will investing in mutual funds now work negatively for me as there is a view that equity markets are in highs not commensurate with real state of Indian economy and thus are more prone for downside risk?” Best regards, P V Rao

Pattu: Equity market are always subject to downside risk. Only invest a small portion of your portfolio and that too a sum that you will not touch for several years. I would suggest that either seek professional help from my list of fee-only financial planners or use the  Freefincal Robo Advisory Software Template to test th health of your finance before investing.

 Karthik: These are the advantages of investing directly in stocks or through a PMS : a) Relatively good-quality stocks with small market capitalization or low free float can be invested in.Usually, mutual funds with their large corpus size don’t have access to such shares. b) These are individual portfolios. Hence, one’s portfolio return does not get impacted by cash flows from other investors. What do you think about these advantages vis a vis investing through mutual funds?

Pattu: If you can find a trust PMS fund manager then it can be used to your advantage. If ..

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Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
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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, if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but for any aspect of life, what would it be? 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 parent’s 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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Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
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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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