Be your own investing guru
Updated: Jan 26
Scenario 1: “Guru Poornima, what’s that? Will it be a bank holiday?”
Scenario 2: It is Guru Poornima today, and you woke up, took a bath, went to perform puja to your spiritual guru or mentor.
Scenario 3: You are excited and have plans with your friends to watch the rare spectacle of an orange moon at longer than usual lunar eclipse tonight. The longest one in 100 years.
The beauty of being in India that all these realities are true. Hollywood has managed to make “Guru” sound cool and exotic. Dictionaries have made this word officially part of the English language. So whether you know what this day stands for or not, we all understand what Guru means.
To us Indians, a guru is not limited to the teacher in a school or a mentor at work. A guru is anyone who guides you, irrespective of the time you have spent together. If you learn and find inspiration from anyone for anything, she is likely your guru. This openness of interpretation means that there is no bar of age, gender or situation in life when it comes to learning.
There is a caveat to the situation though, With all the attention to the word guru, we forget that ‘you’ the student, is present as well. For the teacher to teach you must be willing to learn.
Whether it is life or investments, you are your best advocate. Make the bias work in your favour and teach yourself to learn. At Basis, we are building an inclusive investing platform that is crafted for the emerging investor, the Indian woman.
Here are some ways you can start to be your own investing guru.
The big picture
What do you want to do in life? This is a daunting question if you have started out as a young adult in the working world. It’s even scarier if you are finishing studies and waiting to get a job. But, it’s always the right time to start asking questions about your goals so you can plan for ways to fund them. Whether you want to build a startup, schedule retirement to chase your true passion or be ready to deal with all the surprises that life can have in store for you, you will need the money to realise them. Depending on your paycheck may not be enough to achieve those goals. Investing early with goals in mind is a sure way that can lead you there.
I will start saving when I have more money. Stock markets, mutual funds, these are not for people like me. Are these things you have told yourself? Saving is a habit irrespective of the amount. If you want your money to grow, you must have the money to invest it. As pro investors say, keep your savings aside from your income and use the rest for your needs. Track your expenses and plan your bigger expenditures. While it is important to think ahead for life goals, the way to get there is certainly in small steps by paying attention to the smaller details.
Grow your guru community
Having some knowledge does not mean you stop looking at other options. Rather, use your discretion and learn from the many resources. Thanks to technology these resources are abundant and easy to access. In addition to your friends and family that you seek investment advice, there’s a lot of information available online. You can understand the views of expert investors from anywhere in the world. You can also join the community on Basis, a candid and safe space exclusively for women, where you can be comfortable discussing all things money and more.
These are but warm-ups before you start your investing journey, but the feeling when you achieve these goals is great.
“If you find Buddha kill him”
A saying that has left an impact on my views on learning. These words tell us that while it is important to seek Buddha or wisdom, it is equally important to imbibe the essence of a guru’s teaching into yourself. True learning is when a student is dependent on the guru no more. When embarking on anything new, we are filled with self-doubt. Investing is no different, stay informed well enough so you can trust the decisions you make. So start learning, be thankful to all who have shone a light on your path and don’t forget to be your own guru!
To learn more about money management, discuss all things money with a community of financially independent women and get personalised guided investing, sign-up for Basis now. India’s only personal finance platform focussed on women.