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Of tiffin boxes and financial prudence

Updated: Jan 26

Red and blue tickers scrolling on the financial TV channel. Hosts and experts discussing money, economy and jargons that seem incomprehensible. Investing seems all technical. In reality, it is an opportunity for everybody to live the life we want to and fly free. In our series how they did it, we present stories of people who found freedom and stability with investing. Here is the empowering tale of Sowmya Sridharan as she says it.

When I carried my tiffin during my student days, little did I know that I was already nudged into the path of financial prudence. I never paid for my food while I studied, but in the back of my mind, I always knew that my father was the sole breadwinner for the family. He, not only had a strong belief in investments, but he also ensured that we learned that a penny saved is a penny earned.

Being blessed with a financially prudent father comes with a whole host of benefits. It made me start investing on the day my first salary got credited. When I look back now, after eight years of professional accounting experience, I find myself much more cushioned to sail myself through the current career break that has lasted over two years now. All thanks to the constant voice of my father in my mind that asks me to think twice before I spend. It is because of this voice, I can afford a career break when I am 36.

All I know about investing is from him. He used to buy stocks two days before salary was credited to my account. Payday was literally to pay on T+2 for stocks. After having invested in stocks for so many years, I believe I am a fair risk-taker. I feel the returns on fixed deposit (FD) grow slow, hence I chose stocks over FDs.

I have recently made a few investments in mutual funds, I did this to add some new investments to my portfolio and to spread risk. I am studying more and researching more to look for newer investment options as I believe in putting the dough in different moulds to break the monotony. My whole purpose of doing all this is to be able to grow my savings for a better retirement and also to provide for travelling.

Well, investing does come with its own set of lessons. Equities especially come with a fairly higher risk. I must confess that I made some bad choices, but overall my portfolio looks and is doing good. I also realise that it is better to invest in some form or the other rather than wait n keep aside money without letting it grow.

If I could travel back in time, when I was 25 again, I would have wanted to realise that it’s better to come out of a bad investment earlier than wait for it to improve. I have a stock that has just gone from bad to worse 10 years hence, but I look at it more as a lesson learnt.

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