If the title appears somewhat full of contradictions to you, it is not unusual because you have always wanted to be Rich first so that you can then Relax with the comforts acquired (possessions, wealth and what they can buy), till you got fairly used to them (and they lost some shine), wanted more (better or variants) of the same and reached a stage where you started questioning everything (or were so told by the more learned ones to question!) and started looking for Peace of mind.
Well things need not be in that order and you can have all the THREE together. Sounds incredible! The simple explanations are:
1. Secure your basic needs, food, clothing and shelter, taking into account your own financial status (real and not based on aspirations)
2. Understand that a ‘truly rich’ person has expenses lesser than income. Someone earning Rupees 1,00,000 monthly, with an expense of Rupees 1,10,000 would be poorer than a person earning, Rupees 25,000 and having an expense of Rupees 20,000 in the same period.
3. Prepare a budget, with some saving planned and FOLLOW IT.
4. Understand the difference between Assets and Liabilities clearly. Very simply speaking, an investment bringing in revenue is an Asset and the one requiring an outflow of funds (expense) is a Liability.
(Source for points 2,4 is the book Rich Dad Poor Dad)
5. Understand simple rules of income and wealth tax planning so that maximum rebates legally allowed can be availed. Save for the above on regular monthly basis and do not wait for the year end (blues)
6. Save regularly in safe instruments like P.P.F, Life Insurance, Medical Insurance (very important to cover unforeseen medical expenses besides tax saving), ULIP s through the systematic investment route.
7. Plan for the retirement and children’s education through appropriate insurance policies taken at an early age.
8. Understand your own risk and age profile-simple rule is that you can take higher risk when you are younger.
9. Follow Warren Buffet’s advise for stock market investments ‘when others are greedy, be cautious and when others are cautious, be greedy’. You need to be VERY CAREFUL and never follow a herd mentality.
10. Buy Cheap (economically) to be Rich. Buffet is known to tire the sellers through persistent negotiations and good knowledge till he gets a deal at the rock bottom price. You too can do the same.
11.Listen to all advice, but have a healthy skepticism for the ‘Financial Solution Providers’. Nothing wrong with them, but they have their own agendas as well, besides your interest. (Personal or Corporate)
12. Understand the power of Compounding and start saving as soon as you start earning.
13. Always aim to ‘Get More Bang Out of Your Buck’ and be on the lookout for stretching the buying power of your money. As the saying goes ‘ Marwari businessmen get Five Quarters worth of value out of every Rupee’ as against the normal Four Quarters worth.
14. Do not be shy to learn, the above trait is not hereditary, it can be learnt / acquired.
15. Pay Cash and do not subscribe to a lifestyle based on loans (E.M.I). DO NOT MOTGAGE YOUR FUTURE FOR TODAY.
16. Use Credit Cards where essential, e.g. travel and hotel bookings and not for lifestyle purchases. This will lead to excessive and impulse buying, creating undue pressure.
17. To get thrill from your acquisitions, work, save and plan for them so that you can look forward to acquiring them one by one. Very affluent societies take many material possessions as granted and hence are either in the race for more or bigger liabilities (note difference between assets and liabilities) or become disillusioned and start looking for ‘meaning of life’ through other means.
Economic independence should be your aim and you can achieve it by not only increasing your earning power, but by controlling your expenses, providing for the future and being debt free.
This roadmap, if followed will help protect and enhance your wealth, keep you Relaxed as you would not be in the race to ‘Keep Up With The Joneses’ and would not be worried about the next call from the bank (EMI).
Enjoy what you have acquired and be at Peace! Amen.