“There is no perfect moment to start investing. Just start,” says personal finance expert Monika Halan in this episode of Money With Monika. “It takes very little to start investing as much as just ₹500/month in a mutual fund SIP,” adds Monika. She explains to viewers why investing early will allow them to reap the benefits of compounding over the long term. Monika Halan is consulting editor with Mint and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’. Money With Monika is a weekly personal finance show published on livemint.com
We just don’t get the big picture. The more I talk to people about money, the clearer it is that we compartmentalize our money lives so tightly that we totally fail to see the big picture. Every conversation with whoever I meet now swings around to money. People share their stories, their worries and their fears. They share the power equation within home that money causes. While housewives have always shared stories of the skewed power money equation, working women have equally scary stories. That’s because those who earn more than men have a triple burden—to manage work, home and the male ego. But most often the usual story is the fuzziness about how we think about money and how we simply are not able to see the whole money story.
Why mutual funds? That’s the question personal finance expert Monika Halan, consulting editor of Mint and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’, answers in this episode of ‘Money with Monika’.Mutual fund investments do come with risks, she says, but it’s a gamble worth making for a diverse, and more lucrative, investment portfolio—be it for a seasoned investor or a beginner taking her first steps in financial planning. See mutual funds as a buffet, Monika Halan says, and invest as per your taste.For more videos from Money With Monika series, click here >>
Vijaya Pushkarna writes this great review of Let’s Talk Money in The Week
“Monika Halan is a familiar face on television, giving tips on personal finance. Recently at a cafe in Auroville, she bumped into a man who told her she was the reason he was there, living his dream life. An Army officer, he had called her a few years ago to tell her he wanted to take early retirement, and she had told him his money was “enough to go free”. She gave him investment tips, too.
In her new book, Let’s Talk Money: You’ve Worked Hard for It, Now Make It Work for You, Halan shares what she has told the former Army officer and others like him. But she cautions that her book is not going to make anyone rich overnight, and has nothing exclusive in it. True, on both counts. Nowhere does she use the words ‘get rich’; the carefully chosen words are “empowerment and financial freedom”.”
Let’s talk money. When was the last time you said this to anybody other than while finalizing a deal? But money, and our relationship with it—our fears, greed, insecurities and over-confidence—define who we are and what we do. Paradoxically, talking about money has been frowned upon as gross in families and social situations. The rich are called “filthy rich”. “Being above money” has been an aspirational moral position for most of middle India.
Much of this attitude has roots in a deeply poor country with limited avenues for honest wealth creation. The Bollywood smuggler of the 1970s had his bungla, gaadi and daulat, but not his mum. Today, the mum has her own life along with her own bungalow, car and wealth. And no, she does not want to play nanny to your leaking kids.
When we think of a book on money and its management, we think of pie charts and bar charts. We think of boring jargon-filled text. Let’s Talk Moneytries to smash all these notions and brings the reader a book that is a slice of their lives. It aims to help the reader build financial security without the usual fear-mongering or guilt-tripping about enjoying a Starbucks at work every day. Edited excerpts:
Super review by R Jagannathan in Swarajya magazine.
“This may be an overstatement, but it is probably true that most Indians are bad at managing their personal finances. And one is not talking only about people who use their credit cards as if there is no tomorrow, go for inappropriate insurance policies, invest in real estate or gold for the wrong reasons, buy stocks on the basis of inside information, or people who generally don’t save for their retirement till it is almost too late.
The truth is, even the financially literate, people who dabble in money day in and day out, can sometimes make huge mistakes based on ego – I know what I am doing; after all, I give others advice on where to put their money. I know, for I was one of them. I invested large sums regularly in the National Pension Scheme (NPS) on the assumption that no law would be daft enough to tax 100 per cent of withdrawals on maturity (usually at age 60, but which can be extended); I assumed that the tax, at best, would be on the gains made on my investment. Well, I was wrong, and ended up losing money on the NPS a year ahead of the time when taxation on withdrawals was made more rational.”