Women should take charge of their destiny–their careers, their home, children and, importantly, their financials. I firmly believe that all women can be great money managers.
During this Navratri festival, as we celebrate the special nine days, I would like to share how I have drawn lessons from the nine avatars of Maa Durga and how I have applied those to my personal financial planning.
Day 1: Shailputri
Dedication and discipline: Shailaputri symbolises dedication, spiritual awakening and strength. Applying that to finance, I have deduced that I must be dedicated and disciplined in setting my financial goals. The first step in financial planning is to assess my income and expenditure and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Adjustable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals, which I can then classify into short-term, mid-term and long-term.
Day 2: Brahmacharini
Composure and patience: Brahmacharini defines a calm and composed state of mind that overcomes greed and is patient enough to delay gratification. So, in my financial planning, I have to be disciplined with my investments and not be distracted by all the chatter about fluctuations and trends. My financial needs are unique; I must stick to what will work for me.
Day 3: Chandraghanta
Vigilance and focus: Chandraghanta signifies vigilance, clarity and readiness to face any situation. I must always be vigilant about what is happening globally and in India. I must know how it will impact the market and my investments. This awareness is all the more essential when I have invested in high-yielding instruments.
Day 4: Kushmanda
Clarity and planning: Kushmanda is the creator and resides in the core of the sun, bringing the world into light. My financial planning is the creator of my wealth, and must bring light to my financial world. My financial plan gives me better control over my investments and helps create a good corpus for a secure and bright future. It includes my goals, my debts, my assets, etc. It is robust enough to survive market fluctuations. The plan encompasses critical components such as estate planning, retirement planning, insurance coverage, wealth building, financial journey mapping, emergency fund creation and more. Yes, my plan lights up my world.
Day 5: Skandmata
Decision and action: Skandmata embodies the integration of wisdom and execution–taking wise decisions and acting against evil. I apply this to my financial planning by taking informed, unbiased decisions and executing those decisions promptly, efficiently. I must remain mindful of my goals, risk appetite, investment horizon and financial situation. Else, it would harm my portfolio.
Day 6: Katyayani
Knowledge and awareness: Katyayini, the avatar worshipped on the sixth day, epitomises the fearless and benevolent nature of the Goddess and her powerful vision. I have empowered myself by acquiring financial knowledge and improving my financial literacy. These are my weapons to battle the volatile, unpredictable market. I am aware and I know how to make informed and timely decisions.
Day 7: Kaalaratri
Change and cleansing: All evil and negative forces are destroyed by Kaalaratri, the fiercest of Her avatars. I adapt this avatar's nature to my financial planning by eliminating all investments that are underperforming for long and thus weakening my portfolio. I frequently review my financial plan because change is inevitable. My plan must change in tandem with the changes in my life and in the money market.
Day 8: Mahagauri
Review and unburdening: Mahagauri liberates her devotees from their sins and blesses them. In financial terms, I should take stock of my debts and get rid of them soon, especially those with a high interest rate. Loans are necessary at times, but repayment plans should be in place. Unless I repay on or before time, my credit score will be sullied.
Day 9: Siddhidatri
Anticipation and confidence: Siddhidatri bestows "siddhi", or well-being, everlasting wisdom, and a sense of fulfilment and achievement. She blesses everyone with the strength to tackle challenging situations. I have contingency or emergency funds to deal with life's constant challenges. Also, I have additional funds for my children's education and my retirement. I do not leave this to my spouse, but I contribute equally. This gives our family the confidence that together we can tackle any evil asura life may unleash on us.
Thank you, Maa!
We are not blessed with divine avatars but all of us multitasking women do play multiple roles at home and outside. Let us be grateful to Maa Durga for giving us the knowledge and the ability to handle every situation with dignity and grace. When things get overwhelming, let us evoke the lessons of the different avatars and help one another.
It has worked for me. I am sure it will work for you too. I will be happy to help you commence your financial planning journey on this auspicious occasion.
I wish you all Happy Navratri!
Sneha is VP Corporate Partnerships at IMMPL and India’s first woman Certified Financial Transitionist - CeFT®. Sneha has been recognized as one of "The Top 100 Women in Finance 2020" by The Association of International Wealth Management of India (AIWMI). You can reach her at Linkedin.