When we were in college together and for some years after that it was easy for us to meet at the drop of a message. Then we went our different ways.
A few years ago, we decided to meet every Independence Day—a common holiday for all. This year, of course, with the country’s 76th Independence Day falling in the middle of a long weekend, each of us had travel plans with families.
That’s why we met last week. And you know what we discussed? Independence, financial independence! While both these friends are also clients, I consciously avoid playing advisor during our informal meets. Their debates, always educational and often entertaining, rarely need, or heed advice.
Here are some snippets
Have enough, invest, watch
“I think financial freedom is about having enough money, that’s all!” said my friend, a senior executive with a large firm.
“But what is enough money?” countered the entrepreneur.
“Look, I know you are a big businessman, and I cannot compare myself with you.”
“That’s exactly my point. It is never a question of comparison. Everyone has different needs, and you are financially free if you have enough to meet your evolving needs.”
“All of us have goals. Something we want to do or achieve. So, we skip some comforts until we get it. Easy!”
“As if everything goes as we want or plan! Even if you provide for a rainy day as they say, in these times can you predict how much it would rain, when, where and for how long? Remember Covid?”
“So, freedom is all about having enough money in the bank and always being prepared for the unknown?”
“Come on! You know that money loses value if it just stays idle. It must be invested in the right assets so that it grows and keeps ahead of inflation.”
“So, choose the right assets, invest, keep some for emergencies and you are independent?”
“The markets can be worse than the weather. You can’t invest and forget it. You must keep monitoring and be ready to make changes.”
“That means some priorities may have to change? Even drop some goals?”
“Or it could be just a matter of changing the sequence.”
“That sounds very complex. Thank God for this guy who is taking care of our money.”
Raise the flag of financial independence
I was still gratefully acknowledging their compliments when they turned to designing a financial independence flag.
“Let’s start with the colours of our Indian flag. Saffron signifies strength and courage. So, we should know our capacity and take risks within that. White is for peace and truth. So, you be honest with what you have and what you want. And stop comparing your financial situation with that of another, so that you can stay at peace. Green is for fertility and growth. You must plant your money right and carefully monitor its growth.”
“That sounds good. What do you say?” Again, they did not wait for my opinion.
“Now we need three words to put on the flag, to describe financial independence. I suggest: Earn, Invest, Monitor.”
“I think Able, Aware, Alert would work better.”
“That is good. Just that we must quickly respond to the market. So, let’s make it Able, Aware, Agile.”
Then they both stopped and looked at me expectantly. I saluted their Independence Day spirit and suggested it was time to leave before people at home raised some red flags.
Note: MoneyTales of Lovaii with MintGenie is a series that helps investors make better sense of their money. Our aim is to help you make better saving and spending choices.