This Gandhi Jayanti, one should recall the principles espoused by the most famous freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi. The barrister-turned-political leader was a great admirer of non-violence and kindness in everyday life.
Unlike most activists who propagate the virtues of aggression to meet their political ends, he managed to defeat the British through non-violent battle that was largely steered by satyagraha and non-cooperation.
No wonder then he was rightfully awarded with the title of Mahatma, a prefix given by Rabindranath Tagore as he tried to encapsulate Gandhi’s virtues in one word.
Here we recollect some of the key teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and draw some money lessons from them.
5 money lessons to learn from Gandhiji’s principles
Truth: Be it the real world or the business world, truth is a potent force. The organisations that adhere to truthfulness and honesty are likely to be around for a long haul. Investing in the stock of a company that does honest business dealings is advisable vis-à-vis the one that delivers higher returns in the short term at the expense of long-term sustainability.
You could also explore the option of investing in ESG companies.
Satyagraha: When an investment goes wrong, make peace with yourself, don’t lose rational thinking. Aggression or irrational decisions won’t take you anywhere. It would only further complicate the situation.
Non-violence: Gandhi famously wrote, “God is truth. The way to truth lies through ahimsa.” When the market sees red or a stock crashes, it is not recommended to panic. It could merely be a blip. The market and the stock price could recover in a short term. And if it still doesn’t recover, you can then plan your next move.
Compassion: It’s alright to make mistakes while making investment. Instead of regretting a wrong investment, and calling it quits or abandoning the sector (infra or technology) or category (small cap or mid cap) altogether, one should instead feel compassionate and let go of past errors of commission or omission.
Also, when a company suffers a loss on account of an error of judgement by the management, one should stay invested so long as the management is capable and credible. As they say, ‘to err is human’.
Kindness: Don’t be too aggressive while curating your portfolio. An ideal portfolio contains equity, debt and safe havens such as precious metals or fixed deposits in the right proportion which align with your age and risk appetite.
In effect, you should be kinder to your portfolio. When losses mount in one category of investment, they can be recouped by the growth in other safer assets.