Remember Sushmita Sen posing with a huge rock on her finger in her 2016 Instagram post, “A diamond is forever. I gifted myself a while ago”, adding how she buys her own diamonds and does not allow anyone to gift her anything. The famous Instagram post that went viral mainly because of the sheer size of the diamond on her finger reminds us of the adage, “When a woman works hard, a man with money is a bonus, not a ladder to upgrade”.
Love is undoubtedly an enduring emotion. Valentine’s Day is a shout-out to all those who are in love. However, the question that constantly nags on everyone’s mind is, “Do you really need a partner to fall in love?”. Most importantly, why not love yourself more this year? In a society that lacks clarity on relationships, the new idea of love must be “Love thyself: Be your own valentine”.
There are myriad ways of showing self-love. You can book yourself a comfortable spa session or spend some time deciding which metal or stone suits you best or maybe, splurge on some investments that will earn you enough money to sport one such dazzling rock on your finger or lend you the desired financial independence in time.
To start with, “How do you define love?”. Love is a feeling that frees and binds you both. This year, decide to show love to yourself in a way that frees you of financial dependence on others. However, for this, you must bind yourself to the idea of earning, saving and investing more.
Pick up a skill this Valentine’s Day
On the same planet that we all share with each other, why do some people earn more than others? None of them was born with magic wands between their fingers, yet you will fall short of numbers to count their money. They are able to earn more because they use their skills to the optimum. It is necessary to be skilful and adept in what you do. It is only then you will find ways to earn more or develop passive income sources that add to your daily earnings.
We all look for a special day to celebrate our achievements. Why not dedicate this day to deciding which new skill you will learn to advance your career? The web allows you access to various in-demand skills that you may go through and decide which you want to pick up.
Manju Dhake, VP-Insurance, 1finance.co.in said, “There is no one specific set of skills that is unique to women's success, as success in any field is largely dependent on an individual's own strengths, interests, and experiences. Women have always been considered an embodiment of intellect and virtue, with ancient Vedic scriptures advocating for their empowerment.”
She added, “In order to foster growth and success, a woman should possess three important skills - Education, Wisdom, and Self-Awareness. In addition to these three important skills, women should also possess the knowledge and make use of their technical and analytical skills. The Bhagavad Gita and the Rigveda both state that women are as capable as men of achieving liberation, and that they play a crucial role in society by providing the right knowledge.”
Love thy health
Move beyond the yearning for smooth skin and bright cheeks. It’s time to focus on your health. But wait! Do you have an adequate health insurance plan to pay for your hospital bills and subsequent medical treatment? What if you fall ill but have not saved enough to pay for your medicines or an unforeseen surgery?
With healthcare costs shooting through the roof, it makes sense to have a plan in place. While many strong independent women boast of having a good emergency corpus, is the money still enough to relieve you of pain and diseases that you may be diagnosed with?
It’s time to take charge of your health. It’s time to realize that no man will come running to you just to pay your hospital bills. You are on your own and, hence, must ensure that your intentional abstinence from marriage does not refrain you from securing your health in the long run.
Salonee Sanghvi, Founder, My Wealth Guide - a boutique wealth management firm said, “As a woman, we play multiple roles - first as daughter, sister and then spouse, mother, employee, businesswoman etc. Women often end up putting others first, ignoring their own health. Not to mention, women also live longer. A medical emergency can wreak havoc, putting a strain on family finances. Today we see many young people also facing serious health issues. I highly recommend you protect yourself by buying health insurance this Valentine’s Day.”
Check your investments
What kind of investor are you? Are you the complacent kind who is satisfied with meagre earnings from bank deposits and debt funds or have you advanced to the shocking world of equities that lends many the experience of being glued to the seats of a Ferris wheel?
Check the kinds of equity investments that will yield you the kind of returns you are looking for sans the stress of being subject to extreme highs and lows in the stock market. If you have no knowledge of how the market works or how to compare mutual funds’ performance, you may as well put your money in index funds.
Index fund investing suits best suited to newcomers who are keen to explore the market without being too involved in its daily nitty gritty. Deepali Sen, founder partner, Srujan Financial Services LLP (a Mutual Fund Distributor), “Index investments are meant for investors wanting low-cost equity participation in the growth of the economy. A first-timer is better off starting with broad-based indices like Nifty 50, Sensex, S&P BSE 150 MidCap Index and S&P BSE 250 SmallCap Index. Industry-specific indices can be looked at as the second step, keeping in mind that unlike the well-diversified broad-based indexes the industry-specific ones are higher in risk.”
She added, “Also, one can look at an asset allocation like 70-80 per cent in large caps, 10-15 per cent in mid-caps and 5-10 per cent in small caps depending on the risk appetite and the impending goals. For investing in equity index funds, the investor should have a time horizon of 5 years plus and ideally one should invest in a staggered way over one time/lump sum investments.”
You may then graduate to other equity fund options like blue-chip, flexi-cap, or small-cap funds. Slowly and steadily, you will see your investment portfolio grow in size and strength. Patience and due diligence will enable you to allocate your money to many such funds that will help you create wealth in the long run. However, you must be steadfast with your investments. Do not leave your investments halfway out of fear and unwarranted illusion. Patience is the key to building wealth as much as continuity in your investments.
Express your love with gold
You know that gold looks good on you. Then, this Valentine’s Day, why not adorn yourself with dazzling yellow metal? Unlike the clichéd marriage advice that women must don ornaments to please their husbands, you must use this day to buy some gold for yourself. Apart from gold being a tangible asset, it is the continuously increasing value of gold that will add shine to your portfolio.
However, if you are looking for a carefree purchase of gold wherein you do not have to care much about its storage and portability, you may as well invest in gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or gold funds. These investments in electronic gold will ensure that your portfolio shines as bright as you. Alternatively, you may also opt for sovereign gold bonds (SGBs), wherein you benefit from the half-yearly interest income and rise in gold prices.
Priyanka Wadhwa, Co-Owner, Kapila Krishi Udyog Limited & Co-founder, CommsCredible says, “As women become more financially independent, they are also making important life decisions. In recent years, the government too has rolled out women empowerment schemes that have further paved the way for a more inclusive society. Be it mutual funds, bonds or other financial products, women are steadily making smart investments to financially secure their future.”
She added, “For women who wish to celebrate this relationship with themselves and explore long-term investment options, there are a number of smart choices to make this Valentine’s Day. Investing in gold ETFs and gold-saving funds is one of them. As passive investment instruments based on gold prices, they are less expensive than physical gold investments. Gold has always been considered a safe haven asset.”
Wadhwa also shared, “However since they are in electronic form, gold ETFs and gold-saving funds are safe and cost-efficient gold investment vehicles. Women investors even have the flexibility to start investing as low as ₹1000; it's a great asset to be in today's financially savvy women's portfolio. It glitters digitally and ensures the valentine sparks financial growth for women beyond the looks.”
From cultivating new skills to building on the old, use this day to work on yourself. Complacence does not do much good unless you have decided to accept mendicancy or dwell in a forest as sages do.
Life is real; there is no harm in holding on to materialistic views. Instead of cribbing or longing for a woman, use this Valentine’s Day to work on bettering your lifestyle.