Today’s article is going to be very very basic. It’s one of the lessons which we should teach our kids when are growing up. The question is “Why Invest money at all?”
A lot of investors are not very serious when it comes to save enough money and invest it properly so that it grows well. A lot of investors are quite consumed in their life and don’t deal with this conversation fully. Only after years of working they realise that they have done a very bad job when it comes to investing their money.
I thank Mandar Rane to raise this question in Ashal Jauhari facebook group and shared what he faces with his siblings and many connected to him
X+Y years theory – Why you should invest money at all ?
There is a simple conversation which I think everyone should go through once. I call it as X+Y theory. Its very simple.
Every person will be living for X+Y years in total.
X is the number of years when they will go to work and bring back money to pay their bills and acquire all they want to enjoy (movies, clothes, eating out, travel, food, fees). This is mostly ACTIVE income and money will come only when you work.
Y is the number of years, which we will spend without earning. We will still need food, clothes, travel, eating out and various other things, but the problem is we will not be working in those years, either by choice or mostly because we are unable to. Now where will the money come in that phase? The money has to come from somewhere?
So you mainly invest so that you create enough wealth which can last your Y years. I know I am making retirement planning very jazzy at this moment, But NO, this is just going one level deeper and answering the basic question of “Why should I invest at all?”
Note that when we are in X yrs phase, we are not too much concerned about the Y yrs, because the X yrs phase itself has many issues. Kids , House, job, health, parents, relationships and many issues which keeps us occupied enough and only when we approach the Y phase, we are bit scared and tensed, but then it gets too late.
3 basic level reasons you should invest your money?
Below I will talk of primary level issues why one should invest their money to grow in future. And when I say grow your money, I am not talking about saving it in bank account, I mean talking about really letting it grow beyond inflation.
1. Because of Inflation
The most basic reason to invest your money is to protect it from Inflation. Your money will decrease after many years in its purchasing power. A Rs 100 note will not be able to buy the same thing in future, what it can buy today. So you need to invest money properly so that you are able to at least buy the same quantity tomorrow or preferably a larger quantity.
2. Financial Independence
This is exactly what I was talking above. I am sure everyone want to work, but not becoming money slave’s. If you do not invest your money, you will never be able to create a corpus of money you can rely on, and will never be able to get free from your work. If you want to make sure your reason to go to job should be “because I love my job” and not “I need to pay my bills, I am helpless”, then start building that corpus as soon as possible.
And I am not talking about cutting down your desires and entertainment. Do all that, but also start creating that corpus. Keep a balance.
3. Reach your life goals
If you earn Rs 100 per month, and you need Rs 50 for some purpose suddenly you can surely handle is somehow. But what if you need Rs 5000, but you earn only Rs 100? In that case, you need to make sure you have accumulated that amount before hand, slowly and steadily.
We all know some of our financial responsibilities will be coming up in distant future and they would need a big amount. Things like house downpayment, children college education, marriage and many other things like that. If you do not invest, how will you fund those goals? It’s as simple as that.
You are sum of your experiences in life
A lot of youngsters have seen their parents struggle for money and their mindset is already set in a way that they understand the importance of saving properly and growing their money. However a big number of people have had a bad relationship with money. They live paycheck to paycheck, splurge beyond the limit and are careless enough when it comes to money.
A lot of people might say that they are just stupid to act like that and are highly careless and irresponsible. But I think its just a matter of lack of financial literacy or their way of looking at life is different. Everyone is raised differently in their lives and we all have difference experiences. We become what we experience at some level. If you save enough or do not save enough, at the end its just has an outcome which you need to be aware about. That’s all.
How to teach this lesson to your kids (and some adults)?
The simplest way to teach this lesson to small children is to tell them the Ant and Grasshopper story. It’s one of the most simple and powerful stories.
Here is the story for those who can’t see the video
In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
When the winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.
Then the Grasshopper knew… It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.
Invest early and with discipline
To get the maximum benefit, make sure you start your investments as early as possible. Even if it’s small in the start, that’s ok. At least you will prepare yourself to invest bigger amount in future if you at least invest small amounts in the start. You will build some wealth (even though its small) and build your mindset to invest regularly.