What are the important elements of setting your financial goals?

POSTED BY manish ON May 19, 2010 COMMENTS (72)

One of the most important part of financial planning is setting financial goals. The first step involved is to know where you want to go ?

If you have no goals set , then you will be randomly investing and as your goals in life comes along the way, you fulfill them. It can happen many times that you are not prepared and some important goals is near by, however you didn’t give much thought to it from many years or months and at the end you have to take decisions in hurry, which you don’t want to take.

Financial goals

By setting your financial goals in advance you can get a good idea of what lies in future and start preparation for it (Goal of financial planning)

What is goal setting ?

Goal setting is a process of defining your goals in Life. There are many important and intuitive characteristics of any goal, which makes it SMART . Lets see what those 5 important element of goal setting is .

Specific : Your goals should be specific and not a very general one, It should contain detailed information and should not leave a room for further questions.5 “I want to buy a house” is a very general goal , however “I want to buy a 3 BHK Flat in Karvenagar area in Pune costing around 35 lacs within next 5 yrs” is a more specific goal which gives a clear picture to you . Look at returns from Real Estate in India

Measurable :ย  Your goals should be measurable in terms of “How many” or “How much”. It should not happen that you have a rough idea of the goal. Many people I talk with; say “I want to buy a big house”. It’s a great thing to dream for a big house, but at some point in life you will actually decide the actual size and how many rooms and what will be the area.

Not having a clear view means no idea of how much it will cost and then you can’t save for it properly. “I want to buy a 4 BHK house in 5 yrs” will mean you can exactly find out how much you need to save per month so that you can achieve the goal with higher accuracy, you should be able to track your goal.

That means goal being measurable .

goal setting in financial planning

Achievable : This mainly means that your goals should be achievable given your current situation. When financial planners start working with some client, one of the major issues is targeting unrealistic goals in life. Just because you are hiring a financial planner does not mean that he is a magician and will somehow create a strategy for you .

If you are saving Rs 20,000/ month , dont target “3 BHK House in 5 years without loan” as one of the goal because it’s not possible given your current situation. If you put a lot of unattainable goals, the first thing is you will not be able to define how you can achieve them in the first hand.

Relevent : What will happen, if you always wanted to become IAS officer, whereas your goal is “To crack CAT exam” ?

If this happens , you will start with some enthusiasm in start but at some point, it would be tough to sustain the enthusiasm and energy, because that’s not you really wish to and even if you some day achieve that goal which you planned, it would not make sense because it’s not aligned with your life objectives.

This is very much true for financial goals also. You have to make sure your goals are very much what you wish in life .

Lets see some of my personal goals in life .

a) As I like to travel a lot so I would like to generate enough money in next 15-20 yrs , so that I can travel to different countries every 6 months .

b) I would like to build a Farm Land by year 2035, where I can personally do “Vegetable Agriculture”. (I personally have experience of growing things like corn, potato, tomato, carrots, radish, peanuts, cabbage, cauliflower, chana, almost all green vegetables, pulses, peas , onion , garlic) . Yes I have done it in UP at my hometown as a hobby. Do you know hybrid tomato seeds can cost upto Rs 75,000/KG ๐Ÿ™‚ so we bought 1 gm ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

c) I would not like to save much for my child marriage, as I would like to encourage them for love marriage and settle things with a simple ceremony , that’s all . I dont believe in lavish marriges anyways .

d) I have no long-term goals of buying house, I would rather like to live in rent for long and build a corpus in pure equity + debt . If things changes and one day I feel real estate is something which should really be part of my portfolio, I will change my mind .

vegSeriously, do you want to buy that 55 lacs flat which is ‘almost’ out of city and commands a rental yield of not even 3% ? Do you ?

Timely : Imagine your goal is like “I would like to buy car of 5 lacs”, Fine ! . Now what do you do ? Do you save 5,000ย  per month or 20,000 and for how long , It’s important to set a time line so that you have a clear idea of how much does it take to achieve some goal. You can calculate the investment needed for that (See how to calculate) .

Example of Goal setting

Very simple way of doing this is to categorize your goals in Short Term , Mid Term and Long Term and each of them will have “High Priority” and “Low Priority” . This way you have a clear idea of what is important and first preference in all the time frame , For example .

  • “I want to buy a Car worth 6 lacs in next 5 yrs, which can accommodate around 5-6 people” can be a High priority , Mid Term goal , where as
  • “I would like to take a 2 weeks vacation in Kerela with my family worth 50k , can be a Low priority, Mid term goal .

Let us see the full example of Goal settings

 

 

High Priority

 

Low Priority

 

Short Term (<3

yrs)

 

  • Sister Marriage contribution: 3 lacs in 2012
  • Buy a Car in 2013 : Rs 3.5 lacs
Mid Term (3-6

yrs)

 

  • Initial Child Expenses : Rs 2 lacs in 2015
  • Abroad vacation with spouse : 5 lacs in 2016
  • Invest in a unique startup idea in year 2016 : Rs 2 lacs
Long Term (7+

yrs)

 

  • Child Higher Education : 40 lacs in 2035
  • 60% down payment money for a house : Rs 45 lacs in 2025
  • Retirement Corpus : 5 crores in 2035
  • House in a small town : Rs 15 lacs in 2025
  • Passive monthly income of Rs 50,000 per month starting in year 2030

You might want to look at subra’s post on Financial Resolution , it gives a good idea of how you should start and stick to financial goals .

Importance of Goal Setting with an Example

Even though it looks nonsense,ย  you need to understand its importance and its impact. Financial Planning is all about achieving goals in the best possible manner by considering your current situation. If you do not have a goal set with some target amount and target date, then you don’t have a clear idea of reaching there.

Imagine a goal of “Child Education” which costs Rs 10 lacs in today’s value. If your target date is after 25 yrs, then considering a 10% education inflation (historically it stands at 10%), the target amount will be 1.08 crores { 10 X (1 + 10% ) ^ 25 }. Now lets take 3 scenarios with return assumption of 12% per annum .

1) You plan for it and start saving for next 25 yrs

In this case , you will have to save Rs 5,710 per month for next 25 yrs . So you can start an SIP today and consistently start investing for this goal . If you get 12% over long-term , and you do not deviate from your goal and consistently invest with discipline , you can reach the target .

2) You plan for it and save more in the starting years

In this case , lets assume you can save more money in the starting 10 yrs and then do leave your money to grow for next 15 yrs , then you just need to save 7,800 per month for next 10 yrs and then leave the money to grow for next 15 yrs .

3) You do not plan for it and start saving at later point

Incase you do not plan for it and lose the starting years of your earning life and once your child is 9-10 yrs old (suppose you lose 10 yrs) and then you start thinking about the higher education , then to meet the same goal you need to save 21,500 per month for next 15 yrs .

Learning

The most important learning we should take from this article is that planning for a goal gives a direction and enables us to start thinking in that direction. We spread out the effort of achieving that goal in different stages, rather than struggling at the end when that goal is near .

Comments , share your thoughts on setting financial goals , what are the problems in real life which does not encourage us for setting the goals in this manner , Is it realistic ?

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72 replies on this article “What are the important elements of setting your financial goals?”

  1. Douglas R. Hodgins says:

    The process of setting financial goals is an interesting one Manish.

    At the beginning, you need to dream a bit to become aware of the possibilities.

    Later on, you’ll narrow your goals and make them S.M.A.R.T.. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

    For more ideas on how to articulate financial goals read this article:

    http://www.mdrmoney.com/setting-achieveable-money-goals-interview-transcript

  2. sanjay says:

    Manish your articles remind me of my very first exposure to pornography. i read your article one month back … first one for me and i m hooked, now i have read almost entire archive of jagoinvester
    god bless you
    sanjay

    1. Sanjay

      Haha .. thats a hilarious comment ๐Ÿ™‚ . Keep it up !

      Manish

  3. SK patil says:

    Hi,

    I want open PPF and NPS account

    Pls. advice first whether the decision is right?
    If right how to open with procedure

    Thanks

    1. PRALAY says:

      two options are good. But to how much it is useful to you, its very important to know your age(if you are comfortable).
      If you are young investor, i thnk your priority should be to invest in PPF and rest of the amount in a balanced mutual Fund through SIP.
      Even after this if you still have ceratin lumpsum amount then to achieve short – term goal you can consider 1-2 yrs FD( bcz still FDs are giving 9-10 % return.

      Thnks.

  4. Nandakishore says:

    yes Financial goals helps are necassary.You explained it in simple and nice way.setting goal is right to achieve financial success.

    1. Nandakishore

      thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. wayne says:

    I totally agree with the SMART goal concept, and also breaking down your goals into short term VS long term goal planning. However the one element that much often over looked with respect to goal setting is the element of faith and belief either in yourself or in God that you will achieve what you set out to achieve.

    Irrespective of one’s spiritual or belief views-you have to harness the faith and belief in yourself and in God to move foward. If you can believe it you can achieve it. Conversely, if you don’t believe you will-more likely than not you won’t.

    Best-

    Wayne

    1. wayne

      Agree with you , Its faith only which makes sure you dont take bad decisions in tough times and dont deviate from your goals .

      Manish

  6. Saira says:

    Hi Manish,

    Great Article..really opened my eyes on “Goal Setting”.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

    -Saira

    1. Saira

      Great to hear that ๐Ÿ™‚ . What are your loan term goals ?

      Manish

  7. Srinivas says:

    Hi Manish,

    You have explained the basics of financial planning in an excellent way. Keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Srinivas

  8. dr kishan says:

    manish
    posting it here although this may not be the correct place for it:
    by the way some regulatory changes in ULIPS from IRDA
    http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cnbc-tv18-comments/irda-to-rectify-flawsulips_459494.html
    please start a news wire on ur column so that any new info can be accomodated and spread around

    dr kishan

  9. dr kishan says:

    dear manish
    a very grass root level article indeed. its really necessary to plan out our lives with respect to needs and requirements. Its the destination which decides the route, isn’t it.
    wanted to ask u for a long time. people always quote “retirement corpus” or “children corpus” and such things, right? is there a difference in the strategy for saving for different goals? what i understand by basic logic is that whatever the goal the strategy for investment will be same for different goals except for the time factor- short term goals requiring investments in Debt and long term investments requiring equity based savings. is there any other difference? i may take a child benefit plan or a retirement benefit plan or a ULIP, all are based on insurance(or annuity) + a equity-debt combo package, right? then why so many different schemes etc.
    u always discourage Unit linked investment plans as they are costly and always are pro-MFs. thus what i understand is whatever the long term goal i make, the ingredients for the strategy of investment remains the same, isn’t it?

    am i correct or is there something i’m missing?. why the different names for the same strategy is it just market gimmicks by companies or anything else

    @hemant
    welcome back. i was missing your comments for some time. redaing comments from regular readers is always a pleasure. especially from intelligent and clever people like u

    @pramod
    nice suggestion by u on the issue of reverse mortgage. although i understand it but i am eager to hear from manish about it in his easy going, detailed and exemplyfying language.

    @pattu
    the annual income, although decides of the class of visitors helping the content planning, does not necessarily decide the saving capacity which depends on other factors like no. of dependants, liabilities etc. wouldn’t it be nice to include the factor of capacity to save also in the voting system. anyway i have voted. lets see what the results display.

    dr kishan

    dr kishan

    1. pattu says:

      dr kishan,

      Sound idea of target amt, a well diversified portfolio, starting early and some knowledge of expected inflation should be good enough for any goal. Retirement and child edu. basically can have the same types of debt +mf products with need to shift from direct equity to debt as the goal approaches. To me that sums up most of financial planning as long as each step is taken in an informed way.

      Reg. the poll this will gives us all, esp. Manish some idead about the purchasing power of his visitors. That is purchasing power to afford a certified financial planner!

      Financial planners to me are like greeting card companies who made valentines day into a big deal and jewelers who made Ahskya Triti into a big deal for their own benefit.

      If you earn a lot of money then who cares if you are informed or not. Just get a CFP to do the job. If you are not so rich and cannot afford a CFP then to this section of the community financial planning should not be made to look like rocket science which is how most CFPs market it.

  10. Praveen says:

    Very important points, i have been following this and am happy with what I have been able to achieve, so far. The very important use of this for me is that it gives me a purpose and focus – i dont get distracted.

    However, i have realized that since these plans are longtem quite a few things change, meanwhile. Such as:
    – your goals may not be right ones any more
    – your earning potential can change and hence what you can do

    i believe these goals can change and revisiting them in several years (not sooner) and validating them again with your family might be important.

    1. Praveen

      correct , plan must be reviews per year otherwise they might become off track soon . Do you think common public has time and motivation for this ?

      Manish

  11. pattu says:

    Great Article Manish. The kind that has made jagoinvestor what it is today. Also its an article that is relevant to everyone irrespective of ones salary. Speaking of which: May I request that you conduct a poll on the annual income of your visitors. This may help for planning content.

    1. Pattu

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ . I have added the poll in blog to get the data . It was a great idea .

      Manish

  12. S.Das says:

    Manish Ji

    A fantastic article. Only I find you are one person giving concrete reason to avoid to purchase flat and following the herd. I was in same dilemma. What to do? How to do? Even some people suggests me to take personal loan to make the downpayment. A home should be purchased any how. I am much more relaxed. I can now concentrate to build retirement corpus, fund for child education steadily.

    I can invest 10000 p.m. I am splitting these in 5 separate category, 2000 each. HDFC top 200, Religare tax plan, IDFC premier equity plan A (which covers mid cap sector), Birla sun life MIP savings (conservative fund), 1500 to PPF at every month.

    My LTA and Bonus amount will take care about building emergency fund and down payment for purchasing flat.

    Please advise.

    Yours faithfully,
    S.Das

    1. S.Das

      Make sure you invest more in tax saving funds , as you can build long term wealth through it with lock in . Why Religare Tax plan ? There are better one’s i Guess .

      Manish

      1. S.Das says:

        Manish Ji

        I got the name of fund from Outlook India fund review form there website. That is why i am taking your suggestion. What should be the best ELSS?

        Whether my investment is going in right direction?

        Yours faithfully,
        S,Das

        1. Unless we know about the risk appetite , it cant be said .

          Manish

          1. S.Das says:

            Manish Ji

            My risk appetite is moderate.

            Best regards
            S.Das

    2. Srinivas says:

      You can consider Canara robeco equity tax saver, HDFC tax saver, Sundaram Tax saver, these are some of the best among ELSS category

      1. S.Das says:

        Shrinivas Ji

        Thanks for the suggestion.

        Best regards
        S.Das

  13. avs says:

    Hi Manish,
    Renting the house in short term is OK, but in the long term its always advisable to have your own house.

    1. Avs

      Reason ? In which situaiton ? Is it always recommended ? Can you show any calculation which shows that it makes sense to buy house in long term ?

      manish

      1. Sunny Talreja says:

        @Manish:
        In my area (Mumbai Suburb), property rates are increasing by the rate of 15-25% over last two years and 10-12% historically. So, I believe my house maintains it’s real value. Additionally, people feel lazy/unmotivated for savings but are more conscious for their EMIs. Finally, it keeps one free from all the hussles of a rented house.
        Three good reasons to have your own house ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Sunny

          What is the price appreciation in last 10-20 yrs ? It might have given 20-25% in last 2 yrs , but that kind of return over long term is not expected .

          You have talked about hassles of rented house , but there are hassles in bought house too . I feed rented has many advantages too .

          Manish

      2. avs says:

        Hi Manish,
        My thoughts are:
        I think owing a house is good in most situations except that if you cant afford it.
        The most important reason is being security. Besides paying higher rent every year throughout the life, i cant imagine anyone staying in rented house throught life just because other investment options gives better returns.

        1. Tarun says:

          Hi Manish,
          It was a really good article. Learned a lot from it.
          But even i dont agree wid the thought of living in a rented house and investing the money somewhere else. I think, one should own atleast one property where one can live. There are lot of hassels involved in a rented house like 1)changing the house as per landlord’s wish.2) Getting change your addresses all over and paying for that. 3) Getting new identity proofs (wid changed addresses) 4) you cant make any changes/improvements in a rented house to make it better. 5) N if landlord also stays within dat property (like groundfloor/upper floor) then there are many other hassels involved.
          I think one should have atleast one house where he can live. Purchasing another house just for investment can be thinked again.

          regards
          Tarun

          1. Tarun

            Thats right . I dont disagree with that, The major point here was from investments point of view .

            manish

  14. raj says:

    Excellent article guru …

    my ponit is that ..
    if i want to achieve short term goal (2-2.5)year … like, buy a car around 4-5 lacs.
    how to plan 4 it …

    1. Raj

      as its a short term goal , you do not want to invest in equity because of high risk associated with it , so better use debt oriented funds or RD’s only .

      Manish

      1. raj says:

        manish ,

        so plz suggest debt oriented funds for short term ….

        raj ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Look at my article on debt oriented funds

          Manish

  15. Pramod says:

    It is right that all should have some clear goals yet the biggest problem for human psyche is that We can not, very often, differenciate between the goals and desires. Goals must be based upon needs first and luxeries later. Many young couples have only one kid and still their goal is to buy a 3/4 BHK flat becuase their peers have done so or they desire to own a bigger flat. Now that is absolutely not required. I have seen people who want to buy a sports car in Delhi. Why ? Its speed is 280 km/h dude ohhh what a feeling !!!!!!!!! My question is where do you find a road (and permission, its illegal) to drive a car at such speed in Delhi. Still people classify them as goal. But as Subra says ” I dont have any right to question a client whose goal is to buy a flat for his girlfriend (not his wife)” Its a personal affair.
    BTW, Do you think its a better idea to Build a house for first 20 years and then use it for retirement through “reverse mortgage” rather that saving for house and retirement seperately. Why dont you come with an article on the subject of Reverse Mortgage to let people be aware of it !!!! -:p

    1. Pramod

      Good idea . I will write something on reverse mortgage soon .

      manish

  16. Jitendra Solanki says:

    Very Nice Article Manish.

    Its touches the basic roots of the problem wherean individual can make difference to his/her Financial Planning.

    1. Jitendra

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ . What are your suggestions on how to motivate people to plan for goals in the start itself ?

      Manish

  17. Ajay Roy says:

    Hi Manish…..
    damn good article about goal setting.
    The article inspired me to set my IMP goals rite away ( i mean RETIREMENT corpus and CHILD EDUCATION corpus). Can you tell me how much roughly i need with inflation in Year 2032 for retirement AND how much with inflation for Child Higher Education in 2025 ??

    Secondly, how i can achieve the corpus ? How much i need to invest today monthly and allocation ?? And which are the best investment instruments i can go for ?? (SIP and PPF ???) Pls advice.

    1. Ajay

      Thanks , glad to hear that, You should take 6-7% as inflation for retirement and 10% for education . Once you have the target amount you can use the formula’s to compute how much you need monthly, its nothing but reverse engeering the SIP formula.

      Manish

      1. pravin says:

        sorry manish. taking 6-7% as inflation rate is fooling oneself.inflation has been galloping worldwide -dont look at useless CPI and WPI numbers.look at the things you need: healthcare and housing are going thru the roof.education is roughly up 20-30% per year for decent schools.with RTE and other bogus ideas,it will further go up.

        it is better to plan with a very pessimistic view of inflation.it is always going to surprise on the higher side.that is what central banks and govts are geared to behave.

        1. @ Praveen

          โ€œShant gadhadhari bheem shantโ€

          If we are talking about 2-3 Years you are absolutely right. But when we are talking about financial planning we are talking about 20-60 years (depending on the clientโ€™s goal). We can safely assume 6-7% of general inflation & 10% of inflation for education/medical. In retirement its important that what kind of income/expense replacement we are doing.

          Financial Planning also handles โ€œLifestyle Riskโ€. Over pessimism will kill your present & over optimism will kill your future.

          1. pravin says:

            hemant,
            there is no real scientific or real world basis for assuming ‘6-7%’ over the long term.it may have been the case when dollar/rupee was linked to gold. i am not sure you have considered regime change in the monetary system. all that equity growth could easily be wiped out with a black swan event. ofcourse,you might know as they teach in CFP, we are all prone to anchoring bias.somehow some central banker decided in india that 6 is a nice number and we are all anchored to it.
            look at your parents inflation index and your own.every person should have his own index based on experience.not on thumb rule

            1. @ Praveen

              I follow Keep it Simple Stupid, I don’t know what you follow.

              People try too hard to get the best and in doing so, they actually makes a mess and then blames the same on other factors.

              If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around. I think this is what Manish is doing.

            2. Sunny Talreja says:

              @ Praveen
              30% inflation means prices get doubled every three years. So, the funny part is, if you assume a 30% inflation, the equity portfolio will also hesitate to accomodate you, that means the only place for you to invest your money is on highly speculative penny stocks /chit funds. or you have to start microfinance institution.

              @Hemant: The article was really nice. I do have planned for everything except our health costs. I don’t believe in insurance etc. Can you comeup with an a rough amount I need to set aside for health costs( I am 25, will marry next year, parents have their own health plans)

        2. Praveen

          Why does 6-8% inflation is not a realistic number ? I once calculated the simple average of inflation for last 30 yrs and it came to 6.5% .

          Considering India is on path to become developed nation in coming year , the inflation and interest rates both are set to go down in range of 3-4% atleast in next 20-40 yrs which we are targeting .

          What number is a good estimate as per your analysis ? please share

          1. pravin says:

            manish,
            not sure how you calculated the inflation numbers from? from cpi or wpi?. i dont think they are reflection of reality.
            i looked at gold prices. in 1979 it was around 1000 per 10g,today it is around 18000. gives around 10.5 percent annualized.
            my ideology is be prepared for the worst.one can always hope that our political masters will allow the continued liberalization of the economy.thats just a hope,imo.
            gold is a good indicator of inflation since it is “true” money.the funny paper we see today is just something that started in 1971.so the fiat money system isnt even worth 2 generations life time yet.
            sunil,when i went to B-School 10 years back, the cost of an MBA in IIM was less than 1 lac.today it is 10 times over i think.thats an inflation of 25% annualized.
            imagine when govt ever decides to free up petrol prices.
            we are moving from a subsidied culture to true rates.price jumps are inevitable. also,more than equities or any kind of investment,the best investment you can do is INVEST IN YOURSELF.if my salary was able to double every 3 years and go up 15 times in the last 13 years,i have done well for myself.so focus on that as well.

            1. @All Readers

              Let’s Compare 1980 & 2010(30 years) prices for different items:

              Item……1980….2010….Rate
              Gold…….1452….18000..8.75%
              CII……….100……632……6.56%
              Petrol…….5.22…..50.55…7.91%
              IIM-A….6000…13,70,000…19.84%
              SENSEX…120….16445……..17.82%
              FD………..100…..1436…9.65%
              Endo……..100…..661……6.5%

              In this period App. returns of Endowment 6.5% & FD 9.65%(3-5Years SBI)

            2. Hemant

              What is the source of the data ?

              Manish

            3. RBI, BSE & various other sources.

            4. m says:

              if death happen ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what will be the irr ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????for his family

            5. m

              Thats interesting , the IRR would be very high in that case . It can range from 1000% – 10000% , depending on when a person dies , But which family would be interested in that kind of IRR at the cost of someone’s death ?

              Manish

  18. aditya says:

    good heads up.

    lets back it up with market uncertainty, which distracts and demotivates people. Not realizing that this unevenness is neutralized with healthy returns inthe long run. Refer Manish’s old articles please. ๐Ÿ™‚

    though am unmarried, given current social context and new kids considering and treating their parents nothing more than ATM machines, I do feel unless there is a critical issue, except kids education till graduation, one should not plan for his future financial needs .

    P.S. this is a personal viewpoint on a friends forum . No offense intended to any one.

    1. Aditya

      So what you are saying is one should not be considering his retirement planning today itself and other goals except Child education , That can make sense but I would like to hear WHY ? In which situation can that be help ful ?

      Manish

      1. aditya says:

        Manish,
        my points.

        1.Please do consider retirement plan , yes one must. Are you a conscious investor, who can bear moderate risk? yes- 80 CC with minor investments takes care of it well .
        2.I am discounting kids support beyond their graduation, let them own it themselves post that.
        corollary- unfortunate scenarios of poor mental or physical health of kids needs to be planned and cared for. And again here, your term insurance planning and 80cc investments help if done prudently.

        1. Avi says:

          Excellent article Manish

          About the point that Aditya made on supporting kids beyond a certain point, I would infact want my son to apply for (higher) education loan.
          Though I have started saving/investing for my 9 month old son’s
          higher education which will be put to use in case of any eventualities
          such as unavailability of loan due to whatever reason. Procuring
          a loan and repaying it in the initial years of his salaried life, will also
          inculcate discipline though I will encourage him to invest a part of his salary in equity as well right from the beginning. And guess what happens to the corpus that I would have built for his higher education? I will transfer the mutual funds/stocks to him at
          an appropriate time so he can build upon it thus giving
          him compounded returns over a period of say 60 years
          by the time he approaches his retirement.

          1. Avi

            I also support your point of supporting your kids education and nothing beyond that point . However arent you overdoing when you say you will help him with his retirement plan too ?

            Manish

            1. Avi says:

              Manish

              I think of it like this – In anycase I will be leaving behind some assets for my son to the best of my ability (Unless he turns out to be a naalaayaak in which case everything gets donated to a trust or something and he works at the local paan ka galla for the rest of his life ๐Ÿ™‚
              A part of what I leave behind for him would be the higher education corpus which I was saving for him in anycase
              but once he takes up a job, the financial instruments (MF/Stocks etc) get transferred to his name – he can either thank his bapu
              for doing the good deed and build upon to it till his retirement on his own to get compounded returns effectively over 60 yrs or blow it all away on senseless expenditure. I hope to raise my son
              to be sensible enough to build upon it for a secure future. Apart from this I am ofcourse going to ensure he understands that he will be investing atleast 30-40% of his salary etc etc – the whole financial planning drill

              Avi

            2. Yup

              I get your point now .

              Manish

  19. NARESH SHARMA says:

    Manish,

    You touched the basic issue – there used to be one liner in the employment office which I recite even today – Unless you know which port you are sailing, no wind is favourable. A documented SMART goal setting is not only the begining but the essence to live the life. I think if the people at the bottom of the pyramid consider goal setting as one of their goal (and abide by it…), they in all probability can invert the pyramid.

    A thought provoking article considering 3% of people holding 97% of the wealth (till the last count came…)

    1. Naresh

      yea , unless people start planning the road ahead will always be rough and not smooth , Goal setting is nothing but making the rough path ahead very smooth to walk in ๐Ÿ™‚ .

      I didnt understand your 3% and 97% part ? What does that mean ?

      Manish

      1. NARESH SHARMA says:

        Manish,

        It is evaluated that 3% of people hold 97% Assets/Wealth of this world and ironically only these 3% knows what they really want. It is an old case study and I do believe that still valid….

        1. Naresh

          ahh ok , got it , its same as 80:20 rule ๐Ÿ™‚ . Should be still valid and till the end of eternity ๐Ÿ™‚

          Manish

  20. Kavita says:

    A very good article indeed!
    I’ve just started in the past year, lets see how things materialize.
    Thanks for the very good post.
    Regards
    Kavita

    1. Kavita

      Good to hear that you have atleast started, Starting is the biggest reason why things are done in life . So you are already much ahead of everyone .

      Being a lady and involved in finances , I congratulate you and would like to hear your views on goals settings , do you think ladies can be better at setting goals in financial planning ? Do you think male counterparts do not have better understanding of expected things in long run ? Your views ?

      Manish

  21. Great Article!!

    I think you have touched the basic problem.

    If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

    1. Hemant

      Yea .. I think even this Goal setting is one of the basic problems financial planners face . once the client defines the goals very well , the planner then can concentrate his all energy in planning for it and even client will feel deep satisfaction because he knows than “all is well” now . Other things in plan does not matter much to him in that case ๐Ÿ™‚ . At last financial planning accuracy is directly and closely related to goal setting .

      What are your views on this ? Any additions ?

      Manish

      1. Yes it is one of the problems.

        If you will check our services page, this will say:

        We work with you to answer three basic questions:
        * What are your financial and life goals?
        * Where are you today in relation to your goals?
        * How will you get from where you are today, to your goals?

        Itโ€™s all about goalsโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.. ๐Ÿ™‚

        People donโ€™t know how to write their goals (SMART Goals) & they donโ€™t know importance of it. May be this is just about mindset. But small counseling & they are ready with their list.
        Bigger problem is when list is prepared its time to prioritize your goals โ€“ needs vs wants, goals vs dreams, necessity vs luxury, reducing size of the goal & some time even sacrificing few of them.

        An investor without GOAL is like a traveler without a destination..

        What is your experience with your Financial Planning clients??

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