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What’s the Most Valuable Asset to Build Wealth? Hint: It’s You!

Can you guess what the best asset is for building wealth? It’s not money, gold, or property—it’s you! In The Book of Wealth, Mark Mobius reveals the secrets to true prosperity by emphasizing the importance of investing in your skills, education, and attitude. By focusing on personal development, you can unlock boundless potential and set the stage for lasting success. Ready to transform your future and achieve greatness? Start by investing in yourself!

 

 

The Book of Wealth
The Book of Wealth || Mark Mobius

***

In order to be wealthy, you need to have assets. Assets can be money, gold and other precious metals, property, stocks, bonds, art, jewellery and many other things. But many people forget the most important asset: themselves.

 

So, the first step towards fortune begins with investing in your best asset—you. Your earning power will depend on how well you have trained and educated yourself. If you want to earn money as a health trainer, it is vital for you to develop your own body so you can demonstrate to others how good you look, which will attract customers to you. If you want to earn money as a carpenter, you must try your best to learn from the most skilled experts so you can demand the highest appreciation and income.

 

When you realize that you are your best investment, you will begin to make conscious decisions to focus on your development and well-being. You will begin to see that your success in becoming wealthy will depend on the foundation you have built in your own education, experience, social status and influence.

 

You, like others, are a unique individual, and you, like others, have boundless potential that can be unlocked by investing in your skills, education and health. A critical aspect of this is self-empowerment, where you control your destiny and become less reliant on external factors. You become more self-sufficient, which boosts your confidence and resilience.

 

An important aspect of this is gaining knowledge and expanding your horizons, beyond your current community and into the ever-changing world. This will enhance your ability to innovate and find new paths to success. A key item of self-development is setting high goals. You must dream of great things and aspire to what you normally would not imagine you can achieve. This way, you will both consciously and unconsciously take proactive steps towards reaching your dreams. Amazon’s growth is an example of this.

 

When you are considered for a job or have been hired to do a job, the people you work for and with will evaluate you and consider what you bring to the task at hand. In addition to your education and experience, people will consider your attitude. If you have a bad attitude, it can pull energy out of the workplace. That bad attitude will be like a poison pill and damage the work environment and the group objectives. A good and positive attitude can penetrate a group and organization, leading to success for all concerned and contributing to your individual success too. Always remember what Zig Ziglar said: ‘Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.’ It is about your positivity: How do you react when things get challenging or tough?

 

What will contribute to and create a good attitude for you? First, you need to be grateful for the opportunities you get for success. Second, you must be optimistic in the face of risks and danger. Someone once said, ‘The world belongs to optimists.’

 

***

Get your copy of The Book of Wealth by Mark Mobius on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Why Lakshmi is More Than Just the Goddess of Prosperity

Explore Hindu mythology like never before with Namita Gokhale’s Treasures of Lakshmi. In this book, Gokhale unfolds the stories of ancient deities, exploring their evolution from the Rig Vedic era to the post-Buddha period. Against the historical backdrop of events like Alexander’s arrival in India, the book delves into the tales of gods and goddesses, with a special focus on Lakshmi’s story of prosperity from the Vishnu Purana.

 

The Treasures of Lakshmi
The Treasures of Lakshmi || Namita Gokhale

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THERE ARE MANY gods and goddesses in the Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism is a newer word, proposed as recently as the nineteenth century). Aldous Huxley translated it as ‘the perennial philosophy’. In the Rig Veda, the gods which feature in the hymns are Indra, Agni, Varuna and Surya, who become minor gods by the time of post-Buddha India. It is said that when Alexander arrived in the Indian subcontinent in the fourth century bce, there was worship of a god similar to Heracles, who has been later identified as Krishna.

 

The Vishnu Purana is dated by its most recent translator, Professor Bibek Debroy, as being from the period 450 bce to 300 bce, definitely a post-Buddha document. You see immediately that the Vishnu Purana is post-Vedic and even post-Vedantic. Vishnu replaces the abstract universal principle of Brahman: ‘He is the supreme Brahman.’ The irresistible conjecture is that faced with the concrete persona of Buddha and the rapid spread of Buddhism, the Sanatan Dharmists retaliated with a personal but immensely powerful god: Vishnu.

 

So, sometime in the second half of the last millennium bce, there is a shift to the modern Trimurti structure with Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The old Rig Vedic gods are demoted and a new set emerges which takes over. The Vishnu Purana has stories about all three deities but constantly reiterates the supreme position of Vishnu.

 

Then, Brahma somehow gets displaced. (We need not go into this episode.) There are few, if any, temples dedicated to him, relative to the other two male gods. Somewhere, then, the mother goddess, Durga/Kali/Amba, becomes as important in the Trinity as Vishnu and Shiva. There is some discussion of Durga being a pre-Aryan goddess, but this may be controverted. Saraswati is the only other goddess worshipped in her own right and not as the consort of a male god.

 

The point is that while the pantheon of deities is crowded, there are only three at the top—two male gods and one female goddess. (Of course, attributing gender to gods and goddesses is tricky. Shiva doubles up as Ardhanareeshwar.) Lakshmi, the subject of this essay, is not in the top Trinity. She appears as the consort of Vishnu and is worshipped especially on the thirteenth night of the waning moon cycle, two nights before Diwali. The occasion is called Dhanteras in Gujarati, being the one night dedicated to the goddess of prosperity. No other goddess has a Diwali slot.

 

But as Shri, Lakshmi is ubiquitous. We append the labels ‘Shri’, ‘Shriman’, ‘Shrimati’, indicating someone favoured or due to be favoured by the goddess Lakshmi. Widows (in Gujarati at least) are addressed as ‘Gangaswaroop’, definitely not Shrimati. Fortune for a woman resides in having a husband around.

 

It is in the Vishnu Purana—a massive document running to almost 600 pages in Bibek Debroy’s book—that we encounter Lakshmi’s story. Purana storytelling is, of course, not straightforward or linear. It wanders, often telling the same story more than once with different nuances. You are supposed to listen and retain the details.

 

Lakshmi is first mentioned along with the story of Sati (Parvati) in Chapter 1 (8) titled ‘Rudra’s Account’. In the Vishnu Purana, Parashara is talking to Maitreya and telling him the long story of Vishnu. Rudra occurs in the Rig Veda and is called Shiva later on. Rudra marries Sati. But then Daksha’s anger comes in the way and Sati gives up her body. However, she is born again as the daughter of Himavat and Mena as Uma. ‘In this form, the illustrious Hara married her again.’

 

The first casual mention of Lakshmi follows. ‘Bhrigu’s wife Khyati gave birth to the divinities, Dhatri and Vidhatri, and to Shri, the wife of Narayana, the god of the gods.’ Maitreya asks how that can be, since Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the ocean. So, in a way, Lakshmi’s story is presumed to be known, but of course given the style of a Purana it has to be told again. Parashara launches into a laudatory description of Shri, but more so of Vishnu, whose female companion Shri is. Vishnu is praised to the utmost, while Lakshmi has glory as Vishnu’s other.

 

Chapter 1 (9) is devoted to the story of the emergence of Lakshmi from the churning of the ocean, Samudramanthan.It is a fascinating account as to how Shri emerges from the ocean churning process. The story starts in somewhat dramatic fashion with the sage Durvasa ‘observing the vow of acting like a lunatic’. He has a divine garland made of santanaka flowers, which grow in Indra’s gardens. The sage throws the garland at Indra, who is riding the Airavata. Indra puts it on the Airavata, who throws it off. Durvasa is enraged by this disrespect and curses Indra and the gods that they will lose their prosperity. He says, ‘All mobile and immobile entities dread the arousal of Lakshmi’s wrath. But because you take yourself to be the king of the gods, in your pride, you have slighted her and me.’ In this way, the story of Lakshmi is laid out. (Though she is first mentioned in ‘Rudra’s Account’, that is a passing reference in which Lakshmi is included along with other characters.)

***

Get your copy of Treasures of Lakshmi by Namita Gokhale wherever books are sold.

Why Saving Money Isn’t Sexy, but Absolutely Necessary

Ever wondered why saving money feels like a snooze-fest? Ankur Warikoo’s Make Epic Money has the answer!
In this no-nonsense guide, Warikoo breaks through the boredom, offering a blueprint to make your savings hustle just as hard as you do.

Get ready for a learning experience that’s not just about saving but about discovering the power to walk away from the mundane and live life on your own epic terms!

 

Make Epic Money
Make Epic Money || Ankur Warikoo

 

“Life will throw everything but the kitchen sink in your path, and then it will throw
the kitchen sink. It’s your job to avoid the obstacles.”
– Andre Agassi, Open

 

Saving isn’t sexy.
We should save. We get it.
For the future, for our marriage, for our kids, for retirement.
Blah, Blah, blah. Heard it all before.

 

Yet, we don’t.
Because saving isn’t sexy. Or fun. Or exciting.
It’s boring.

 

The future seems so far off.
Our goals seem so far off.
“Retirement? I haven’t even started earning properly yet!”

 

AND we’re not making enough money…
AND we’ll miss out on life…
Our friends are putting up reels of sundowners in Goa.

Why should WE save?
So, we postpone saving.
We’ll start tomorrow. Next month. Next year.
Just not today.

 

But we should save.
Because. Life. Is. Crazy.
Almost like a Bollywood movie.
One moment, we’re happily dancing around a tree. Next moment, we’re hit by a flying coconut.
Plot twists and drama.
Just not as entertaining when it happens to us.

 

Medical emergencies. Job losses.
Lawsuits. Unexpected death in the family.
All horrible things to think about.
We hope (fingers crossed) they’ll never happen.
But we know that they might.
The absolute last thing we want to worry about in such times is whether we have sufficient funds to cover
us, and see us through.

 

Savings give you the ultimate F*** You Power
The power to walk away from a job you hate.
The power to handle a medical emergency without depleting your reserves.
The power to get a better interest rate on a loan.
The power to move into your own place.
The power to live life on your terms.

 

You don’t have to give up what you love.
Saving does not equal stopping spending. Sitting at home. Being miserable.
Once you’ve decided how much you want to save, spend the rest on whatever you want.
With no guilt.

 

Here are 13 tips to help you save more
→ Budget – boring but effective!
You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Minimum 20% of your income has to be saved, every month/year.

 

→ Automate your savings
If we have money in the bank, we tend to spend it.
It’s not always easy to do the right thing.
So, make the right thing easy!

Automate!

Sign up for as much EPF deduction as you can, so it never reaches you.
Do monthly SIPs (and don’t stop them!).
Open a separate investment account.
As soon as your salary hits, sweep your investment amount to that account.
Park your emergency fund, your SIP instalments, your lump sum investments in the new account.

 

→ 30-day rule
If you really want to buy something big, wait for 30 days.
Chances are you’ll decide you won’t need it.

 

→ Try a fortnightly money ‘fast’
Once a week or fortnight, don’t spend on anything. Anything.
Spoiler: This will require some advance preparation.
Food? Take food from home.
Ride to work? Carpool.
Coffee? Your office coffee machine was made for this non-spending day.

 

→ Choose debit/UPI over credit cards
Debit/UPI is money you actually have.
Credit cards give you the illusion of money that you may not actually have.
If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it. Ha!
The best part? It’s free (a lot of places still charge a surcharge on credit cards)!

 

→ Use credit cards, ONLY if you have 100% of the money
Credit cards can be a good thing:
● 30 to 45 days of an interest-free loan.
● Improved credit rating (if you make the full payment every month)
● Rewards and vouchers – who doesn’t want those?
But ONLY IF you have the full amount.

 

→ Make shopping lists and stick to them
It’s a fact – a list makes us stick to it.
Do this even if you’re buying online.

 

→ Rent, if you’re not a frequent user
Nowadays, everything is on rent – be it cars, gadgets or gowns!
So, don’t buy things you won’t use frequently.
In our parents’ time, renting was shocking.
Today, the mantra is ‘reduce, reuse’. Do that.
P.S. I rent my camera lens. The ones I like are insanely expensive and I pay peanuts to use them for 7
days a year at most!

 

→ Buy bigger sizes
Bigger sizes tend to be cheaper, per unit.
If you have the storage space, buy larger packs, particularly non-perishable items.

 

→ Use deal/discount sites
Use deals and discount sites as much as you can. There’s no shame in it.
It just means that you respect your money.
Your money will start to respect you back.

 

→ Pay off your loans faster
Just because you have a 25-year home loan, doesn’t mean you take 25 years to repay it.
Repayment initially goes more towards the interest and less towards repaying the principal.
Repay early, save!

E.g: Pay 1 extra EMI/year (13 instead of 12). Increase that EMI by 10% every year.
A 25-year loan reduces to 10 years. And you save 60% on your interest amount!

 

→ Buy life insurance when you’re young.
You pay a lower premium and get longer coverage.
Why wouldn’t you save on something so fundamental?
E.g., If you buy insurance when you’re 25 till you’re 65, you get 40 years of cover and STILL end up
paying a lesser premium, than if you were to buy the same cover at age 35 (and only get cover for 30
years).

 

→ Shop online in incognito mode
Prices keep increasing when you keep searching for items online – flight tickets, hotels or even products.
Switch to incognito mode.
You’ll get a price that is given to a new user.
This is usually the lowest price, because they want the new user to convert.

 

This can’t work on apps, so do your buying on your desktop or laptop.
Disclaimer: I have no way to prove this.
—————-
Use these hacks as a smart way to save more money, without compromising on your desires and needs.

 

Save as a gift to your future self:
The gift of security.
The ability to meet your life-goals.
A safety net for unpredictability.
Freedom to live life on your own terms.

 

But.

 

DON’T go through life focusing only on a savings mindset.
There’s a limit to how much you can save.
But remember there’s no limit on how much you can earn.
Keep finding ways to increase your income.
That will help you build wealth much faster than saving will.

 

***

Want to manage your hard-earned money like a pro?

Get your copy of Make Epic Money by Ankur Warikoo wherever books are sold.

Learn the Power of Financial Planning with Abhijeet Kolapkar

Are you tired of financial uncertainty? Dive into Abhijeet Kolapkar‘s groundbreaking book, Money Works where he demystifies the art of financial planning. With a checklist that lays out practical steps, this excerpt hints at the transformational journey from money worries to money mastery.

Money Works
Money Works || Abhijeet Kolapkar

***

What Experience Reveals

Most of us live simple and straightforward lives; 90 per cent of our lives follow a pattern—school, college, job, marriage, life after marriage and retirement. We try hard to plan our lives. For example, in our twenties, we plan to finish our studies, buy a home by age twenty-seven, a car by age twenty-nine, and so on.

 

  • Our dreams need to be converted into goals to bring them to life. Pre-planning and execution are essential to achieve these goals.Also, backing our dreams with financial planning is important.

 

  • Most of us realize the importance of financial planning only as we cross our forties; however if we had realized the need for it in our twenties, a lot of our issues of the present might never have surfaced.

 

‘We do plan our finances but that does not last long.’

‘Is financial planning really necessary?’

‘Financial planning is not as easy as it seems.’

 

We hear such statements about financial planning.
Financial planning is clearly not unnecessary, and it is actually neither difficult nor impossible. It is a simple and straightforward process. What is really needed is to do it with the right intention and make sure you are proceeding with diligence.

 

Checklist for Successful Financial Planning

1. Plan your finances as early as possible: Delaying financial planning is injurious to your long-term financial health. Don’t start financial planning when emergencies arise.

 

2. Stay away from an extravagant lifestyle: Never celebrate by taking loans. Remember this line.

 

3. Avoid overuse of credit cards: One should use a credit card only when it is absolutely necessary. Using it just to avail of offers should be avoided.

 

4. Avoid comparing your situation with others: Know your limits. Instead of looking at what others are buying, think about whether those items are necessary and affordable for you. Understand your situation before spending.

 

5. Prioritize savings over spending: Expensive cars, gadgets and lifestyle choices may make you look rich, but will not make you a rich person. Prioritize saving and investing your earnings.

 

6. Save at least 5–10 per cent of your earnings every month: The first step in financial planning is to save every month and invest it to provide for emergencies.

 

7. Avoid financial investments you don’t understand: It is best to stay away from the type of investments you have no clue about.  In case you still want to go ahead, do so with the help of a financial adviser. Practise caution while investing.

 

8. Buying an insurance cover is a must: Insurance is not an investment but a productive tool to financially cover yourself or your family members in emergencies. That is why everyone should get health insurance, accident insurance and term insurance.

 

9. Invest for the long term: To get the benefit of compounding, invest a major portion of your savings in long-term options.

 

10. Regularly re-evaluate and review your financial strategies: You may have planned a robust financial strategy but failed to implement it or made a few wrong financial decisions. To understand this, you need to frequently review your financial strategies.

 

○ Re-evaluation: The goals based on which we decided on our investments in the past may change. For example, you may feel that saving money for your children’s higher education is more important than buying an expensive car, which was your earlier goal.

○ Review: We can re-prioritize our goals based on our current needs, after periodical reviews.

 

11. Discuss your strategy with your partner: Have a healthy discussion with your partner about your financial goals. Whether your partner is an earning member or not, you should consider their point of view as well.

 

12. Be ready for change: Life is full of surprises—be prepared, mentally and financially, to face any unexpected situations that may arise.

 

13. Read up on financial matters: You should regularly engage with financial newspapers, magazines, blogs and social media pages. Also, you should have books on the subject handy in your personal library.

 

14. Don’t be an emotional fool! Many a time we make decisions based on our emotions, which may lead to financial losses.  Hence, you should stay away from overconfidence, lack of confidence, haste, work, anger, greed, lust, jealousy, etc., while making your financial decisions.

 

15. Self-confidence is essential: No one can play your part better than you. That is why you need to study the subject of finance in depth and make the right decisions to get the most out of your wealth.

 

With this checklist, you can start financial planning based on the goals you want to achieve

***

Get your copy of Money Works by Abhijeet Kolapkar wherever books are sold.

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