Investment lessons from a movie

22 May, 2014

I watched this Academy Award film very recently ( yes , I am late like that) and there were a couple of things that stood out in my head , predominantly while watching a particular scene.

To get a sense of what happened there, James ( Russell Crowe) was forced to resort to Manual labour cause he specializes in a particular space ( Boxing  ) and injures himself. He can’t continue to practice his sport and is hence reduced to borrow/ beg / depend on social security to provide for his kids.

There is a silver lining in the end when life turns over and he goes to accomplish some great feats in boxing history.

Certain things that my mind noted, twisted assumed considering the same scenario in an Indian context:

  • Job security – While we are all comfortable in our spaces as working adults and don’t think we’re  going to see the face of a pink slip, lets wake up to reality , pink slips do exist and they could be left as your desk as much as mine. It may not have to do with  how good you are at what you do but more to do with cost cutting, re alignment of positions etc.  In such scenarios, 1) never underestimate yourself. 2) At all points put aside at least 3 months expenses so if you were to be hit by such a scenario you are safe for 3 months which is usually the time one takes to find what they like.
  • Social Security – Unfortunately , there is no concept of Social Security in India, the least you can do, secure yourself.
  • Borrowings –  of course there are banks / NBFCs / Friends/ others willing to give us loans, for things we don’t really need at rates that are quite ridiculous. Before  using a loan, think if it is for an asset that serves a purpose in your life.
  • Health Insurance- If James had a health insurance, it could have saved him a lot of money that may have otherwise been spent on his treatment etc.
  • Life Insurance- his boxing ring injury could have been fatal. In the case he hadn’t survived, his family would have been left with no Financial security. Insurance anyone?

Life luckily turned around for James, it may not for everyone else. Financial Security for yourself and your family is not impossible to achieve. Start with the basics.

Action point- Put down your fixed monthly expenses, include for EMIs/ premiums etc. multiply this by 3 and keep them it in your bank account/ liquid funds.

Dipika Kalra - a Business Management Graduate in Finance and an Associate Financial Planner with 6 years experience across the field of Personal Finance. Experienced trainer and orator has conducted several work shops at various corporates and colleges . With passion of connecting in people,  brings her great joy in making money more conversational and simple to understand.

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