What is investing?

INVESTING

Investing is not just about depositing your savings in the bank every few months. It’s about growing your money. It’s about making your money work for you.

INVESTING IS A LONG TERM ACTIVITY

When you invest, you  buy an asset like shares, mutual funds, gold or real estate when it’s available at a bargain and wait till its price go up. You may have to wait for a long time, say 5 or 10 years to get a real appreciation for your invested funds. So,  investing is a long term activity, you have to wait for your rewards.

IT’S ALSO ABOUT GROWING YOUR MONEY PRUDENTLY.

Money is a weapon that’s to be used very very carefully or else, it can backfire within no time resulting in a total ruin of your life. By being ‘prudent’ we  mean, determining an action or a line of investing that’s practically wise, judicious and careful.

When you look around for opportunities to invest, it’s natural to stumble upon ideas like multi level marketing of certain financial schemes or money chains etc that may seem to be too good an opportunity to make a quick buck. It’s important not get tempted by such investment offers. Any investing decision you take must be practical, legal, safe and capable of creating wealth for you in the long run.

REWARD FROM INVESTMENTS

Investments range from risky types like stocks  to very safe ones like fixed deposits. Depending on the type of investment you’ve made you get return in the form of rent, interest, dividends, premiums, pension benefits or appreciation in value. The more risk you take, the more you earn as rewards.

OBJECTIVES OF INVESTING

Objectives or purpose of investing would be different for different people.  By choosing to budget your expenses, accumulate money, invest that accumulated fund and limiting the amount of debt – you can achieve most of your life’s goals. Normally, a person would invest with one or many of the following objectives in mind:

  • A Regular Income
  • Creation of wealth
  • Preserving his capital
  • Planning for retirement life
  • Education /marriage of his children.
  • To start a business

THE PROCESS OF INVESTING

The process of investing is quite simple-

Depending upon the money you got, you will have to short list the type of asset suitable for investment.

Next, you’ll have to assess yourself and find out how much knowledge you have in that particular asset category. This assessment will tell you where you stand right now, and the amount of preparatory work you need to do before investing you money in it.

Once you gain enough knowledge, try to draw a plan to invest systematically – get access to the right information, plan properly and make the right choice.

REASONS TO INVEST

Why does investing acquire so much of importance? That’s because of three core benefits of investing-

First, the probability that you’ll beat inflation.

Second, the probability of achieving your financial goals quickly.

Third, the probability of building something for your next generation.

An investor’s  main focus should be to beat inflation.  Inflation and it’s after effects were discussed in our previous articles.  You’ve to invest in such a way that the rate of return beats the inflation rate. If you don’t do that, it eats away your returns. Unless your rate of return beats the inflation rate, you’re not growing your investments.We said ‘probability’ because, investments carry the risk of not hitting the desired targets. When you set higher targets ( higher returns) the risk of not achieving it is also high.

Apart from achieving financial goals and securing your children’s future, another important reason would be to plan for your retirement. When do you plan to retire? At 60 or at 50? You can opt to retire when you have a sufficient amount of wealth so that, you can maintain the standard of living that you are maintaining today. The earlier, the better!

In the coming lessons, we take to you through different aspects of investing. Each lesson has a concept to share. At the end, you’ll know what investing is all about, why it’s essential to invest early, different avenues to invest etc..In our next article , let’s see why investing is the most important activity one should have.

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