Financial medication - Are you being ‘influenced’ into bad financial decision making?
Imagine this. Say you have the flu, the first thing we tend to do is jump on Google and try to self diagnose ourselves. We then read a bunch of articles and then we decided to go to the doctor (which was initially what we were supposed to do, anyway). Well, your finances are quite the same. Each of us has a different back story and different goals that we want to achieve. But when it comes to our finances, is the internet the right place to get your information from? If you’ve liked this video, like share and subscribe. This trend hit on pretty early on Youtube. While scores of people made financial decisions based on videos, explainers and Playlists on Youtube, this soon turned into a fad. Soon enough this trend moved on to other social media handles such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter and so on. But as formats have changed and our attention spans have gotten much shorter, has the financial influencer’s advice remained the same?
Personal finance has become the coolest thing in town. With gen Z taking stage on all our feeds, managing personal finance like a boss has become the biggest flex this season. You will find people sipping chardonnay on a yacht giving stock tips, views on new fund offerings, bloggers sharing advice based on how they are managing their portfolios and how you could become a millionaire by just investing ₹10,000 a month for X amount of years.
But if this is the advice that’s making you swoon for that future lavishness, hang on to your pockets. Personal finance is not as simple as it is portrayed to be. We have heard of the famous 40/30/20/10 rule. Something all influencers will tell you. And they will tell you that they invested their money according to this plan and became rich. But what they won’t tell you are the details. And the devil lies there - the risk profile they’re at, the exact security baskets they have invested in, and for how long they have maintained this blend.
What does this mean for you?
There is no pre-set formula: If there were, trust us, we’d know. And why is this so? This is because each individual has different goals and the instruments they choose to invest in depend on their risk appetite, timeline and personal goals. Similarly, for you, as an investor, you need that specialised attention before you make that decision.
Look for regular, sustainable growth: Crypto and Stocks might all seem shiny, but are these instruments you completely understand? Are you comfortable with their growth, market trends and volatility? Do they align with your goal? If your answers to these questions are a maybe to a no, then you should sleep over this for a bit. A good place to start is by asking yourself these questions: Do I understand the product? What is the post-expense, post-tax return? Does the portfolio beat inflation? What is the risk associated with the strategy being shared?