Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Me, Myself and Money management

I like to tell myself that I am not completely financially challenged like the conventional stereotype of females.

'After all’ I say to myself ‘I got along just fine managing my hard earned apology-for-money for close on four or five years before Mr .Finance Planner entered my life and I didn’t do too badly’.

Like I said, I think so. Mr. FP (in non-financial times known as the spouse) begs to disagree and does so far too vocally if you ask me.

But let’s backtrack a bit and cast an eye on my Money philosophy (well I never knew I had one, was supposed to have one, until I was asked by the self same FP). Money was something one earned. And then a little of it was spent. And some was kept snugly in a place one could keep a close jealous eye on it – viz. in a savings account .if I had my way I would have kept it somewhere even closer – under my pillow perhaps. But as a concession to the fact that we are living in modern, educated times, and banks have assured me that they are safe, I settled on a savings account. I even chose the one with an auto sweep to the fixed deposit, so that I earned some interest on it.

This pattern would more or less continue till the middle of January or the gentle investment-proof-reminder mail from office, whichever was earlier. Then there would be some frantic calls to investment feller to beg him to meet me. And my sad little savings were further depleted and channelled into worthy tax saving bonds and some solid life insurance.

The investment feller would preface the conversation each year with questions on what are my ‘future financial plans’. But as I was wont to tell him, my future vision stopped at about four weeks, sometimes it stopped at four days.So all his grand plans of forty years and retirement were light years away from anykindofvision I had. Heck, even four years lock in periods scared the bejesus out of me.

So he would sigh like a steam engine, pocket my cheques and walk away into the sunset with my commission money (and leave me forlorn and considerably poorer)).

A couple of times he DID bring up the topic of Mutual Funds. I don’t like Mutual Funds I told him. Every time he told me about money doubling in five years I retorted with US64. After a point he gave up trying to convince me. And that was that.

And then Mr. Financial Planner happened.

One day he asked me about my money philosophy. And I chanted the flippant money philosophy I had outlined above. Suddenly, the even tempered, equable man metamorphosed before my eyes into this rather wild eyed evangelist. Fidelity, Franklin, SIP, Growth saver, Blue chip, Mid-cap, NAV– an avalanche of terms swept over me.

How can you not invest he raved . When I bleated about US64 he brushed it away impatiently and told me that I was behaving in a manner completely unworthy of my education and intelligence (!) and if I continued with this fixed deposit rubbish( and this accompanied by a beautiful sneer) I would be sure to die in penury and servitude.

Now that I have pledged to honour and serve this bloke (hahahahha ok, I couldn’t help that), I decided that I WOULD invest in mutual funds – besides if I lost my money, he has pretty much vowed to support the wife of his heart ( hahahahha ok, I couldn’t resist that either) in sickness and health and richness and poverty .

So I have.

Now every time I get a mail saying statement I eagerly open it thinking that my money would have doubled or done something dramatic like that (actually this is an unfortunate optimism I haven’t succeeded in curing myself of. Every salary slip, I open with an heightened anticipation and beating heart thinking that SOMEHOW my salary will have magically increased that month. Every month for the last I-don’t-know-how-many-years-I-have-been-disappointed. Only once the salary slip did show a spike and I was happy for half an hour until I figured out that it was the yearly bonus. Sigh.) .

Nothing has happened. The money is stuck in the same damn place for ages now. And I am beginning to lose my faith.

Mutual Fund Gods, are you listening??

P.S. Okay My January investment post is not linking so I shall recycle it . I should anyways since that is one of my personal favourite posts.

P.P.S. It IS my blog no? I can recycle whatever I want. Bah!


BlueMist said...

LOL how much I relate to this :D Having a banking professional at home is not good thing at times :D
but on other thoughts I played the financial adviser for the blokes who ever trying to survive in the darkness and introduced them to the light named Mutual Funds :D :D

Trinaa said...

hahahahhahahahahahaha...(havent had to save a penny till date so totally enjoyed laughing at this post ;)..)

Tiger said...

it happens.. recycle.. >>>

Pinku said...

ok...lovely...i liked u earlier now I officially love u...thats just what i am like.

hum ganga paar mele mein bichere toh nahi the?

P.S: something on my blog for u, check when u can.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I've beeen missing your posts. Something wrong with my reader!

I'm JUST like this. Sigh. I'm not even as good as you. I dunno what I did/do with my money :P And about the stereotype, hey, we are not money-minded ;)

Akshaya Kamalnath said...

Hey I really enjoyed this one. Oh and I cant even get my accounts straight when we have to split up after a dutch treat I really wonder how I'll manage pay-cheques.

Sud said...

If you dont buy the mutual funds and the bonds how are the banks to pay our bonuses?

inked said...

i also do not believe that my money can work harder than me. but the boy insists that if it ever decides to work hard the returns are significant. that is if it returns at all. urgh!

Lekhni said...

Being an investment professional doesn't necessarily mean you apply the same philosophy for your own money - ask me :) All it does is make the restrictions on investments greater - prior permissions, forms to fill up and so on.. so if you are like me, you will give up and stick with MFs and such like :(

Neers said...

ohh... how well timed is this... thik long lost brother of your Mr. FP has finally happened to me too!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

bluemist - if it was a banking professional at least its expected. but he is not. bah.

trina - how come? you are very rich? i wish i didnt have to save money too.

tiger - will do - next post.

nandini - ah thats a nice line. i shall pinch it" we are not money minded" sounds very magnanimous and all no?

akshaya - yus - eyes start glazing over. the only times they perk up is when it increases tho.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

sud - bah!

inked - exactly my point. by the time it returns i suspect we shall be too old to enjoy it.

lekhini - i dont mind sticking will MF if someone figured them out for me. But the damn forms and statements confuse the hell out of me. so many numbers - WHICH one is the money?

neers - all the very best aiyo.

Arunima said...

I am getting that yearly bonus and today happens to be that day. I am waiting for 4 O'clock as that is the time, I'll get to open my account and see the hike(that I already know) in the sal slip.

I was thinking of writing about my financial state too. But I still have FDs. :-)

phatichar said...


BTW, you've been remembered! Come over to my blog to see how ;-)

Parul said...

oh ya, you too? Mican, I mean...very nice to bump into you like this then!

I married a finance geek too. Let him look after all this nonsense, I say. Personally I have been quite a disaster at it.

Thanatos said...

Hopefully, when I marry a CA's daughter, there can finally be an FP in the house.

manuscrypts said...

the views on personal finance have a bit to go before they become truly mutual :)

AmitL said...

LOL...Cyn, believe me,that was my precise situation,for some years,and,it prompted me to move to Dubai.

Every month,my co there would be deducting some amount for IT..then,when Dec-Jan came,suddenly,the salary would be halved,unless I'd projected some big, in the end what had happened was,I'd take a citibank card loan,in order to invest in PF in order to save tax,and,then,the cycle would continue,since I'd be repaying the card loan for the next 12 months...LOL..sounds unbelievable,now...but,yes,I can imagine your pati parmeshwar wondering how silly I was.:)Would love to meet him one day to understand more about good investments,of course...and,meeting you would be an added bonus..hehe..I couldn't resist that,just like you couldn't resist some of the sentences...cheerio.:)

Trinaa said...

nope...but m still in colg(and still staying at home)so mera toh mauja hi mauja ;)!

Epiphany said...

:D I dont get investment either!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

arunima - hope you got a nice, fat bonus?

phatichar thank you verr muchly. i went, i saw and i commented.

parul. married an IT geek who masequerades as a finance geek. so have to deal with technology AND finance. sigh.

thantos - not a very good idea you know. if said CA sees that finances arent in shipshape order as expected, CA might morph into a angry father in law?

manuscrypts. no mutual money. very individual we are hehe.

see amit you cant be worse than i am no?

trina - sigh. lucky you.

epiphany - finally a man who admits to it. yayyyyyyy. good i am so proud of you.

Trauma Queen said...

your asides (in brackets) make for the best reading - honestly!