The idea of curating 24 Smart Money Moves was exciting for us, but it also seemed a daunting task, given the inherent responsibility it laid on the shoulders of the Outlook Money team. After all, how do you define “smart” and what can possibly be termed as “smart money moves”?
Before we came up with an exhaustive list, we grappled with a series of questions. Should we come up with a cheat sheet to making money? Should our list consist of ideas that have been unheard of or are little-known, or should these moves be practical enough to be easily followed while being good enough to make a qualitative difference to the financial lives of the average Indian citizen? We settled for the simplicity of the last one. While the implicit thrill in the other kinds of lists did seem more alluring, but we believe the smartest thing to do with your finances is to keep them simple.
The other issue we grappled with was who are we curating this list for? The immediate instinct was to do it for 24-year-olds—because it’s our 24th anniversary issue, and because they have pricked interest in recent times, given their enthusiastic participation in the market in the last few years. It is at this stage of life that you explore your identity and decide on your future course; so it is at this stage that you should also lay the foundations for a financial future that is in line with your goals and desires.
The lure and ability of taking risks is high at this stage. “Younger investors are often more risk-taking, and are more biased towards the present. They want to make money quickly even if it means taking on a risky venture,” says Sujoy Chakravarty, professor of economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Taking risk at this stage is not necessarily bad though. In fact, experts usually recommend that one should invest in high-risk instruments, such as equities, at a younger age to enjoy the power of compounding in the long term. However, taking miscalculated risks without understanding what you are investing in can spell trouble, and even prove disastrous.
“The Gen Z and millennials are not good at delaying or deferring their gratifications. They are focused more on lifestyle, make risky decisions due to peer pressure and the thrill of it,” says Amit Kukreja, a Sebi-registered investment advisor and founder, amitkukreja.com, a financial advisory firm.
But why curate a list for just 24-year-olds when we know that our readers are from all walks of life? Moreover, financial awareness in India is still low, and penetration of investment products and genuine financial advice remains a challenge. To address that, we ensured that this list is relevant for all age groups, not just for 24-year-olds.
Outlook Money’s recommended 24 smart money moves will help you build financial habits that can serve you well in the long run, maintain investment hygiene that will make your money grow, and help you prioritise and plan your own as well as your family’s finances and needs.
We distributed the 24 moves into five parts to ensure it is easy for you to navigate. These are: financial habits, investment hygiene, protection, financial planning, and other factors that can make your financial life wholesome.
But we didn’t give up on the other two thoughts completely. You will find a smattering of financial tips and little-known facts across the package.
The smart thing now will be to read and imbibe the smart suggestions we’ve come up with. The other smart thing will be to save a copy of this issue for ready reference, as the list is nothing less than a ready reckoner to organising your financial life.