Its election time. The festival of democracy is upon us. It’s the time when the world looks up and wonders how a country of a billion voters choose their leadership so peacefully and democratically. When the young and old, the urban and rural, sophisticated and simpleton folk come together to choose their governance partners to represent them and their voices at the Indian Parliament.
Come to think of it, there are a lot of parallels one can draw between choosing your elected representative and choosing your financial investment partner.
First, do your homework – No important decision must be taken without careful consideration. When you are choosing an elected representative, it is a long term commitment for 5 years. So take your time to study the options. Run a background check into all the candidates. What do they have to offer in terms of security, prosperity and governance? Check their past record, have they delivered on their promises? Do they have backgrounds of violating the law?
Similarly, when you pick a financial instrument for investment, do your due diligence. Finalise your objective first. Whether you want to meet any specific short term financial goal, or you want to park your income surplus for future use? Then look into the options. While mutual funds, government savings schemes, FDs are the popular options, you might also want to consider another attractive instrument – chit funds. Shanthala Chits, for instance, is a Government approved chit fund company with a 23 year successful track record and thousands of satisfied customers.
Don’t get swayed by inducements – Political parties and their candidates often use money and other short term inducements to lure voters. When voters fall for this trick and vote for the wrong candidate, they are risking their entire future for the sake for some quick pleasures. It becomes an ongoing practice and meritorious candidates stand to lose out. Money and muscle power will work only when the voter is tempted by it. Voting is a confidential exercise of franchise and a fundamental right. Its value is precious, and should not be wasted for frivolous reasons.
Inducements are rampant in the financial investments world too. Especially in the chit fund industry where we operate. Some promoters promise higher than market level returns and unreasonable benefits. Though these offers sound tempting at face value, they are just ways to deceive the investor. Investors must take care never to fall into this trap. Look for government registered chit fund companies. Verify their credentials and past record with customers.
It’s not enough to just plan and talk, you need to act – Many citizens are fully informed about the democratic process and the importance of choosing the right candidate, especially in urban centres like Bangalore. They are active on social media and have opinions on every subject. But when it comes to the actual voting day, they don’t make the required efforts to cast their votes! Many people simply treat the day as a holiday and take off on vacations. This is a serious negligence of our duty as citizens. Just like how we expect candidates to perform their constitutional duties, we citizens need to perform our democratic duty. So vote and be eternally vigilant about the government’s performance. It’s in our own benefit.
Drawing parallels in the financial world, investors might keep reading about various schemes and investment options but not take the required efforts to fulfil their financial goals. Many people keep their money idle or pick some hasty instruments just with the goal of tax saving or earning high returns. That’s a poor financial strategy. It’s important to turn your financial awareness into affirmative action. Invest in safe, investor friendly schemes. Do it well in time, don’t run around scrambling in the last minute before March 31! Pick a good mix of short term, long term and goal oriented schemes. For instance, chit funds make an excellent choice for meeting specific goals, such as a college education, a vehicle upgrade, a foreign holiday or a business investment.
Wishing all our readers a great future under the new government that takes oath after the general elections. Hope we citizens choose well and together bring about a period of peace and prosperity in our great country. Go out there and vote!
Anuradha is a freelance writer cum corporate trainer in the IT/telecom domain with over 18 years experience. She served in senior technical and management positions in Huawei and TCS for 10+ years. Then gave up the traditional corporate ladder to go solo - in order to escape horrendous city traffic and to be at her own boss!