After a gap, we conducted our basic financial literacy seminar
After a long gap Moneylife Foundation held its basic seminar on financial literacy “How To Be Safe & Smart with Your Money” on 1 May 2014. The session was conducted by Moneylife Foundation’s founder trustees Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu.
Ms Dalal focused on avoiding financial scams which dupe innocent and even supposedly careful savers who may be looking for higher returns on their hard-earned money. Schemes which are too good to be true, such as ponzi schemes or multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, can destroy a large chunk of your savings or push you into debt, Ms Dalal pointed out. Savers need to look through the sales pitch and sometimes the big names endorsing such schemes. She mentioned that one should always choose products that are regulated. Ms Dalal also touched on area related to credit cards, insurance and credit scores.
In the second session, Debashis Basu spelt out the various ways in which one can be smart with one’s money and make correct investment decisions choosing from a huge variety of financial products, like mutual funds, fixed deposits, bonds, stocks, etc. The secret is to match your needs and the time horizon with the right products.
Most savers are too lazy, or confused, and so keep a large part of the money in banks. Their savings will not grow too much and will not beat inflation. They need to systematically save in a mix of fixed-income and equity products and avoid insurance products. He explained to the audience how much they should allocate to fixed-income investments and equity mutual funds, depending on their age, and whether or not they have dependents. “The best way to invest smartly is to start as early as possible and save as much as possible in inflation-beating products,” said Mr Basu. Inflation is likely to remain high in India and Indians are living longer. This makes it essential to invest in ‘inflation beating’ financial products, such as blue-chip stocks and equity funds, pointed out Mr Basu.