A must-read guide simplifies the five S’s of money

New book by Adhil Shetty and A.R. Hemant will be immensely helpful to everyone grappling with complexities of investment world

GN Bureau | February 13, 2023


#stock market   #personal finance   #finance   #Economy  
(GN Photo)
(GN Photo)

The Bee, The Beetle and The Money Bug: The Bankbazaar Guide to the Financial World
By Adhil Shetty with A.R. Hemant
Rupa, 272 pages, Rs 395

I was fifty when I came to hear of ‘term plan’ for the first time. By then I had purchased so many investment-oriented life policies that I had forgotten the count. Also, by then, this new knowledge was nearly useless for me. The point is, if we admit that money has an important role to play in our lives, and if we plan quite seriously how to make it and how to spend it, how come we are so casual about how to save it, how to, let’s say, nurture it. So I join many who wish they had read this book earlier, in the twenties.

We toil hard to earn the money, and after that we are so tired that we find anything related to its safe-keeping, its maintenance very taxing. We spend hour every day to accumulate it, but many of us are loathe to spend even an hour even once a year to go through the paperwork. I am sure I am not alone when it comes to procrastinating anything related to (a) doing the homework for tax returns, (b) searching for lapsed policies, (c) writing to registrars or agencies about any change in the documents, (d) doing research before saying yes to the first marketing executive selling you a life insurance or a similar financial product, and so on. We all have paid the price for this.

A bit of financial discipline, basic knowledge of investment options and some idea about the larger economic picture: that’s not difficult to have these days thanks to the proliferation of information on the internet. Maybe, it is difficult to sift through all of them, though. That is why this book, by reputed pros, is a must-read for those who need a jargon-free guide to make the well-earned money work for us. (Adhil Shetty is CEO and co-founder of BankBazaar.com, one of the most widely read columnists on personal finance, and also a co-chair of the FICCI Fintech Committee. Co-author A.R. Hemant, head of communications at BankBazaar, is a journalist by training.)
 
For the sake of presentation, it has a devised a ‘5S Pyramid’, inspired by Abraham Maslow’s famous ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. Thus, the money aspect of our life can be broken down into easy-to-grapple-with stages:

Save (savings, FDs, liquid MFs)
Secure (insurance, health, term, vehicle, property)
Savour (credit card, personal loan, BNPL)
Strengthen (home, assets, investments)
And Serenity (credit score, debt-free assets, retirement)

The reader is guided through the plethora of topics using this helpful grid. Complementing it are the worksheets at the end for self-assessment. The book concludes with a small note on ‘Systematic Kindness Plan’ – the best advice if we are sensitive to our social responsibility as well as our spiritual potential.

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