Virat Kohli lets passion guide his investments

Cricketer Virat Kohli believes in starting young on investments to make the most of savings and tax benefits


Cricketer Virat Kohli.
Cricketer Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli comes across as a spirited and aggressive player on the field. He is equally disciplined and meticulous when it comes to his finances. After speaking to Kohli, his partners and his management team, here are some key investment lessons for every investor from the Delhi-based cricketer.

Start investing early

At 27, Kohli already knows the importance of investing. Over the last five years, his investments have included a combination of assets—real estate, fixed deposits and equity. In the past two years, he has ventured into different businesses, so he has been busy adding to his retirement basket.

When it comes to growing your money, the earlier you start saving and investing, the easier it will be to build a corpus of savings. If you want to reap the benefits of compounding, you have to start early; that way, the amount you have to invest to reach your goals will also be lower. Say, your current annual expense is Rs10 lakh at the age of 25. If you want to sustain a similar lifestyle after factoring in inflation at the rate of 6%, you will need Rs77 lakh during your retirement. This means you have to build a corpus of close to Rs11 crore. If you start investing at the age of 25, you will have to invest Rs28,000 per month to reach your goal, assuming a growth rate of 10% per annum. But if you delay and start investing only when you turn 30, you would need to save Rs35,365 per month. So Kohli is on the right track.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Kohli has diversified his investments across real estate, equity, fixed deposits and business ventures. His business ventures include sports teams FC Goa, UAE Royals and Bengaluru Yodhas (football, tennis and wrestling, respectively), a fitness chain (Chisel), a social media company (Sport Convo) and a fashion brand (Wrogn). Remember that investing is as much about returns as it is about managing risk. Where the risk of losing capital is high, you need to consider ways of diversification by investing in more than just one asset class. Learn to make use of varied investment vehicles, depending on your appetite for risk and the time horizon.

"Stay true to yourself and your goal. Be determined about what you have to achieve. Also, very importantly, love what you do and do it with all honesty."- Virat Kohli

Invest in what you understand

A careful look at Kohli’s businesses reveals that all of them have one thing in common—his passion. The cricketer says that given his inclination towards fitness and fashion, his investments are a natural progression. In the case of his investment in teams, he has chosen to be associated with sports that he follows closely. Kohli, then, has focused on areas that he understands and enjoys.

Many people want to invest, but they shouldn’t always go by what their friends or family advise. You need to understand the products you invest in. Make the product selection on the basis of what you need from the funds and your time horizon. If you don’t understand an investment instrument, try to learn more about it or seek professional advice.

Plan for your retirement

Kohli knows that his career as a cricketer will be over in 10-12 years. The portfolio he is building is for his post-cricketing career. He is already planning for his retirement. It is always important to plan for your sunset years, and the sooner you start, the less taxing it will be in subsequent years. To begin with, you need to have a target corpus in mind and complement it with a disciplined cash flow. Your retirement corpus depends on the retirement age, desired standard of living, inflation, taxation and your current investments. Keep these in mind to arrive at a suitable future cash balance plan.

Seek professional advice

Just as Kohli seeks advice from his coach to improve his performance, he takes professional help for personal investments as well. He is insistent that every business venture and financial investment be undertaken on the recommendation of professionals and after considering the nitty-gritty. It’s important to remember that earning money is only the first step, it has to be followed by efficient management of funds. If there are areas of financial planning that you are not able to manage on your own, seek help. Your financial planner or adviser will help you make the appropriate investment decisions as well as reset the financial discipline that you need to achieve your goals. A dedicated financial adviser, whom you trust, can bring clarity and stability to the management of your money.

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Name: Virat Kohli

Age: 27

What does luxury mean to you?

To me, luxury is more about comfort. When I was growing up, I wasn’t as brand conscious as I was brand aware. I always aspired to own luxury products. But now, it is more a matter of comfort and utility.

What was your first investment and what did you do with your first pay cheque as a cricketer?

After I signed my IPL (Indian Premier League)contract after the auction, the first thing I did was buy a house.

What is your favourite shopping destination?

Dubai, London and Australia. These three have always been my favourites for shopping.

What does money mean to you?

Money is important, but it’s not everything. Money adds materialistic comfort to life but it is true what they say—there are some things money can’t buy and those things are truly priceless. Time spent with my family, my friends and my dog gives me immense happiness and is above anything money can ever buy. Money is important in life to maintain a good standard of living for your family and children growing up.

What’s your success mantra?

Hard work and hard work only. Stay true to yourself and your goal. Be determined about what you have to achieve. Also, very importantly, love what you do and do it with all honesty.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far?

I, along with my management agency, have been able to build really interesting platforms in different businesses. The idea is to have sustainable intellectual property by which people can identify me—edgy clothing, fitness centres are a natural extension of me. I am learning new things about investing in businesses every day. These ventures also give me a sense of responsibility post my cricketing career.

As of now what are your professional goals?

Professionally and personally, I have one goal and it has been the same since I started playing cricket. All my efforts are directed towards my country and my sport. When I play for the country, I feel an immense sense of pride and passion. It is an overwhelming feeling to be standing on the 22 yards while people are cheering for your team and you. Only few feelings come close to how happy you feel when you lift any trophy. I want to keep working hard for it every day and enjoy every moment of it too. The day I stop enjoying it, I will know it’s time to hang up my boots.

(As told to Mint for Mint Rich Star Series.)

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