When the Agarwals’ do it yourself investing met expert advice, their investments took a turn for the better
Taking premature retirement was a big decision for the couple. Rohit retired from the army some 6 years ago. The couple’s two children were in school then. “We were a little apprehensive. I was sure that I wanted to live in Delhi, but we didn’t have a house here. We could have stayed with my parents but we didn’t really want to do that,” said Rohit.
“Then, on retirement, there was a lump sum amount that had to be invested properly,” said Divya. They decided that they needed advice on how to invest “essentially, our life’s savings for the long term, and not make mistakes with it”.
Education: The couple’s biggest near-term goal is their children’s education. The son is now in fourth year of law school and the daughter is in the first year of design school. “We would like them to abroad for further education,” said Rohit. For this, they will need about Rs 10 lakh per annum for the next 2 years, and then about Rs20 lakh per annum for 4-5 years.
Retirement: The couple’s other main goal is to secure recurring income for the retirement years.
Thanks to Rohit’s pension, and the medical coverage for defence personnel and their dependants, they are in a relatively comfortable position.
Taking the advice of a financial planner helped the couple manage their finances better. When Rohit was doing his own investing, he realised that to make the best use of the funds, he would have to either work to stay abreast with the market, or he could take professional advice.
“We would have had to spend a lot of time trying to figure things out,” Divya said. “When I was in the army, I did a lot of day trading. Surya (Bhatia) explained to me how this was a mistake in the long term,” said Rohit.
Growth: The couple has seen their investments grow.
“We have a few SIPs (systematic investment plans) now,” said Rohit. “Having a plan has helped us over the years,” said Divya.
Investments, savings and tax planning have been tailored around Divya’s regular income and Rohit’s erratic cash flow from freelance consulting jobs.
Correct directions: Over the years, they have also been saved from making mistakes. “Whenever we had some harebrained idea, we were thankfully able to get advice against it,” said Divya. A couple of years ago, Rohit and Divya felt they should invest in a property in Delhi. “We even went to see some places and they looked attractive,” said Divya. But the couple were advised by their planner that they could get similar returns from investing in mutual funds, with lower risk and effort.