Thursday, June 18, 2015

7 personal finance lessons to learn from Katrina Kaif

Inspirations come in all shapes and sizes. You would surely agree that Katrina Kaif as an inspiration is not only shapely but also quite beautiful.

Katrina was a total novice when she entered the Hindi film industry. She had no knowledge of films. Worse � she couldn�t even speak the Hindi language properly. Yet within a short span of 5-7 years she has become one of the most successful actresses in the Hindi film industry.

Many amongst you too would have no knowledge of the personal finance industry. Worse � you wouldn�t even understand the financial language. But if you are willing to work hard like Katrina, there is no reason why you too can�t become a successful manager of your money.

Lesson 1: Background and past do not matter; what matters is what you do with your present.

Her first movie was called Boom, which ironically went totally bust (even though it also starred the legendary superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan). But she didn�t let the super-flop discourage her. Instead of feeling sad or sorry about it, she turned the failure into a lesson. You too will experience many failures when you start investing. But don�t let them deter you. No one can be 100% successful. All you have to aim for is to have more wins than losses.

Lesson 2: Don�t be discouraged by failures, instead learn from them.

To guide her during the initial years, she found herself a mentor. He acted as her friend, philosopher and guide � educating her about the nuances of the films and film industry. More importantly, she was a willing student who worked very hard to absorb all the lessons. You too should find yourself a financial advisor who will pass on all the knowledge to you. More importantly, you should be a willing student. After all, you have to score your own goals. A coach cannot do it for you.

Lesson 3: Find yourself a mentor and be willing to learn.

The first few years of her career she worked with established and successful stars only. You too should begin your investments with large and established companies/mutual funds. There is no point in taking risks until you understand the game.

Lesson 4: To start with, invest only in top-rated and successful companies/mutual funds.

She found a certain comfort level with Akshay Kumar and gave many hits working with him. She didn�t try to experiment too much or work with many stars. Identify a few investment options that you easily understand and are comfortable with. Don�t buy too many different financial products in the initial years of your investment.

Lesson 5: Stick with a few simple investment products in the early years.

It was only when she started understanding the Hindi film industry and achieved reasonable success that she moved to younger upcoming stars such as Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and Ali Zafar. She also took to doing items songs. Had she done item songs in early part of her career she would have remained an item-girl only. Only when you get a hang of the personal finance industry and have made some successful investments, should you consider investing in different products and upcoming companies. If you start with Futures/Options you will never become a successful investor.

Lesson 6: Move to riskier and specialized products only after you become a reasonably successful investor.

It would be wrong to attribute Katrina�s success to only her face and contacts. Starlets with prettier faces and better connections didn�t shine long enough. You won�t even remember their names. Ultimately, it is her attitude and dedication towards her work that has given Katrina all the success, fame and money. Likewise, the likelihood of you too becoming a multi-millionaire would be determined by just how good you are at managing the resources you have.

Lesson 7: Only �attitude� matters; rest is just a matter of details.

Professions may differ, but the underlying rules to success remain the same. Pick up any person you admire � Sachin Tendulkar, A.R. Rahman, Narayana Murthy, Kiran Bedi, Sonia Gandhi, etc. � and make him/her your inspiration. Success is waiting for you. Are you ready to grab it?

Sanjay Matai is a personal finance advisor ( ) and author. � Millionaires don�t eat cakes�they make them � is his latest publication.

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