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  • Niteen Hatle

Investing is not important... is essential.

Rajat must have been around 23 when he got his first decent salary. Next morning, his dad took him to the bank to open his account. Rajat filled the form, signed on the line, and handed it over to his dad. While his dad was going through the form, he said to his dad that he wanted to open a recurring deposit as well. His dad lowered the form abruptly and gave him a stare. But then his dad only said, “Are you sure?” He nodded. And his dad said, “Okay.” It was Rajat’s first investment. But years later, he realized his dad had been proud of what his son had done. His dad had also made an investment, for the long term.

An apple tree takes four to eight years to bear fruit after being planted. You need to provide it water every week, and also fertilizer. You need to check on its health every other day. You have to check the leaves and branches. If they have dried, a clipping is necessary. Once the tree bears fruit, they should be plucked and enjoyed, lest they overripe and rot.

Mr. Manohar Bhide and Mrs. Vidya Bhide moved into a villa in Vengurla, Maharashtra, four months after retirement. They had worked in a bank and spent most of their lives in Mumbai. One evening, they sat on the porch of their beach villa reminiscing their life. Theirs was an arranged marriage. The initial few months passed by with the overwhelming feeling of being married. By their first wedding anniversary, the novelty was gone and life had begun. The more they got to know each other the more they realized they were quite incompatible. The first year had passed by pleasing the partner just for the sake of it. The second year was tough and there were arguments and quarrels. Frustration had crept in. They felt like two prisoners in a cell.

Perhaps on the advice of close relatives or friends, they began to rebuild their relationship with a clean slate. They treated each other as individuals rather than husband and wife. Differences were resolved through nice and calm conversations. They listened, compromised, and agreed with each other’s feelings, thoughts, and ideas. They began to enjoy the challenges their relationship threw at them. They looked after each other’s needs and expectations. They took efforts to make each other happy. They faced the ups and downs of life together. As the sun went down the horizon, Mr. and Mrs. Bhide smiled with a sense of relief that they remained invested in their relationship for 35 years.

Rajat’s dad had bought shares of top companies at IPO prices during the 80s. He still had them when he retired. Rajat restructured his dad’s portfolio; sold non-performing companies and increased investment in those that were performing well. Rajat rode the 2008–2009 crash by ceasing direct investment in shares when the stock market was at its peak and investing in mutual fund SIPs. Later, the investment paid for his wedding, his new house, and will most likely pay for his son’s education.

Written by Niteen Hatle

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