In a 1959 speech, American President John F. Kennedy famously said: “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one represents danger and one represents opportunity.”
While it may sound selfish to treat a crisis of this magnitude, as an opportunity, but why not do it when it may help us deal better with it and survive well through it?
In this context, here are some things you can do while you are confined to your home and have a lot of time to indulge in them.
The world after this crisis is over may look way different than what it is today. But without worrying about the uncertainty of it, let’s get down to do what we can do now, when we have the time.
Have enough survival cash in hand, or in your bank account. Around 3-6 months of emergency funds is a good idea at all times, but this is a necessity now. Keep this cash for meeting your essential needs, like food, medication, shelter and basic utilities. Don’t use it to buy stocks, however enticing it may seem. This cash is for your family’s survival, not just yours. Avoid being greedy with it.
2 Help Others Survive
This crisis affects all of us alike, without considerations for religion, caste, social or financial standing. So, if you are fortunate enough financially, help others who aren’t. Maybe buy a month of necessities for your housemaid, driver, security guard, or any such person that helps you live an easy life. Maybe hand them an extra month of wages, without the condition of getting back the same later. Use online communication tools to educate them about the idea of social distancing, cleanliness, and saving for emergencies. Ease their fears. Their livelihood is at a greater risk than yours.
3 Get the Basics Right
Coming back to your own needs, after ensuring an emergency fund that should lie at your home, or in your bank account or a good liquid fund, and ensuring adequate life and health insurance, look at avenues to invest the rest of the money well.
Choose equity mutual funds only for money you don’t need in the next five years. Invest in a staggered manner, maybe spread out over the next six months. Don’t stop your good quality SIPs, but don’t go overboard as well. Despite the mouth-watering valuations, Don’t borrow money to invest in stocks, and please don’t sell your house to do so.
Also, remember that cheap does not mean value. And cheap can become (much) cheaper. So, ensure what you are doing and why you are doing it. By the way, for money you need in the next 1-3 years, go with liquid funds or Arbitrage Funds. Get these basics through to your friends and relatives too, who may not be as financially literate as you are.
4 Rework Your Thesis
Take a hard look at the investments you have made, without obsessing about the regret or pain of losing a large part of your net worth in them in the crash of the past few weeks. Rework on your thesis of owning each stock. If a stock does not fit the original thesis anymore, sell it at whatever gain or loss you are sitting at. Don’t touch the remaining stocks. And please don’t obsess about stock prices of your holdings. What will be, will be. And no one can offer you any credible idea where stocks will head over the next few weeks or months. Everyone is making estimates, the best estimates and the worst estimates.
5 Do It Together
Discuss your financial situation with your spouse. Every stakeholder in the family must know the true financial condition of the family, so that everyone can chip in with ideas and also be willing to change their saving and spending habits with changing times. The idea is not just to get through this emergency as a family, but also learn to deal with all future emergencies together.
6 Be With Your Kids
With kids at home and no classes to bother them, spend time teaching them about the importance of building the right character, habits and attitude to deal with all that life brings along. Also teach them the basics of money and the importance of saving for emergencies. They will understand the term “emergency” better now. And not just about money, take time out to read with them, write with them, watch with them, cook with them, exercise with them, meditate with them, clean with them, and just be with them.
7 Be With Your Parents
Your “family” is not just your spouse and kids. It also includes your parents. If you have been running a race away from them, now is the time to slow down and match your pace to your ageing parents’. Spend time with them. Listen to them. Learn how they have dealt with emergencies in their lives. They’ve lived longer than you, and they don’t just talk to hear themselves speak.
8 Get Your Documents in Order
Get your financial and other important documents and such essential information in order. Don’t just have soft copies of these documents. Print them, sit and talk about them with your spouse, and then store them well in your home closet. Imagine the virus has given you a month to live. Will you do it now for the sake of your dependents?
9 Start Learning and Prepare for the Future
In case “always constrained for time” was your excuse for not picking up those wonderful books gathering dust in your bookshelf, this is the time to pick them up and read them. Invest in yourself for building the right thinking and investing mindset.
Re-skill yourself and learn some new skills that will make you better prepared for the future. Amidst the virus scare, we may lose focus on the risks to our careers that automation and artificial intelligence may bring. But if we keep learning and keep updating our skills, we may avoid becoming redundant for a longer time. By the way, technology itself has made available the world’s best teaching right at our fingertips. We just need to be willing to use them while we have time.
Call up your friends and distant family members and ask how they are taking care of themselves and coping up with the crisis. Sound positive and cheerful. Make them see the positive side of this crisis and guide them to prepare for any emergency. Share with them all that you are doing, help them do that and more. Give them moral support.
All We Have is the Present…
You see, the present moment is all we have to create our life, and we have to prioritize things we want to do NOW. Regretting about the past is like wasting time and energy on the impossible. And worrying about the future is like having no faith in God, or belief in your capabilities and that of others passing through the same challenges.
The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly. Just focus on what you’re doing, right at this moment. In this way, any activity can be meditation.
And remember…“ होइहि सोइ जो राम रचि राखा।“
“ Everything will happen as per God’s wish.”
Life will definitely find a way. Go with the flow.
Shall like to end with this famous quote : “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” ~ Sun Tzu
- An opportunity to be kind
- An opportunity to be thankful
- An opportunity to help
- An opportunity to contribute
- An opportunity to reconnect
- An opportunity to go within
- An opportunity to rethink
- An opportunity to rebalance
- An opportunity to show empathy
- An opportunity to heal
- An opportunity to be human
- An opportunity to create new ways to live…..
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and
Stay Blessed Forever….
Kindly check our earlier blog on a similar subject : Investment Lessons from Mythology at https://sahayakgurukul.blogspot.com/2019/03/investment-lessons-from-mythology.html OR https://www.sahayakassociates.in/resources/our-blog/2553-sahayak-associates/sahayak-associates-blog/8435-investment-lessons-from-mythology
Note: All information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not constitute any professional advice or service. Readers are requested to consult a financial advisor before investing as investments are subject to Market Risks.About The author
About The author
After completing his schooling from St. Johns, Chandigarh (Class of 1980) and Modern School, New Delhi, (Class of 1982) Sandeep did his B. Com (Hons.) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University (Class of 1985)
Sandeep is an alum of IIM Lucknow with a Post Graduate Degree (MBA class of 1988).
He has also written two books, ‘Dear Son, Life Lessons from a Father’on the teachings of Life https://www.amazon.in/dp/1637815271 and the Second book which he has Co Authored titled, ‘What My MBA Didn’t teach me about Money’ on the Human and Financial perspective of money. https://www.amazon.in/dp/1637816502
He has a rich work experience and started his career as a corporate man with Asian Paints after IIML. He has a rich experience covering the FMCG, Food Distribution, Cold Chain, Logistics, and Hospitality Industries. He is currently in the Wealth Management and Personal Finance domain. He has a passion for finance and is an active speaker on topics in finance. The stories he narrates strike a chord close to his heart, as they are based on events from his own life. He believes in a holistic view of Personal Finance.
Sandeep’s investing experience and study of the Financial Markets spans over 30 years. He is based in Chandigarh and is advising more than 500 clients across the globe on Financial Planning and Wealth Management.
He has promoted “Sahayak Gurukul” which is an attempt to share thoughts and knowledge on aspects related to Personal Finance and Wealth Management. Sahayak Gurukul provides financial insights into the markets, economy and Investments. Whether you are new to the personal finance domain or a professional looking to make your money work for you, the Sahayak Gurukul blogs and workshops are curated to demystify investing, simplify complex personal finance topics and help investors make better decisions about their money.
Alongside, Sandeep conducts regular Investor Awareness Programs and workshops for Training of Mutual Fund Distributors, and workshops and seminars on Financial Planning for Corporate groups, Teachers, Doctors and Other professionals.
Through his interactions and workshops, Sandeep works towards breaking the myths and illusions about money and finance.
His passion has driven him towards career counselling for young adults and mentoring the youngsters on achieving their life goals and becoming “Successful Humans”
He also writes a well-read blog; https://sahayakgurukul.blogspot.com
He has also conducted presentations, workshops and guest lectures at professional colleges and management institutes for students on Financial Planning and Wealth Creation.
He can be reached at: