Investment Advice

Author: Charanya Krishnan

Today, I took particular notice of the ‘Financial Advice’ that was dished out by an expert as a response to money queries raised by readers as part of their popular weekly newspaper column. While the advice was sound, the word that caught my attention was ‘Investment’. I was contemplating simply the power and intensity of that word – Investment.

The word Investment is grossly underused in our lives. Investment does not just refer to making sound deployment of money as a result of maximizing profits or gains. It is also a conscious act of deployment of time and effort. Are we investing in other important assets of our life was my question?

How conscious are we towards the protection of our investments in our Life, Work, Family, Friends, Health, Spiritual Values and the Planet? Do we put as much care or thought towards these other important areas of our lives or allow these assets to take care of themselves?

My recent bad investment in my health immediately popped into my mind. I should have been more cognizant. Spent more time and effort on my fitness and dietary habits. Why did I not see my health as an asset worthy of investment?

I patted myself when I realized I had fared better on my work front. I have invested time and effort and seized a good opportunity for upskilling. The result has helped me pivot my career. I was glad that I was mindful of this investment. With many young Indian working professionals consciously ‘Upskilling and Reskilling’, I, happy with my returns, noted that I should start investing money, time and effort in conscious upskilling to protect the asset of my career.

There is no doubt that a family is one’s biggest asset. I continue to invest a lot of time, effort and patience in my children; the ROI on this has no fixed timeline, for I am aware this is a delicate investment. I cannot say the same with my parents, siblings or extended family. I thought about all the calls I said I would return, but slipped from my mind. Was I that busy? Or was I unmindful of my investment of love and time in this most precious asset? I can certainly do better.

Last summer, a group of friends planned a holiday along with our children. No investment was made here. How precious is this asset to me? Very precious indeed. I need to redirect my time and effort wisely on this, as this is one of my oldest and most beloved assets. Of course, I often make allowances of time and effort for colleagues, people we meet every day… but friends we have carried with us for years cherished…. I believe I can certainly do better. If I nurture this investment well with love and understanding, I will not have to make sorry excuses.

What about ‘Me Time’? My assessment was – Moderate on time but low on quality. Because consciousness has not been invested in this. Low-quality self-care is also not worth it. Mindless surfing through Netflix, thoughtless dressing up (mindful, I have made a good investment in my clothes), dinners at fancy restaurants (often rushed). The investment I need to make here is, ‘make time tick a little slower’. I need to squeeze every second’s worth of its value of time and effort. Slowing down is the mantra. Breathing slowly and consciously may also help. A conscious slow connection with my spiritual values and the spirit in me requires a lot of time in self-discovery. ‘Care, Consciousness and Mindfulness’ will make this investment sound.

We do not often see our Life, Health, Work, Self, Planet, Family or Friends as assets. Just like our financial assets, these other important aspects, which we seldom view as assets, often need just a smattering of Conscious Time and a pinch of Mindful Effort, and the result would be phenomenal. With all my assets protected, I will indeed be the richest person in the world.