9 Excuses People Give For Not Investing


The amazing excuses given by people don’t invest their money abound, but you would be wise to ignore them.
Excuses won’t help you get ahead; they can only hold you back creating a retired life you deserve, says financial planning advisor P V Subramanyam.

People have wonderful, innovative, diverse excuses to explain why they are not investing their money.

But each of these excuses help you reach just one end — a struggle for money when you retire.

Here are some excuses you should ditch the minute they pop into your head.

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1. I am too young to start investing for retirement.

Younger people do not like to hear about saving/investing for their retirement — it is a goal that is just too far away.

My take: Forget retirement, this generation will need money to eat when they are between jobs.

A job loss can happen at 32 while retirement may happen at 60.

Your savings and investment can tide you through the bad times.

2. I have no money to save or invest.

I have heard this from people earning Rs 9,000 per month as well as from people taking home Rs 134,000 per month.

My take: Need I say more?

3. I have so much debt, how can I invest?

Is that really a good argument?

My take: Assuming you have debt for which you are paying interest at 10 per cent per annum and a decent index return of 13 per cent per annum, it makes more sense to keep investing while repaying the loan.

Do not give up one for the other.

4. My PF and pension will take care of my needs.

It does not matter if I lose some money in endowment plans — ULIP or otherwise, said one senior person.

My take: Why would you not want to make your money work for you?

5. Why invest when we can trade and make money?

A senior defence person (now retired perhaps) said, ‘The older people may be bad but the youngsters in the army today know everything about investing.’

He gave examples of how all of them had ‘E-brokerage’ accounts and how they had attended a four-day session on technical trading.

My take: Can the stock market always guarantee you great returns?

6. You talk too much about saving and investing.

One lady told me, ‘We are middle class and not in the greedy rich class. We do not need to worry so much about saving and investing’.

She was sure she would have Rs 80 lakh available with her at retirement and that she was not worried about how long it will last.

My take: Considering inflation, isn’t that a dangerous train of thought?

7. I do not understand anything about the markets.

I need to know how the markets work and then I will start investing, I’ve been told. Humorous? Well, it’s true.

My take: But is the stock market the only way to make your money grow?

8. I will never retire.

I am a doctor (there are many other professions that can replace the word doctor here) and I will never retire. I do not see any need to save/invest.

My take: Life, unfortunately, sometimes has the nasty habit of throwing up googlies that we would never expect.

9. It is too late Subra.

I am 48 and I think it is too late. This is the opposite of ‘I am so young…’

My take: Start now, it’s always better to be late than never do something. If you live till 92, you still have 44 years to go!

The fact that many Indians aren’t saving enough for their retirement is downright scary.

Not taking enough exposure to equity is even scarier.

Without proper government services in place, the vast majority of these people will be forced to subsist on their children’s money, government hospitals, relatives or at God’s Mercy. If you don’t want to be one of them, now is the time to get real about invest for the future.

You may think you can’t afford to save for retirement, but you can’t really afford not to!

You might think it’s too ‘hard’ or ‘complex’ but once you find a half decent independent financial advisor and decide to stick to some basic plans, investing is easy and so simple that a child studying in class VII can understand it.

The amazing excuses given by people who don’t invest their money abound, but you would be wise to ignore them. Excuses won’t help you get ahead; they can only hold you back from the retirement you deserve.

  • Do you have personal finance-related questions? Ask Rediff.com‘s Money Gurus HERE.

P V Subramanyam is a chartered accountant with more than four decades of experience in the field of personal finance and blogs at subramoney.com.

Disclaimer: This advisory is meant for information purposes only. Any use of the information and related decisions of the recipients are at their sole discretion and risk. Any advice herein is made on a general basis and does not take into account the specific objectives of the specific person or group of persons. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.


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