Bhuvan or Kirsten?

Last ball of the game, a tense moment! Will it sail through the boundary or will it be caught? The ball was caught, but they won the game! Bhuvan won the game for his team in Lagaan. So did Dhoni in the World Cup. Bhuvan started off as a lone crusader and was both the coach and captain for his team, Dhoni had the backing of a capable team and Gary Kirsten as a professional coach. Both won games but in vastly different circumstances and manner.

In money management or for that matter any other area of life, there is always a choice between doing it yourself or hiring professionals. You must choose what will help you reach your goals.

Bhuvan had the hunger for a better life, the courage to fight against injustice. He had skills within him to make and manage a team and lead them to victory. We need to look within ourselves if we have the skills to take us forward towards our goals which can be anything from managing money to keeping fit.

  1. Bhuvan took up the challenge even though it seemed impossible. He had a choice to live with his current situation or play the game which he knew nothing about. If he won, he would have a much better life for the next three years, if he lost he would have to pay thrice the amount in taxes. He took that one chance towards a better future. Had he looked at it as insurmountable, he would have lost even before beginning.Are you one who can take up a challenge of creating Rs.10 crore required to fund retirement when you are just 30 years old and earning Rs.50000 a month? It seems impossible. You can win only if you play the game!
  1. There were all kinds of people in the village. Bhuvan recognised the potential in many of them and how that could be used in the game. He took in Bhura the poultry farmer for he saw in him the abilities to be a good fielder, catching the ball as he caught his hens. Arjan  the blacksmith had strong arms due to his trade, so he could hit hard. Even Kachra who was considered as an untouchable and was physically challenged was accepted in the team after considerable difficulty because of his spinning capability. Bhuvan could see the most useful skills in all these people which would help him reach his goal of winning the game.Do you have the skills in you to look at the potential of various products in the market? Can you evaluate them and see how they will fit nicely into a portfolio for you. What is the proportion that you should have in each of it to ensure that you reach your goals?
  1. When they started playing the game initially, all people would converge on the ball wherever it went. Bhuvan had to tell them to stand in their locations and run to the ball if it was within their area.There are all kinds of flavour of the season products flying in the market. Not all of them genuine. It could just be a good product but maybe not suitable for you or it could be a fraudulent scheme. Would you know the difference-when to move and when to stay out?
  1. While batting, the English captain provokes Arjan by saying that they will lose the game and will have to pay triple tax, his kids will not have food to eat. Just imagining such a situation throws Arjan into a fit of anger. His seething rage gets him out in the next ball! He is not able to fulfil the potential that Bhuvan saw in him as a good batsman.Will you be able to keep you emotions in control when there is turmoil in the markets or in your own personal situation? Or will emotions lead you to behaviour which can make you remain below your potential or destroy wealth?

For financial planning and investments you can look at the following list for some guidelines on choosing between the ‘Do it Yourself’ (DIY) approach or hiring a professional.

Do it Yourself if:

  1. You have the vision of your potential
  2. You know the options available to you
  3. You know the rules of the game
  4. You have the confidence to be rational in difficult times
  5. You have a liking for personal finance
  6. You have the time to devote to self study for understanding personal finance
  7. You have the skills needed to look at both the bigger picture and the details
  8. You are highly self motivated and disciplined to manage your finances
  9. You have basic requirements which can be fulfilled by information available online

Hire a professional if:

  1. You have a vision of your potential and you like the idea of having a coach to keep you motivated to stay on track to fulfil your potential
  2. You are a busy person with little time to devote for your finances
  3. You prefer spending your free time on things other than finance
  4. You like being organised
  5. You understand the need for being rational in difficult times and would prefer having a professional by your side to avoid mistakes
  6. You have wealth and would like it to grow over your lifetime and beyond
  7. You have a complex situation in personal finance
  8. You have to deal with multiple decision points and need clarity
  9. You do not understand personal finance arena and wish to be coached
  10. You understand personal finance but would be happy to have a professional validate your views.

Whether you choose the Bhuvan within you or hire Kirsten, you need to play the game if you want to win. Indecision will lead to inaction which is bad for your money.

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