It is said that one week is a long time in politics and, if Indian politics is any indication, we can probably take the saying to be fairly accurate. I do not know what is the right time frame for assessing the performance of a blog. However, I feel one year will be a good time to take stock of my experiences with the blog.
So how did it all get started? Well, when I wanted to get out of my regular corporate career and get started on my own Consultancy, getting my own financial situation organised was a top priority. This led me to think through the financial aspects a lot more than before and I started to realise that financial independence was an imperative for all people, it did not really matter whether they wanted to retire early or not. My following some Facebook groups and other blogs caused the realisation that there were hardly any good information available in the public domain that could guide investors in reaching the desired state of financial independence for themselves. The final push came through my daughter Rinki, who pointed out that if I felt there was some valuable knowledge to share then I should not shy away from the effort.
The response to the blog has really been stupendous, in fact I still find it difficult to believe that so many people read it, say that they have benefited from it, engage with me actively in terms of queries and suggestions and have changed their investing styles based on what they have learnt from the blog. More than the numbers, it is the interaction and engagement that I have had with many people I do not really know at all, which is really a rather humbling experience. It had inspired me to work hard initially to create a knowledge store which will be of use to many investors for a long time to come.
Of course, there have been some detractors too but that comes with the territory. In my investment life I have always tried to follow my gut instincts based on common sense and fundamental principles and it is that same sense that I have tried to bring to the blog. In the investment advice given in the blogs and Facebook groups, the only solution given is to invest in equity MF and only through SIP. This is completely flawed and I have tried to point it out in many of my posts, much to the consternation of the MF and SIP brigade.
What has been the greatest source of satisfaction in writing the blog. Well, there are several but the ones I can think of instantly are as follows:-
- Several readers have understood how they could be financially independent and have started their journey towards the same goal.
- Many investors have seen the flawed approach of investing in MF through SIP and have started looking at my suggestions of how it can be done otherwise.
- My blog has inspired many people to get started on a direct stocks portfolio. I believe this is important for retirement which cannot be done well only through the MF route.
- I have been able to remove the stigma from products such as PPF and SSY to a great extent. These are good products and must find place in your portfolio. The bashing that they get in social media is due to the half baked knowledge of the authors, rather than any intrinsic deficiencies with the products themselves.
- Readers of my blogs understand the characteristics of equity and debt as asset classes and are able to see where these fit into their portfolio.
These are very interesting times and there will be a lot of changes in the investment landscape in India over the next 2-3 years. I plan to continue the blog and take up writing on such opportunities that can pave the road for financial freedom of my readers.
Finally, I would like to thank all my readers for having made the blog what it is today. Had it not been for their response this may not have lasted the time that it has. I look forward to a similar level of support over the next year and hopefully beyond it.