Delighted to share about this wonderful book of personal finance by none other than Monika Halan, the consultant editor at Mint with tons of experience in the area and a great heart that wanted to share her precious insights.
I am halfway through Let’s talk money and felt it would be criminal not to spread the word about such an empowering book. Shall review the book in detail a bit later. Check out the blurb below :
We work hard to earn our money. But regardless of how much we earn, the money worry never goes away. Bills, rent, EMIs, medical costs, vacations, kids’ education and, somewhere at the back of the head, the niggling thought about being under-prepared for our own retirement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our money worked for us just as we work hard for it? What if we had a proven system to identify dud investment schemes? What if could just plug seamlessly into a simple, jargon-free plan to get more value out of our money, and have a super good life today? India’s most trusted name in personal finance, Monika Halan offers you a feet-on-the-ground system to build financial security. Not a get-rich-quick guide, this book helps you build a smart system to live your dream life, rather than stay worried about the ‘right’ investment or ‘perfect’ insurance. Unlike many personal finance books, Let’s Talk Money is written specifically for you, keeping the Indian context in mind.
I even have an exclusive excerpt for you, with the kind permission from the author and the publishing team of Harper Collins.
Kanchan Chander is a famous Delhi-based artist; you can spot her on page 3 of the daily tabloids grinning at the camera. I happened to meet her at the home of a common friend. And as it played out, the conversation soon shifted to her money. (There was not much I knew about art anyway.) She was in the middle of a story that I had now heard hundreds of times. A pushy bank relationship manager promises a wonder insurance-cum-investment product; you trust your bank; you grew up in a time when insurance meant safety and good return, along with tax breaks. This relationship manager is very persuasive, calls many times, is very charming, looks sincerely into your eyes and gives his personal promise about the product; I’m there, he says. Kanchan’s story was no different. She wanted to put away a lump sum for two years so that she could fund her son’s art-school education in the UK. However, she was sold a fifteen-year regular-premium unit-linked insurance plan some years ago by her bank. She thought she was buying a two-year fixed deposit, but the bank had put her in a regular-premium long-term investment. She got a shock when a year later she got a message from the insurance company saying that the second premium is due. But, she had made a one-time investment, she thought. So she called her bank relationship manager. He had gone. Another smart slick-suit was there who told her that if she did not make the payment she’d lose the entire investment to costs (which she was not told at the time of investment). She protested. You signed the policy, so you should have known this, was the push back. Kanchan was devastated. Artists’ incomes are erratic and she had been banking on this money to fund her son’s education, and now it was gone. As a single parent, the blow was even harder. There was nobody to fall back upon. Chances are that you’ve already had at least one bad insurance experience by now. Either you would have got back a pittance after faithfully servicing your policy for twenty years, or you would have got trapped in a product you did not want. Or been brazenly lied to and left holding a dud product. Why do they cheat and what can you do to stay safe? Do you really need an insurance cover? What about the tax break – how will you get that if you don’t buy another policy? I’m going to take each question and then leave you with some very simple dos and don’ts. You need to treat the insurance industry and those who sell the same like walking through reptile-infested waters; you need to stay on the path that is safe. They’re out to get you. You need to look after your money. I’m not joking.
Hope you are compelled enough to check out the book on Amazon!
About the Author
Monika Halan is consulting editor and part of the leadership team at Mint. A certified financial planner, she has served as editor of Outlook Money and worked in some of India’s top media organizations, including the Indian Express, the Economic Times and Business Today. She has run four successful TV series around personal finance advice, on NDTV, Zee and Bloomberg India, and is a regular speaker on financial literacy, regulation and consumer issues in retail finance. As part of her public policy service, she is a member of SEBI’s Mutual Fund Advisory Committee. She lives in New Delhi and tweets at @monikahalan.