On Teachers' Day, A Few Lessons from Bollywood That'll Help You See The Big Picture on Investing

From our first teacher in the nursery standard who taught us to spell “c-a-t” and write cursive to our professors in college who mentored us for life, every lesson, effort, and rebuke of our teachers has moulded us into what we’ve become today. And today is a celebration of the endless, consistent, and indelible impact they have had on us.

But as we age in life, we begin to derive lessons from everywhere. Our life, in general, becomes a constant, never-ending school where you just cannot ever seem to complete the curriculum. The syllabus is endless and there are no set subjects.

However, no one really minds a good film being their teacher for a few hours. Over the years, Bollywood has given us thought-provoking and entertaining films in equal measure. It has also given us some iconic, on-screen teachers that have stayed with us, long after they have disappeared from the silver screen. Here are some teachers whose filmy wisdom can very well be extended and applied to your investments, too.

Har bachche ki apni khoobi hoti hai, apni kaabiliyat hoti hai, apni chahat hoti hai”. Ram Shankar Nikumbh in Taare Zameen Par was the real reason the world could discover Ishaan’s artistic brilliance. Nikumbh never saw the child’s dyslexia as adversity, but in fact, supported him to pursue what he loved and excelled in.

Just like that, when we build our portfolio, different assets come together as a bouquet of return-generating, risk-appropriated and inflation-beating investments. Each of them serves your hard-earned money in a different way.

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For instance, equities take care of aggressive, long-term returns. In the (modified) words of Kabir Khan from Chak! De India, “Har team main sirf ek hi gunda ho sakta hai, aur iss team ka gunda equity hai”. Debt, although low on delivering returns, work as risk-offsetter and stabiliser for your funds in events of market volatility. Then there’s gold, which works as a hedge against inflationary pressures.

Given that every asset has a distinctive purpose, you should carefully assess each of them against your financial goals before you take the plunge. Ask yourself if they will complement your overall financial objective. This will help you avoid unrealistic expectations from your portfolio.

For instance, if you want to fund your higher education, a milestone that is to come in the next five years, investing solely in debt, bonds and gold will not suffice. Kyunki har asset ki apni khoobi hoti hai, apni kabiliyat hai. That is why you should diversify, instead of going big on a single asset, so that you rein in the best of every asset in your favour.

Raj Aryan Malhotra from Mohabbatein was the OG cool teacher in the noughties, challenging and eventually breaking all societal shackles that existed in the Gurukul.

His love for music and his long-dead lover was eternal, unyielding, and unchanging, irrespective of every resistance and hardship he faced. In his words, “Mohabbat bhi zindagi ki tarah hoti hai, har mod aasaan nahi hota, har mod par khushi nahi hoti, par jab hum zindagi ka saath nahi chhodte, phir mohabbat ka saath kyun chhod dein.”

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Just like that, investing, too, is a very rough journey that demands time. Filled with downturns, losses, and uncertainties, wealth generation is no bed of roses. That’s also why markets reward the long-stayers, brave, patient, and persevering ones. When it comes to managing your portfolio, let your financial discipline be as enduring as Raj’s love.

In fact, most investing legends like Warren Buffett, who revere the market as their ultimate teacher, also endorse patience as the key to all investing dilemmas. Take inspiration from Dr Jug in Love You Zindagi when he says, “Genius is not someone who has all the answers, but someone who has the patience for all the answers”.

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