"So Jan 10th is the last date for submission of investment proofs in your company, right?" asked a man in his mid 30s, staring right into my eyes through his thick glasses.
"Yes." I said with a pleasing smile, realizing that the time has finally arrived. This was my first encounter with a Chartered Accountant cum Financial Consultant, the mighty C.A. Ah, my savior from the gruesome tax man.
"Hmm so what have you planned so far? Got any insurance, funds, loans etc etc?" he leaned forward stroking his fingers against the table in typical Mogambo
"Ahh actually NONE." I smiled again to hide my ignorance or I shall I say shame for being ignorant.
I expected a rather blunt look from him. Swooshh!! as if Mogambo will lash his whip around my neck and hurl all his pet cheetahs and leopards towards me. "How can you be so stupid to not even claim the simple HRA and still sit pretty smiling at me?" I just wished he'll get a call and I'll get a breather before he'll utter these words. But hey what is it? Chamatkaar taoo chamatkaar. The roar reduced to mere groan and the lion leaned back in chair, completely relaxed, head thrown back. With a cunning smile outstripping his facial boundaries, two Uncle Scrooge
style dollar signs quickly flashed in his eyes. Without wasting any time, he bombarded me with a flurry investment terms and options. After wooing me with fortunes of money wells and pelting with nightmares of hefty tax cutting, he finally concluded with a suggestion (or shall I say directive) to invest only through him.
Quite expectant of him, right?
"And Why Not." I thought. "For my ignorance is his livelihood!"Picture Source: CFD
And I was not alone. I have seen people who are experts in every damn thing around but come matters of taxation and they start crying like a baby. "Whoever invented it must be hanged" is their last resort to save their face. But if you ask me, 'Tax Ghost' is not as dreadful as its image, atleast in a few ways:
1) First it makes you more aware of your financial statements (or financial wellbeing!)
2) It makes you invest. The most important lesson of assets and liabilities that is so hopelessly ignored by our education system.
3) It makes a lazy bum like me to get up and get working. Believe me a little bit of financial planning can exercise your brain far better than Sudoku puzzles and besides, it makes your pockets deeper.
I really couldn't get over the feeling of someone going through all my financial records and playing at might with it without me having a single clue about whats going on. So I decided to take a plunge into the richie rich world of Investment and Tax Planning. Thanks to Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad - Poor Dad"
, I was well armed with the strong concepts of Assets and Liabilities. The very idea of "Money yielding Money" was enough to pump up my adrenaline levels. With my basic ammunition ready, I was ready to take on the 'Tax Army' with help of internet, books, experienced friends and investment stall agents.
Time was short but I was determined. My lunchtime was dominated by investment & taxation talks, discussions and quick paper calculations. One thing I must warn you especially in finance, "If you don't understand a word, don't keep mum. Speak out, Clarify, Question it." No matter how stupid it may sound that time, u'll be smarter by another inch next time. So there I was, firing questions here and there, important or trivial, sensible or weird, googling and calculating at the drop of the hat.
Slowly terms like returns, risks, policies, mutual funds, equity, debt, ELSS, premium, bonus, endowment, ULIP, coverage, term plan, money return, capital guarantee, form 12B, form 16, rebates, dividends, reinvestment, SIP, section 80c, section 80ccc etc etc started making sense to me. I don't claim for the oxymoron title of 'Amateur Expert' on the subject but at least mogambos do not scare me anymore. No grudges against any of the honest CA's and consultants around but my biggest reward of the year, I did it all this time.. MYSELF.
Labels: Finance, Investment, Money, Tax