Young Investor

‘Diversify your portfolio'

BL RESEARCH BUREAU | Updated on August 20, 2011

Mr Dharmesh Bhatia

After having dabbled in penny stocks and learnt investment lessons the hard way, Mr Dharmesh Bhatia, Associate Vice President- Research, Kotak Commodities, now swears by the importance of having a financial plan in place. His advice to young investors therefore is to start investing early and across asset classes. Excerpts:

What are your top financial goals?

My top financial goals are to buy a luxurious flat in Mumbai, build good credit and start an emergency fund. I would want to spend less and invest more.

What does money mean to you?

Money was the key to obtaining essentials when I was a child. But now it means best education and quality health care for my family and a comfortable living.

How much of your wealth is invested in bank deposits, stock markets, real estate and gold?

I always believed that one needs to diversify the portfolio and spread investments over commodity and equity to even out risks. I have invested a chunk of my wealth in gold, silver and real-estate, about 25 per cent each. Besides, I have invested 15 per cent of my savings in mutual funds and insurance policies and about 10 per cent in bank deposits.

Tell us about your most successful investment.

I have made real estate investments in Mumbai, which have worked exceptionally well for me. Apart from this, gold and silver have also yielded good returns. Those looking to build wealth can consider a SIP in gold even at current levels. While youngsters can explore the futures route to invest in gold, elderly investors can accumulate gold in physical form.

How are your building your retirement corpus?

I have invested in real estate and over the next 25 years that will appreciate to become a substantial amount. I also intend to buy pension plans that promise a fixed return. As I get into my 40s I will take out the money invested in physical gold and park it in bank fixed deposits.

One mistake on investing or saving that you regret?

I've burnt my fingers trading in penny stocks. In my college days, I used to trade in penny stocks, with the hope of doubling my money. But I landed up losing my capital! The most important investing mantra therefore is that there is no short cut to make money. Do your homework before buying into a stock.

How do you plan your investments to beat inflation?

My real estate investment will take care of inflation and protect my wealth. Equity can also be an option for people looking to make inflation-beating returns over a long term.

What was your first job and were you satisfied with it?

I started my career at a KPO, but, I left that job in two days as I knew that it was not going to take me anywhere. Then I joined a broking house as a research analyst where I learnt about commodities and money making opportunities. For the past five years I have been with Kotak and my career growth has been superior to many others who advised me not to leave that KPO job. I am happy about the choice I made.

What is your message on saving and investing to young people just starting out on their career?

The first thing I would advise is to start investing early; just about when one has taken up a job and there is no big financial liability or family responsibility.

This will help one save a substantial amount and reap good benefits of investing over a 30-35 year period. Also I would insist that people start saving a percentage of their monthly income in gold. Investing in gold is easier these days with many options open like ETF, e-gold, etc.

Published on August 20, 2011

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