Learn Investment with Ganpati Bappa

Learn Investment with Ganpati Bappa

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2018 - 04:30 am 156.3k Views

Under the rule of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century, it was first decided to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in a grandiose fashion in the state of Maharashtra. Since then, the state, in general, and the financial capital of Mumbai, in particular, celebrates the 10 day festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi with great pomp and gaiety. As is well-known, Lord Ganesha is the Lord of Prosperity. It is believed that when he arrives, he brings with him prosperity to the people.

In the spirit of the festival, we discuss 10 investment lessons we can glean from Lord Ganesha for a prosperous future.

1. Learning is at the core of wealth creation

Among other things, Lord Ganesha was known for his incomparable intellect and his ability to grasp and analyze situations. His ability to write down the entire Mahabharata epic in one sitting is a classic example of that intellectual depth and thirst for knowledge, this practice makes the core of investing. With the investment scenario becoming complex, the best insurance you have against any uncertainties is constant and continuous investment in knowledge. If you can do that, good returns will follow.

2. Discipline and commitment is important for investing

If you recollect the story of Lord Ganesha, he was created by Mother Parvati to guard the house while she was away. It was a statement of Lord Ganesha’s commitment to his word that he did not even permit the omnipotent Lord Shiva to enter the house. Like in the case of Lord Ganesha, your commitment to your goals and your discipline in investing must be maintained at all times.

3. Humility is the key to success in investments

Have you ever wondered what the posture of Lord Ganesha indicates? It is a classic example of humility. With one leg firmly planted on the ground and the trunk coiled, it represents the image of a powerful person humble in his own strength. Did you know that humility is integral to investing? You need to acknowledge that the market knows best and design your strategy accordingly. Never be presumptuous enough to imagine that you can perpetually beat the market.

4. Like Vakratunda, be patient and adaptable

The coiled trunk of Lord Ganesh is also called the Vakratunda. Apart from humility, it also represents adaptability since the trunk is flexible enough to be used for various purposes. The message to investors is to always be adaptable. Even the great Warren Buffett, who once refused to believe in tech stocks, now has Apple as his biggest exposure. Markets change and you need to change your strategy accordingly.

5. Listen attentively to what the market has to say

If you visit a Ganesh temple anywhere in India, you will find the statue of a mouse (Mushika) outside the sanctum, to whom devotees go and whisper their life goals. The large ears of Lord Ganesha represent the quality of listening to others attentively. As an investor, you should never get trapped in the pomp of your own thinking and your ideas. Listen to what others have to say and more importantly listen to what the market is saying. Keep your ears wide open as that can go a long way in making you a successful investor.

6. Make the best of the resources available to you

The fable goes like this: Lord Shiva promises the fruit of knowledge to the one who circum-ambulates the universe first. While Kartikeya sets off on his peacock, Lord Ganesha goes round his parents (after all, they represent Brahmaand) and wins the fruit of knowledge. When you invest, you are never going to have everything going your way. The key is to make the best of the resources available to you. The moral of the story is not to give up on investing just because you have to start small. You have to create the circumstances to invest.

7. Like Gajanana; get the big picture ahead of you

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha (Gajanana) has a much larger significance. It represents the bigger picture in the world. This applies to your investment as well. When we get into stocks, mutual funds and returns, we normally tend to lose the bigger picture. Our bigger picture is our financial goals towards which all these investments are intended. That is why, we have regular portfolio checks and portfolio rebalancing so that at no point you lose the bigger picture.

8. Tusk out the chaff from the wheat

The tusk of Ganesha represents the ability to separate the good from the bad. In more poetic parlance, we can also call it separating the wheat from the chaff. That is exactly the purpose of the tusk. This is all so relevant to our investment portfolios as well. There are times when mid caps get too expensive, there are times when valuations cannot be justified and there are times growth is faltering, but the P/E ratio is not. That is the time to use your proverbial tusk to review the portfolio and get rid of any potential non-performers.

9. Balance the material and the moral

Lord Ganesha is popular across India because he combines the best attributes of materialism and morality. This is evident from Lord Ganesha’s one foot which is firmly planted in the ground at all times. As an investor, you need to realize that the best way to create wealth in the markets is by marrying money and ethics. Unethical practices rarely work in the long run. The best companies in the Indian market are the ones who strike this balance.

10. This too shall pass

That is the crux of the Ganesha Chaturthi. The 10 days of festivities are here to remind you that good times will not stay forever. All good things come to an end, however, even bad times eventually pass. This presents important lessons on managing your portfolio, how you take profits off the table, etc. Hence, make the most of the good times and consolidate in tough times.

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