Most of the world has misgivings about the nomadic life. All through my new journey as a full-time travel blogger (read – For Travel Goals that are Long Term…), people have told me that my finances would dwindle – I would first live off my savings (from the corporate job that I’ve left), and then would be forced to swallow my pride and depend on my folks for my expenses, until of course, I’m married off to an unfortunate man who would have to bear the cost of my existence. I am writing today to show you the real story…
Setting My Priorities Straight
At the outset (when I was still with a conventional job), I had asked myself what really mattered to me – the myth of a stable income with occasional raises and bonuses or the opportunity to harness my full potential in a field that makes me cry with happiness. Contrary to the common man’s wish, I don’t think I’d want to cry in a BMW (read – Karjat in a BMW – A Road Trip to Remember!). I’d rather be smiling through a boat-ride! Once I knew what I was after, it was easy to figure out how I’d bring in the moolah.
Chasing Money Or Chasing A Dream?
The best thing about following your dream is that you are always excited about your work, irrespective of the money it fetches you. When your focus shifts away from riches, you start creating real value, and as a result, automatically begin to bring in the big bucks! The moment I stopped chasing money, I realized I could chase better things – a tiger hiding in the woods (read – Forsyth Trail – A Hike through Satpura’s Core Tiger Zone), exotic birds in the wilderness (read – Why The Serai Bandipur Is Every Birdwatcher’s Paradise), a running goal in a lesser known country (read – Running in Lithuania – My First Half Marathon Abroad)… Basically, I could chase my dreams!
Knowing The Tricks Of The Trade
Now, every craft has a technique (several techniques, honestly). Some ways work fabulously, some are not worth the effort. While you are pursuing your dream, experimenting with things that work and things that don’t, let your money do all the hard work! I’ll tell you my biggest bank-balance-secret today: my money works harder than I do! This sounds like a joke but often makes me giggle with glee at how affordable even the world’s most expensive countries are for me today. The stress and long work-hours apart, my 5-year long career in the investment banking industry has taught me a thing or two about investing wisely. Knowing the tricks of that trade has made it easier for me to make mistakes in my new trade (as a travel writer). Here’s how you can make your money work hard:-
Don’t Let Those Doors Be Shut
I started saving early (right from my very first monthly salary half a decade ago). I won’t be surprised if you told me you skipped that step. Most of my friends and colleagues would spend their entire income on lifestyle expenditure (apart from the mandatory rent, utilities, taxes, etc.). The bigger their wardrobes and whiskey closets got, the smaller their pool of savings became. Some of my friends were perpetually on a negative bank-balance or with credit card debt. Whatever be your past, you can still start now. It is never too late to open the doors to a financially sturdy future.
Investment Options Are Like A Buffet Spread
It is good to start saving, but that’s not enough. If you belong to a country with high inflation (such as India), your wealth will erode in worth over time. This is why it could be dangerous to let your money sit idle in a savings account with its paltry interest rate. While there is an assortment of bank deposits and funds that safe-players often lock their money into, you could dabble in the stock market (if your risk appetite, investment horizon and financial goals allow you to). Even with stocks, there better ways to utilize your assets than just holding them. Let’s see how!
A Good Hiker Takes Small Steps
If option-trading (I’m talking about derivatives here) exists in your country and the laws in your jurisdiction allow you to write your own options (through a broker), you would make your stock holdings (in your demat account) work harder by writing call options on your underlying stocks and selling those in the market. If you are in the US of A, you are obviously very lucky to have a mature options trading market, and hence, more liquidity and a good chance of making a near-regular monthly income through the monthly sale of call options on the same set of underlying stocks (until the buyers of your options exercise their call). If all that I have said sounds like Latin and Greek to you, here’s a simple tutorial that will help you understand things better. (Don’t worry, most people who don’t invest in the markets or work at banks, don’t understand much anyway. 😉 So, you have no need to berate yourself over your limited knowledge of financial instruments.) Next, we’ll see how you can implement this investment strategy. It is all about taking one step at a time, just as in hiking.
We All Need Some Mentors Along The Way
For writing covered calls, you will need some strong analysis. My friends at Born To Sell have some useful tools to help you write efficient covered calls for your stock underlyings. If you are a new subscriber, you can get up to 4 months’ free service when you sign up for their covered call screener. You also get 2-weeks’ free trial before your paid subscription begins. For every new journey, we need mentors and friends who make us feel at home. Even as I travel to foreign countries, I am thankful to the friends and strangers who have hosted me and helped in hundreds of ways.
Sound Decisions Before Stunning Results
When I said goodbye to my corporate life, I did not throw the knowledge out of the window. This is why even as I depend on luck for my next writing assignment, my bills know they will be paid, and on time!
Do you have a dream you are afraid to acknowledge?
Are you a slave of money?
Write your comments below! 🙂
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