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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Happiness Unlimited...How to be happy..always !!
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Dream On...Every setback is a little nudge from HIM to Dream On
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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Manoj Arora    About Me
Author Mission    My Mission
Credentials & Awards   Awards & Credentials

Corporate & Family Gifts   Corporate & Family Gifts [NEW]

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Monday, July 28, 2014

When life squeezes you !!

Inflation and cost of living has been a challenge for sometime now, but by gods grace, we usually do not think about it when it comes to giving the best to our children. All is well if things are falling in place, but what happens when life starts to squeeze you?



Recently, when we purchased a dozen oranges for our children, my wife was cursing high inflation and the significantly high cost of living. She was also making a point that in spite of paying the demanded prices, we usually do not get what is worth. 
Anyways, we got whatever best oranges were available in the market but they did not seem to be too great by their looks. We were not hoping them to either have a lot of juice or even expecting the taste to be extraordinary.

But when the kids tasted them, they were pleasantly surprised. The juice was not only superior in taste, but came out in good quantity. We squeezed them a bit more and and out there it came - more of it, and then a bit more. Well, inflation and high cost of living did force us to squeeze them more than what we would have normally done. We wanted return on our investment. Ultimately, we thought what a good decision was to buy these oranges. We even appreciated the vendor who sold us these oranges, and took a decision to buy from the same vendor the next time around.

And we all learnt a very important lesson in our family. What is important is what is inside you, and absolutely not the outside looks. This is so true for most of us in life. When life squeezes us from all sides, what is inside us, comes out and spreads around, just like the oranges.

Do you think Mother Teresa was beautiful? Do you think your mom is beautiful? Do you think your grand mom or grand dad is beautiful? Do you think Amitabh Bachchan is beautiful? Yes, they are. 
Are they all beautiful because they look beautiful OR because they you think they do something beautiful. 

The fact is that it truly does not matter how you look from outside, what matters is what you do, what finally matters is what is inside you. And when life squeezes you from all sides, the inside will come outside and will be visible to everyone around you. Everything else is transient - your looks, your possessions, your role and everything else that is visible from outside.

Start loving yourself, start doing something that adds value to this world - so that people know you by your deeds rather than by your looks, the position you hold or the wealth you possess.

Next time when life will squeeze you, make sure you had accumulated enough juice inside you - which inspires others around you to follow suit, which makes you and people around you lead a happier life. You will never be remembered for anything else.


Need help in understanding more about how to setup your mission in life, and accumulate more juice inside you?
Write to us at help@happinessunlimited.co.in

Cheers

Manoj Arora
How to be happy - always !!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Are child insurance plans worth buying? (QandA : 009)

Question : 009
Are child insurance plans worth buying?
New parents are often overdrawn towards life insurance towards their angel who has probably just arrived on this planet. But is their any merit in buying an insurance plan for a child?

Answer : 009
The purpose of buying life insurance should never be forgotten before taking a decision to buy the same. The main purpose of any life insurance policy is to cover the financial risk associated with the untimely demise of an earning family member. 

Buying a life insurance plan in the name of a child essentially means covering the financial risk on a child's life. In all probabilities, a child's life would not have any financial risk attached to it. So, there is no rationale behind buying a children life insurance policy. Child insurance plans typically come at a much higher cost (than term insurance policies) because of the waiver feature. This waiver feature mandates the insuring company to keep the policy running by putting in premiums in the incident of demise of the child's parents.

As an alternative, it is rather more advisable to have the parent adequately insured to ensure financially secure future for the child. This is best done by buying a sufficient term cover for the earning parent.

Save money by investing at the right place and covering only the risks that are needed to be covered. Money saved is money earned.

Related Posts:

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you....what money cannot !!

Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Financial Fallacies We Follow - Article in CWB magazine - by yours truly..

Complete Well Being is the world's leading magazine on living with awareness. You can visit them here. They published this article on most common financial fallacies in their most recent July 2014 edition, and it did attract some rave reviews.

This article had a dedicated 4 page section in the magazine. 
You can read the complete article by clicking here.

And one of the first reviews for the article is as below:
'Financial Fallacies We Follow' by Mr Manoj Arora was an eye-opener. His quote by Albert Einstein that compounding is the eighth wonder of the world, is thought-provoking. Likewise, his advice to track the monthly expenses is invaluable and easy to follow. Though I had left this habit, Mr Arora motivates me to start again and cultivate financial discipline. 
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that '20 percent of money saved is equivalent to 100 percent of more money earned'.
~ Anuradha, Kochi.


Related Posts:

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you....what money cannot !!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Does God exist?

A scientist was travelling in a train, when he saw another person sitting right in front of him reading the holy Bible. The person reading the bible seemed very well educated and from a good family background. He was also young and looked thoroughly professional. A Bible in the hands of a young educated professional was somehow disturbing this scientist.


With curiosity getting the better of him, the scientist asked the young professional: 
"Hello gentleman, you seem so educated and professional. Still you believe in God and read this Bible. I am a scientist and i can tell you that every situation of your life can be proven scientifically. Do you really believe there is God?"

The person reading the bible smiled and closed the Bible. He stopped reading, and did not offer any response. He knew that this guy would never allow him to read his Bible. 

The trains reached the station where both of them got down. The person who was reading the bible offered his visiting card to the scientist. The scientist took it casually before he read the card. The person reading the bible was none other than Albert Einstein. Thrown aback at this surprise, the scientist seeked an appointment with Albert Einstein, and Einstein did oblige him with an appointment for the very next day.

On the appointed day, the scientist met Albert Einstein. As soon as he entered the meeting room, he saw a perfect model of a solar system in front of him - with all planets, stars, and universe depicted to perfect detail and sizing. It is always difficult for any scientist to curtail his curiosity. So, he asked Albert Einstein as to whether he created that beautiful perfect looking model. 

"No no, I did not create it." responded Einstein

"Then? Who created? This looks very good."

"Well, no one actually. This model just appeared yesterday night from somewhere." responded Albert Einstein.

The scientist started laughing. He said "Sir, i never knew you had such great sense of humor. OK, i will not tell anyone else about this, but at least tell me who created this beautiful model."

"No, i am not joking, this just appeared yesterday night of its own. No one has created it." responded Einstein.

The other scientist now got agitated. 
"Sir, you and I know that it is against the fundamental laws of physics. If there is a model in front of us, then someone must have created it."

"Why do you say so? When you and your entire scientific community can believe that the entire actual universe can get created of its own, then why can't a model appear of its own? Why do you think there has to be a creator for this?" responded Einstein.

The scientist was getting the message. If there are actual sun, planets, stars, universe, nature - if there is this entire creation in front of us, then there has to be a creator for all this. Understanding the creator (the God - the supreme soul) and understanding its creation (all of us - the souls) is the most vital education you would ever undertake in life.

Need help in understanding more about God and yourself?
Write to us at help@happinessunlimited.co.in

Cheers

Manoj Arora
How to be happy - always !!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is the most critical factor to select a life insurance company?


Question : 007
What is the most critical factor to select a life insurance company?
Irrespective of whether you have shortlisted on a term insurance plan or a whole life insurance policy depending on your need, the next most critical question is to select the insurance company you can trust.

Answer : 007
The most critical factor to select a life insurance company is the Claims Settlement Ratio (CSR). 
Let us see how claims settlement ratio is calculated.

Claims Settlement Ratio = Total Claims Approved (paid to nominees) / Total Claims Received by the Company.

While overall CSR is NOT the best way to decide on your life insurance plan, you cannot ignore it because it is one of the best available indicators as of today. Ultimately, you keep paying the insurance company throughout your life, with the hope that they will settle the claim in case of your family's need. 

The CSR figures for 2012-2013 were released recently by IRDA on Jan 1, 2014. The data is as below.


While Claims Settlement Ratio is a good indicator, it does not indicate timeliness of claim payout, i.e. it is not enough to settle all the claims, but they need to be done quickly so that nominees are able to recover the financial loss in their families as quickly as possible. Claims should generally be paid to the nominee within 30 days of submission of all requirements (documents) asked from the nominee.

But before you make the final decision on the choice of life insurance plan, don’t restrict yourself to just Premium and CSR. Take a minute to check whether the company you have chosen is making profits or losses – that will give you the confidence to go ahead and buy your insurance plan.

Related Posts:

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you....what money cannot !!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet another Freedom Seeker : Amit and Prerna Rai from California, USA

Last time, we met a Consulting Manager from Accenture, USA : Mr. Rajesh Arora who is on the journey towards financial freedom now. The response to these posts has been overwhelming. You can read more about his journey and experience till now by clicking here.

In continuation with our effort to interlock you with some common men and women who have been seeking financial freedom, today, it is a chance to meet a young couple - Amit and Prerna Rai, both Managers at a global IT company in California, USA.

We have tried to mentor them to build a financial freedom plan of their life. This monthly track-able plan, once executed, has the potential to bring them out of the rat race and allow them to chase the true dreams of their lives. This plan can make him experience "true freedom" in life.

And as we all know "Freedom can buy you what money cannot !!"
So, lets meet Amit and Prerna to know who they are, what their dreams and goals are, why are they chasing financial freedom, and how has been their experience since they have set themselves on this journey to financial freedom. So, here we go, lets meet with our next freedom seekers : Amit and Prerna Rai.



Amit and Prerna are passionate about chasing the things that they truly love to do in life. They want to be absolutely free from any kind of financial worries.

Life need not be an either-or. They have started this journey while being in a corporate job. They have kick started their journey towards financial freedom with a target of Sep 2032 to be free from rat race and start living the life of their dreams.

We will be together monitoring their journey and tuning their portfolio during the course of this journey, so that their journey stays on track. Our regular mentoring with Amit and Prerna would include maximizing their returns from existing investments, tuning the portfolio, tuning the plan depending on how life shapes up for them and their family.

We wish them all the best for their life and wish that they can go on to chase their true dreams and calling in life.

Amit and Prerna are just one among all of you. They are no different, except the fact that they took a step to connect with us, were open to accept advise, and then worked on that advise. They took the first step. They came out of their comfort zone and will surely be rewarded for the same.

Do you think it is wise to have a financial plan in place for your life, instead of randomly doing investments with no target in mind? 
Do you think life is much more than just earning money?
Do you know how much money you need to get financially free? 
Do you exactly know how much time you need to accumulate that kind of corpus which can fund your and your family's expenses for the rest of your life? 
Do you know how can you maximise your returns on your net worth?

If you have any of the above questions pondering in your mind, or you have any genuine financial query, or you have strong dreams on which you are yet to start working, do write to us at help@ratrace2freedom.com and we will be happy to share our experiences with you, so that we can work together and plan your future better.

There are no charges, no constraints ... only freedom !!


Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you....what money cannot !!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why should you keep everything in its right place?

Why should you keep everything in its right place?
Everything has a place, and everything in its place. 

It is so simple, but most of us decide to complicate things, and take stress as a natural "gift" in our everyday life.
Searching for a stapler, comb, your car keys or door keys is nothing uncommon in most house holds. While a deeper relationship among family members may be an unexpected positive bi-product (since all of them are involved in one single purpose of searching), the chances of stressful search with a blame game is a more likely outcome. The simple reason is that when the search is on, the family usually does not have enough time to take the search operation positively.


It takes 30 seconds to keep the car key at the right place. 
It also takes 30 seconds to keep the car keys at any other random place in the house. 
So, why bother about keeping things at the right place?
 
The difference is in the retrieval time. The retrieval time for a thing kept in its place is still 30 seconds, while the retrieval time for a thing kept "anywhere" in the house depends on your stars that day, support from your family members, and your ability to handle stress. This retrieval time could be anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes or even more, not to mention the stress created and the physical "irreparable" damage this stress does on your body.

And if you are thinking that stress and time are the only losses you incur, you might be grossly mistaken. The impact of not finding the car keys resulted in a 10 minute delayed start to office. This may ultimately not only remain as the 10 minute stress, but is also likely to result in:

  1. Strained relationships because of the search blame game in the family
  2. Encountering increased traffic
  3. More fuel consumption
  4. More wear and tear of your vehicle.
  5. Stress throughout the journey
  6. Late arrival at office
  7. Potentially late in the meeting
  8. Potential impact on your appraisal and the next increment.

If you are still telling me that you are running short of time in life and life is stressful, and these are minor things in life, it is up to you to take them lightly at your own peril. It is up to you to save time. 
And just like money, time saved is time earned. 
Stress saved is health earned. 
Want to earn time and health and money for yourself? 

Then remember that every object (whether it is a pencil or a rubber or a pin or a needle or a thread or a book or your socks and shoes or your towel... or any other object that you can see from your naked eyes) has an "address" within your house. If you drop the objects at their right address in your house, they would "appear" before you at your command, when you call them in need. 

You can take yourself to a level where you can retrieve the objects even with your eyes closed.

Life will definitely become easier, free flowing and happier. Small things will make a big difference to the happiness content in your life.


Need help in understanding how you can lead a happier life by getting more organised?
Write to us at help@happinessunlimited.co.in

Cheers

Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!


Sunday, July 06, 2014

What are the best Mutual Funds i can invest in? (QandA : 006)

Question 006
What are the best Mutual Funds you can invest in?
Considering that the Indian market is now stable and upward looking, what are the best mutual funds i can invest in, for the next 5 years?

Friday, July 04, 2014

Which is the most important asset of your life? (QandA : 005)

Question 005 : Which is the most important asset of your life?
The most important asset of your life is nothing that relates to money. It is not your house, your vehicle, your gadget, your job or anything else that money can buy.  It is not even your family, though you may be desperately attached to them.
The most important asset of your life is something that is available in limited quantity for everyone. God did not distinguish rich or poor, white or black, men or women when it distributed this asset equally among its creation.

Answer 005 :
"Time" happens to be your biggest asset of life. Once you have taken care of your basic financial needs, time plays a pivotal role in every aspect of your life. You would need time to nurture your relationship with yourself and your family members, exploring your interest, hobbies and passion, going up higher in your own spiritual ladder or even creating an impact on your society.

Money is definitely important to meet your basic needs, but time will strengthen what you already have. 
Beyond meeting our basic needs, there are only three factors that drive us towards earning more money, even it means trading off your biggest asset (time).
1) Ignorance of how much is enough to meet your present and future needs.
2) The greed to earn money, primarily driven by the misconception that more money would mean more happiness.
3) Simply following what others around us do, assuming that the path that everyone follows ought to be correct, and the only way out.

Knowing how much is enough for you and your family needs, preparing a financial plan for yourself, and approaching financial freedom is one of the keys to lead a happy, peaceful and successful life.
With time in your hands, you will open up to unlimited possibilities in life, once you are financially free. Your mind will start thinking extra ordinary things, and life will never be the same again.
Imagine for a moment that all you current and future family needs are taken care of. And your workplace will not pay you anything for the work you do.

- Would you still go to your workplace? or would you rather sit in a park and read a book?
- Would you still be running from one meeting to another? or play with your children?
- Would you still be worried about your next promotion? or rather positively influence someone else's life?
- Would you still ignore your environment because of lack of time? or rather help give a better color to this planet?
- Would you be worried about your next project? or participate along with your children in their next school project?
- Would you create that damn report? or would you help your life partner in her household chores?
- Would you debate on the work crisis? or would you help your parents overcome the old age crisis?

Think about it long enough...because initially when you start thinking, your mind will not be able to present you with many options. It is not used to thinking positively. It is not used to think life. It is still a slave in a comfortable zone, and it has been a slave for many generations. It will need some effort to pull it out of the slave mentality.

Need help in understanding how you can lead a happier life by building your own financial freedom plan?
Write to us at help@happinessunlimited.co.in

Cheers

Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!