As India gets ready to celebrate Dhanteras on Friday the 13th(no puns intended), one must understand the significance of this celebration. For Indians, the Dhanteras marks the first day of the Diwali festivities setting the tone for a week of colour, celebrations and nostalgia. But Dhanteras also has a larger significance.
Invoking health and wealth
There are two different interpretations about the origins of Dhanteras. The first story pertains to how the wife of an ardent devotee of the Lord fought against the call of Yamaraja (God of Death). She created a pile of dazzling gold at her doorstep such that Yamaraja was blinded by the dazzle and could not reach at the appointed time. The man staved off death and that explains the origins of the practice of Hindu families buying gold on Dhanteras. Dhanteras celebrates paying obeisance to the God of wealth, Lord Kubera.
The other interpretation is of paying oblations to Lord Dhanavantari, the original proponent of the science of Ayurveda. The science of Ayurveda is different from modern day allopathy in the sense that it focuses more on prevention of ill health rather than cure. Ayurveda is about the elixir of life, which is what people seek on Dhanteras. After all, there is no wealth as important as your health and without good health most of the material joys are meaningless.
This Dhanteras let us look at wealth creation differently
Clearly, Dhanteras is about enhancing long term prosperity and well being. As you make a start to this Diwali celebration, here is what you need to focus on the wealth side.
• Gold has been one of the best performing asset classes in the last 1 year as also in the last five years. Your gold investment should go beyond buying traditional gold jewellery and also look at gold as an investment avenue. That would imply buying gold in the form of ETFs or gold bonds, where the risk of face value loss is zero and the holding process is a simpler and economical.
• Remember, the new gold is global investments. There are different ways you can invest globally, but one of the simplest ways is through global ETFs that are offered by most of the Indian mutual funds. They allow you to participate in global indices like the Dow and the NASDAQ sitting right here in India. Global equities have not only been a great asset class but also spread your investment risk.
• One more point to remember is about making your financial plan. Most Indian families do not take this too seriously, but it is as an important pathway to your long term dreams and goals. If you have dreams of a peaceful retired life or of sending your children to reputed colleges in the future, you have to start off with a financial plan. You will be surprised how a little bit of planning and discipline can do wonders to your long term prosperity. This Dhanteras; make a start towards a secure future.
Your financial future needs a Dhanavantari too
The essential features of Dhanavantari’s Ayurveda are balance and prevention. The first feature is about maintaining the balance between the 3 internal forces in your body and the second is about a prophylactic approach rather than a therapeutic approach. Let us see how this is relevant to a better financial future.
• Let us look at the balance aspect first. Just as Dhanvantari suggested the balancing of the three forces for good health, you need to balance four things to have a secure long term financial future. Firstly, you need good returns more than what bank FDs can provide. Long term equities can be the answer. Secondly, you need to minimize risk, so the best way is to be disciplined and make time work in your favour. The third is to manage liquidity through emergency funds so that your investments are not disrupted. Lastly, net income is what matters, so look at everything post-tax. This Dhanteras, ensure that you strike the delicate Dhanavantari balance.
• More importantly, don’t wait for disasters to disrupt your financial plans. Adopt a precautionary approach rather than finding solutions after the problems hit you. Have a plan B in place for your financial future. Envisage all possible risks and make provisions. Above all, get your life, family’s health and your family’s assets insured. When it comes to your financial future, prevention is certainly better than cure.
Make a new beginning this Dhanteras
On this Dhanteras, it is time for a new beginning towards your financial future. An approach that focuses on wealth creation and health of your finances. Above all, take utmost care of your personal health too. Of course, you can always indulge yourself on Diwali day, as an exception. Here is to a great Diwali celebration and a new start on Dhanteras.