Money matters

By Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Updated: Feb 16, 2019, 08:21 IST

A podcast on mutual funds serves as a beginner's guide for young investors, irrespective of a background in finance

You know things are going to take a turn for the worse when an adult starts an argument with, "When I was your age...". That's exactly how a professor lecturing us on stock markets started his lecture.

A class of 19-year-olds majoring in Economics, we were too shocked to comment when he said he had already planned retirement when he was our age. Of course, we dismissed all of it as a scare tactic. But we learnt the hard truth - that textbook knowledge and financial gyaan are two different things; the latter comes with actually putting your money in the market. And mutual funds have always been the hottest basket, with a slew of advertisements that come with the disclaimer, "subject to market risks".

When we chance upon MF101, a podcast series that introduces the financial instrument through fund managers and analysts, we are eager to bet how quickly we'll quit listening to it because of the jargon. Launched in late January, it is hosted by Anupam Gupta, behind popular podcast Paisa Vaisa. Each episode is less than 15 minutes long and broadly deals with the investment scenario in 2019 and the workings of a mutual fund, before narrowing down into categories like small and mid-cap funds.

Of course, it helps to have a background in the domain, but Gupta along with the experts often breaks down larger concepts. For instance, the consumption scenario can be gauged by questioning how many celebrity weddings were held last year or how when the smartphone penetrates into the lowest end of the society, you'll perhaps see a spike in grooming products - as more selfies will be clicked. It goes as far as to define the differences between a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and a lumpsum investment.

There is a bit of investment lingo like the top-down and bottoms-up approach or the bull and the bear market that the podcast could further highlight to help young investors (with no background in the subject) get a context for their money matters. But all in all, it doesn't bore us. It brews interest in a subject we long lost touch with, and unlike our professor, motivates us to do better with our money.


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