You have started going to the gym recently & even started a new diet suggested to you by a good dietician, but you realize that getting fit is a long process. But them you have this happening party around the corner & you can’t afford to look fat! So what are your options? Scared of people mocking you for being fat? Is there is a way to look skinny even though you are not, till the time you actually get fit? Yes there is!!
The Opinionated Indian lists out ways you can look fit, even though you are not
1. Wear black/dark shade clothes: As the adage goes ” Whenever in doubt, wear black”. Wearing black shirts/trousers will make you look skinnier than you actually are. Depending on your body type or which part of your body needs to be worked upon, choose a black shirt or trouser. If you are afraid of getting type cast & or your clothes getting repetitive, opt for dark shades like navy blue, dark brown, maroon etc. The darker the shade, the skinnier you will look.Topping your shirt with a black jacket or a black blazer too is a good way to hide your love handles.
2. Avoid White or Light Shades: Avoid white as much as possible. White will make you look bulkier & is suited for people who are fit or are skinny.If you find white irresistible, go for fabric which is thick.
3. Don’t buy tight clothes: Resist the urge to buy tight clothes, when you shop. Look into the mirror & be honest as to whether you need a bigger size. Tight clothes are the easiest ways for others to realize that you have put on weight or are unfit.If you are buying tight clothes & have a bulging tummy, then buy a good fitting shirt & avoid t-shirts. If you have man boobs then buy a t-shirt/polo neck with print around the chest area & or made of thick material only. Buying a t-shirt with thin material is a sure way of exposing your man boobs to the world. Loose shirts are highly recommended.
4 Use a vest: Using a vest inside & topping it with a good fitting or a loose shirt is the best way to look fitter than you actually are. A vest gives your body good shape & definition. It is effective in hiding your love handles. It also helps hiding those repulsive sweat stains.
5. Tuck in Shirts? If you have a bulging tummy. then it is better to not tuck your shirt in. On the other hand if your tummy is control, you can tuck in your shirt. Never tuck in t-shirts.
6. Posing for Pics: Holding your breath & taking your tummy inside actually not only helps you decrease your waist size in the long run, but is also an effective way to look fitter in pics. Pull your tummy in, while posing for pics & or turn sideways. Standing straight with your tummy facing the camera is a bad idea.
7. Use your hands: Cross your hands & place it over your tummy. Standing straight with your chest out is not a good idea.
8. Fabric: Choose the shirt fabric wisely. Avoid khadi(linen),silk or any thin fabric shirts & t-shirts. Thick cotton or wool shirts are highly recommended.
9. Adjust your Shirt/T-shirt: Post getting out of the car or standing up after being seated for a long duration makes out shirts or polo neck t-shirts to adjust to an inappropriate position, which may end up exposing your love handles or tummy or make your man boobs look bigger. Hence it becomes necessary for us to keep readjusting it to its normal position.
These tricks will help you look fitter than you actually are till the time those long hours in the gym & your diet regime don’t bear fruit. Write to us at email@example.com
Post his joining a well known IT company in 2011, after being offered a 35% hike on his current salary, Raj Malhotra (we couldn’t have come up with a more stereotypical name) was on cloud nine. With annual appraisals averaging at around 15%-20%, Raj was dreaming with his eyes open. He & his wife – Simran (Duh!), who was also working for an IT company, were thinking of buying an expensive flat & starting their family. At 20% hikes YOY & 35% hikes whenever they jumped jobs, they would live lavish lives & retire rich. By end of December 2012, Simran & Raj moved into a fancy apartment with their newly born child. Although
the pay hikes that year was not as per their expectations, they told themselves that, things would definitely change for the better next year. A year later, they promptly bought a new car as well, after all they could afford it, with Raj’s new job at another IT company. Raj’s new company, was known to be a good paymaster & an employee friendly organisation. But the couple was shocked with another dismal pay hike during their appraisals, the next year as well. With their several EMI’s, they were barely left with any disposable income & barely no money to plan their trip abroad. The Malhotras weren’t lucky enough to post minute by minute updates of their vacay abroad on social media, like many of their friends were. We will work harder to get that promotion & then holiday abroad, they promised themselves. But, as luck would have it, instead of getting a promotion, Simran lost her job. The family’s income was nearly halved. Raj is now the sole bread earner for the family.
This horrifying story of the urban couple is similar to a lot of Indians, not just from the IT sector, but across all sectors in India. Post liberalization, Indians were accustomed to humungous appraisals & insane salary hikes on “jumping” from one job to another. All this has come to an abrupt halt, with downsizing in several companies. The average Indian appraisal is now reduced to 5%-7%, a far cry from the 20%-35%, that corporate Indian professionals are accustomed to. On the other hand, we are flooded with news items of people quitting their cushy jobs, or taking a small loans from family & friends to invest in their startup, only to magically get funded by investors, thereby turning the gutsy startup founder into a millionaire overnight! Which has made several Indians ask themselves ” Should I quit my job, & invest in my startup?”
In today’s scenario, it is a given that you have to be hard working & give your 100%, barring which neither will you succeed in business or in a corporate setup.
The Opinionated Indian examines pros, cons of each alternative & helps you arrive at a decision
Sticking to Your Job
Like they say, “Salary at the end of the month is the biggest addiction”. No business can offer you the kind of security that a corporate job does. Home Loans, car loans are easier to get.
Your kid’s admission to top notch schools is a given. You have a fair idea, how much money you will retire with.
Even during a recession, you will continue to make decent money ie as long as you don’t get sacked.
Your income will mostly keep growing YOY.
Depending on the company you work for, you get perks such as incentive trips abroad, chauffeur driven car, money to buy a car, house etc.
You are responsible only for your profile ie the finance head won’t have to get into sales & vice versa
Companies today pay execs handsomely. You may end up making way more, than what you would make out of running your own business.
Pension & PF benefits.
The harder you work the richer your bosses & company promoters get. Even if your company doubles its profits, you will make a puny part of those earnings.
You will always have a boss, who will tell you what to do
There will be pressure to keep growing the company YOY.
You may get sacked, without prior notice.
You may have to deal with office politics for promotions & good appraisals.
You may get transferred to another location.
Your company may make your work 14-15 hours a day for a pittance.
Your job might get monotonous.
Getting leave will always be a headache.
You can never be in the top 2% of the world’s richest or even super rich, if you are working under someone.
Investing in Your Startup
You are your own boss. Nobody tells you what to do. Walk in/out of office when you want to
Your are an employer, not an employee
The harder you work, the better will be your returns.
No pressure to keep expanding your business. You can slow down, if you are content with your turnover.
You can borrow from your company for personal expenses & pay it back later.
No fear of ever getting sacked or office politics or appraisals.
Sky is the limit. You may end up, becoming a billionaire, if your concept is potent enough.
You decide when you want to holiday & for how long.
You leave something significant for your children or heirs. Your kids will have a solid foundation to rely on.
A salaried job will never get you the kind of respect that running a successful business will get you.
You can appoint a CEO. You can then sit back & relax.
Your business may not work out & you may end up losing all the money invested.
Your business is your baby. You will have to be invested in mentally & physically, slogging 6-7 days a week, for it to succeed.
Angel Investors may put undue pressure on you to grow the company at an unrealistic pace.
You are responsible for the incomes of all the people in your company.
You may have to get into every aspect of your business, till there are enough employees to handle the various issues.
Your employees will always turn to you, for the final decision making. A decision will have to be made by you in seconds.
Your vision may/may not align with your CEO’s.
After making millions in one year. your business may run into losses or just break even for the next few years.
Not suited for everyone.
If it is a family business, you may have to take your parent/relative’s approval for literally everything.
We are programmed to look only at the successful people & ignore the failures. Behind every successful entrepreneur are 100’s if not 1000’s of unsuccessful ones. Besides it takes a certain breed to survive in business. Unless you have a killer business idea & are ready to slog day in & day out for your business to succeed, it is better you stick to a job. Business is not suited for everyone. If you are not very motivated, are gullible, or laid back or not to ambitious, please do not venture into your own business & take up a corporate job.
But, if you are convinced that you concept will work & you are motivated to go all the way, please do go for it. else, you will always wonder, how your life would have turned out, had you taken that chance.
One option is, will be to do a bit of both. There are millions of part time business ideas, that you can try. The best way to earn more money & or be independent is to take up a teaching job. A teaching job over the weekend, can add up to 20% of your monthly income. With the growth in the number of colleges in the cities across the country, there is an acute shortage of quality teachers. Other lucrative ideas include, renting your property, or selling insurance. If a part time job doesn’t excite you & you have money to spare, you can invest in a startup through a crowd funding website like investmentnetwork.in or wishberry.in. This should satiate your urge of investing in a startup.
Lastly, the best thing one can do is spend 10-15 years at a big company & then join a small/medium sized startup with good funding as their CXO. If the startup grows, you grow with it at a rate which will never be possible in a well established company. Perks may include ESOP’s ie stock options – something even a big company may never be able to provide. In the event of the startup not taking off, all you need to do is look for another job. Remember to spend time speaking to the promoters before taking up that offer to join the startup, as a lot depends on the person running the show & the concept idea. Well funded startups can are known to offer 2X salary growth to their employees, so remember to ask for it!
As a kid, I had to earn each & every gadget that I wanted. I remember begging my parents for the latest video gaming console back then & my parents saying “We will buy it, only if you score well in your exams”. My marks determined whether or not I will be getting my hands on the latest video game or music system or mobile phone etc. Besides, one gizmo per year wasn’t enough. I wanted the latest video games, Smart TV, music system etc to build the perfect man cave – a place where I could come back after a hard day of attending lectures or working & treat myself to the latest movies or favorite music or the best selling video game or just sit back, put my feet up & read the latest best selling novel. I promised myself, that I shall buy all those things that I missed out on during my childhood. I am sure this is the story of every Indian growing up in a middle class urban household
So what are the essentials of building that perfect man cave? The Opinionated Indian will help you in building that perfect man cave. Here is the list of requirements.
Smart TV or Projector: In today’s world of online streaming apps, a smart TV is the most essential thing in your man cave. we recommend you to splurge on a Smart TV over any other gizmo listed in this article. A 42 inch or above model is highly recommended. Nothing adds to the ambience of your cave like a Smart TV does. All you need to do, post buying a Smart TV is to install all the online streaming apps on your phone & connect it to your Smart TV, voila! you can savor the latest movies, TV shows, news channels & sporting events on your TV. Alternatively, you can also opt for a projector for the big screen experience. Cost: INR 30,000 – 200,000
Couch, Lazy Boy Recliner & bean bags: Now with your Smart TV in place, the next logical step is to buy a fancy looking couch, lazy boy recliner & a bean bag. A lazy boy recliner not only looks awesome, but is also the dream of every bachelor in town. The lazy boy recliner comes replete with many features like a massage function, USB connected, blue tooth enabled speakers, fridge etc. Cost: INR 17000-40000
Video Gaming Console: No true blue man cave is complete sans a video gaming console. It is the best gadget to entertain your male buddies over a few beers & pizza. Multi-player gaming nights are an experience to remember. Cost INR 32,000 – 40,000
5.1 Home Theatre System: It is on the must have list of every movie connoisseur. No movie experience is complete without a home theatre system. We insist on a 5.1 home theatre system, since it provides the optimal level of movie experience. You can connect it to your smart TV & even watch your TV shows with the home theatre experience. The karaoke feature on some home theatre systems is a good way to entertain guests, when you are hosting a party.
Kindle: Nothing gives us more pleasure, than reading a book on your kindle while sitting on your lazy boy recliner & sipping chilled beer. With its long lasting battery charge & affordable price, Amazon Kindle is a great buy. Cost INR 4,999 – 10,999
Billiards/Pool Table: Although it is difficult to accommodate a billiards/pool table in urban Indian households, due to space constraints, it is a cool thing to have in your house. Cost INR 42,000-100,000
Refrigerator: A small or medium sized fridge in your man cave, to keep your beer chilled will be a good add on to your man cave. You can also use it to store ice or fresh fruit juices. Cost INR 4,000 – 26,000
With these things in place, your man cave will be the talk of town. No other living room, will ever be good enough for you!
A man saw his 60 yr old father planting a tree. “Which tree is this Papa?”, asked the 30 year old son. “It is a mango tree” replied the father. “Ohh great! How long before this tree gives its first mango?” asked the son inquisitively. “18 years” said the father. “What? You will probably be dead by the time this tree starts giving fruit Papa!” exclaimed the befuddled son. “I know son, but you & your kids, kids after them will reap the fruits of my labor for years to come. I think it is worth it” said the father matter of factly.
This story is not written by us. You have probably heard about this story quite a few times. Nobody even knows where this story originated from. But, the underlying message of this short story is priceless. The mango is a metaphor for wealth & riches one earns by being disciplined, working hard towards their objective. Anybody who fails to “look after” the tree & loses interest will be devoid of the sweet taste of the “mango”.
It requires a lot of discipline at your end to achieve the goal of becoming wealthy. It will require you sacrifricing a lot . But, The Opinionated Indian promises you, that following these steps will make you rich & wealthy.
Make your money work for You: What ever your profession maybe, how much ever you may earn, it is imperative that you save at least 10% of your income. Although, we recommend that you save 35% of your income. The rise of social media, has lead to a lot of pressure on millennials to buy the latest clothes, holiday abroad, buy the latest smartphone, expensive gadgets & to buy expensive cars, just so that they can post about it on social media. Most millennials tend to spend their entire salaries & then max their credit cards to buy the latest smartphone, designer clothes, cars or on that holiday in New Zealand/Europe etc, just to seem successful in the eyes of people, who barely care. The truly successful & wealthy people don’t care much for other people’s opinion.
Warren Buffett famously said ” If you buy things you don’t need, you will end up selling things that you need”. The world richest people are frugal spenders. Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, Azim Premji all drive modest cars. Warren Buffett & Carlos Slim- both worth billions, live in modest houses. Most millionaires spend just 10% of their incomes & invest the rest. 80% of the millionaires drive second hand cars. Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook, drives a modest car & barely spends on clothing. On the other hand, Mike Tyson, Johnny Depp are bankrupt, despite earning millions!
So how do we save, you ask? The trick is to first take money off your salary account & invest it, only post that should you spend. Your car loan ideally shouldn’t be more than 15% of your income. Apply for a credit card, instead of taking high interest personal loans. Overall, your monthly EMI’s shouldn’t be more than 50% of your income. Resist the temptation to buy on every fashion sale, use your smartphone for at least 2 years before splurging on the latest i-phone, use your car at least for 5-6 years before buying/upgrading to a new one, travel abroad once in 2-3 years. Travel during off season if possible, do not overspend on hotels & eating out. Safeguard your investments from theft or fraud. Have multiple sources of income. In today’s times, where there is no job security & with the shelf life of businesses being short, it is advisable to have multiple streams of income.
So where to invest the money saved? Here are your options
Stocks or Mutual Funds: It is imperative, you get at least a basic understanding of stocks or mutual funds. Invest money you won’t be requiring for the next 3-5 years. INR 50,000 invested in nifty in 1999 had grown to INR 522,000 by 2014 ( http://moneyexcel.com/8790/nifty-50-performance-last-15-years ). Investing the same money in a fixed deposit @8% interest would give you INR 119,827 post deducting taxes. Einstein once said “Compounding is the eight wonder of the world”. You totally stay away from investing in equities, you will end up paying a high price for it. Based on your risk appetite & your age, financial planners will advise you on the money you invest in equities. Equities are the most liquid form of investment. Long term capital gains on equities attract no income tax whatsoever. High dividend yielding stocks lead to decent returns in terms of dividend income. Track your investments regularly. For people not too interested in following the market, investing in mutual funds is recommended.
Real Estate: Indians tend to love investing in real estate. Buying a house, can get you a steady stream of rental income. The property can give you handsome returns, on being sold after a few years. The three important ingredients for a real estate investment is Location , location, location. Although we would like to tweak the formula a bit. Apart from the location, please do your due diligence, in terms of the property papers, ownership etc. It is recommended, that you take a bank loan to finance your real estate buy. Apart from saving tax, bank loans guarantee the safety of your investment, A bank won’t sanction your loan, before checking each & every aspect of the deal. But, unlike stocks, real estate is not a liquid investment.
Gold: Indians love their gold. Owing to the curbs on gold imports, gold prices have been highly volatile &, have offered dismal returns.Unless there is a huge calamity, Indians don’t tend to sell their gold due to the emotional attachment to their gold.Gold tends to just lie in your locker & ads no value. So it is advisable not to allocate huge amounts to this investment. We do suggest investing 10% of your portfolio in gold, as it is a counter to your other investments. It has been observed that, when real estate & stocks go down, gold prices tend to go up & vice versa.
Invest in a Startup: A new form of investment, which offers decent to very good returns. People have started to invest in startups, through crowd funding websites. There have been several examples of crowd funded startups giving handsome returns to their investors. People should invest only after thoroughly researching the company.
Fixed Deposits: It is one investment we hate to make, owing to the sub par returns. But, it is an essential part of your portfolio. Owing to the liquidity & guaranteed returns of the money invested, it helps safeguard your investment against stock market crashes & delays in selling your real estate investments. If your honeymoon/kid’s college fees are a few months or a year away, we would suggest you sell your stocks & or real estate & put it in an FD.
Be very careful while investing your hard earned money. Research thoroughly before investing.
Credit cards might be a very important tool, if used wisely. You can buy important things, with money you don’t have. But, this often leads people into a huge debt trap. Clear all your credit card dues in full, every month. The interest rates on credit cards are deadly.
Invest in multiple asset classes. Your portfolio should be a mix of equities/ mutual funds, real estate, gold & fixed deposits.
If the returns sound too good to be true, there probably is something wrong. Never invest in dubious schemes, promising 200% returns on your money in a few months & no effort whatsoever.
Investing money in a tech startup, founded by your dhobi is a horrible idea. Invest in companies, whose founders have a solid background & sound knowledge of their field & have clarity of vision. Investing in a laundromat, founded by your dhobi makes much better sense!
When it comes to lending money, consider money lent as gone. It is advisable not to lend money.In case you do, don’t ever expect to get it back. If you do get it back, it is a bonus.
When it comes to gambling in a casino or intra day stock trades, always keep a cut off limit. It is strongly advisable, to stay away from gambling in casinos or betting, as they are designed in a way that the house will always win.
Never live on borrowed money. Clear of all your loans, as early as possible. Do not account for sporadic income earned from royalties/performance bonuses or inheritances. 80% money earned from inheritances or royalties or performance bonuses should be invested.
Do not neglect your health. Health is Wealth. Do not eat in unhygienic restaurants or stay in dingy hotels just to save money. Be frugal & not stingy. It is one thing to value money & people respect it. It is another thing to live just to save money & watch your money grow.
At the same time, do not spend way too extravagantly on weddings or throwing parties to friends whom you barely know.
Follow these steps, slowly & steadily you will see your wealth grow to desired levels. We never said it was easy! Like they say ” There is nothing called a free lunch”