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Rediff.com  » Getahead » 3 money lessons we can learn from Holi

3 money lessons we can learn from Holi

By Rajiv Raj
Last updated on: March 06, 2015 09:00 IST
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Look beyond the festivities and soak up the lessons that this wonderful festival of colour teaches you

Photograph: Dave Bledsoe/Creative Commons

It's that time of the year when the skies break out in a riot of colours and all and sundry forget their differences of caste, creed and religion and come together to celebrate the festival of Holi. As you gear up to welcome the season of spring amid love, friendships and a spirit of bonhomie, here is an added bonus. We are here to tell you some unique money lessons that you can learn from this festival of colours.

There is no better time of the year than this to celebrate colours in all their glory. Even if it is for a day, you have an opportunity to leave all your worries behind and appreciate all that is good in your life. And just as you do that this year, we urge you to look beyond the festivities and soak up the lessons that this wonderful festival of Holi teaches you.

1. Time to banish the evil of bad debt

Like the numerous other festivals that we celebrate in India, Holi too is a celebration of the victory of good over evil that we celebrate by burning ‘Holika’. Holika was the wicked sister of the evil king Hiranyakashyapu who wanted to kill his own son Prahlad because he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Holika entered the fire with little Prahlad on her lap, with the intentions of killing him only to be burnt to cinders herself.

Prahlad however, escaped unscathed.

To commemorate this victory of Prahlad we light a bonfire each year the day before Holi.

So just as you clean out your homes and streets on the eve of Holi and rejoice in the burning of Holika, pledge to burn out the burden of bad debt that is impacting your CIBIL score negatively as well. Make a list of all the things you can do to clean your portfolio and think of ways to repay your high cost debt first.

Cleaning your portfolio maybe a tough task, but make a pledge to embark upon this journey this Holi if bad debts are weighing you down.

2. Diversify and prosper

Holi is also a festival that celebrates the onset of spring. This is the reason we bring out various colours of gulal or coloured powder that were originally extracted from flowers. Holi with just one colour would seem staid and boring. It’s the diverse colours that we smear on each other and look like spectacles ourselves that makes Holi so interesting and enjoyable!

The many colours of Holi that you use to play Holi can teach you the benefits of diversifying your portfolio. You may have heard earlier that it is never wise to put all your eggs in one basket when constructing your portfolio.

The festival of Holi reiterates this maxim and teaches you to diversify your investments among various asset classes so as to minimise your risks and maximise your returns.

3. Reap the sweetness of wise investments

No Indian festival is complete without special recipes, mostly thus catering to the sweet tooth. Thus on Holi we have gujiyas, shakaar paare, phirnis and drink thandais. These Holi savouries carry some special and sweet lessons too!

Since we are approaching the end of another financial year, take stock of the investments you have made. Unless you have gone horribly wrong this past year with your investments, chances are that you have made a neat kitty of gains!

If that is the case, just as you reward yourself by indulging in some sweets this Holi, do give yourself a small reward by booking partial profits and perhaps buying that smartphone you have been eyeing or taking your family out on a long cherished vacation!

So just as you indulge/indulged in some high pitched revelry tomorrow/today, do give a thought to these money lessons that Holi carries and celebrate in style.

Here’s wishing that the myriad colours of Holi witnesses your portfolio bloom in the year ahead! Happy Holi folks!

The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.

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Rajiv Raj