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A MAGAZINE FROM THE GOPAST CENTRE FOR LEARNING
Inscriptions 31
TRUTH STAYS FOREVER
PANNEL 4 WALL 8
Page CHAPTER Topic By
3 SCULPTOR SCULPTS
SELF CONTROL- IS IT A ROCKET
SCIENCE
MR R.GOPINATH
30 GURUS SPEAK FINANCIAL PLANNING- THE BASICS MR R.GOPINATH
43 CATERPILLAR SPACE
RETIREMENT PLANNING
(ADOPTION OF A SON) MR ANIKET PATEL
47 WE ARE PROUD OF MR UTKARSH MATHUR
PAGE INDEX
SCULPTOR INSCRIBES
R.GOPINATH
IS “SELF CONTROL A ROCKET SCIENCE?
R.GOPINATH

gopinathr@go-past.com

You would have read about great people who have
created wonders in this world. Some have done so in
politics, some in the space of sports, some in arts,
some in science, some in the space of humanity. In
every aspect of this human life, you will find some
great achievers. 

While reading about such people and their
achievements we can not stop wondering about the
finesse they had brought into their domain. We can
not even help getting a feeling that they have been
blessed with some special talents to have reached
that heights in life. But the fact is that, it is not true. 

They have/had used whatever was given to them
fully. Be it the time given to them, the communication
skills that they got, or the knowledge that they had
acquired. Fully, is the key word in this context. This
means they did not allow even a small portion of
those gifts to go waste, or getting used for other
unimportant things. Incidentally let us at this stage
remind ourselves that we also got those gifts in equal
measure. (Difficult to belief !!, but that is the incredible
truth).
How do they make it possible to be so focused?
Since it is quite natural for humans to get drawn to
other tempting attractions (or diversions?).

From this stage of this article I am going to address
you, as if I am talking to you.

Who are you to your life, A spectator or an Active
player? Suppose your answer to this question is
“Active player”, then let us discuss how an active
player will behave. Let us assume the situation is that
during the halftime your team is behind by 5-1 goals
(Soccer). If you are an active player then what all will
you be doing from now, till the end of the match. I am
sure you will give your very best in the next half with
full hopes of winning the match. You may in
discussion with the coach and other team members
device a game plan and stick to it.

What do you, as a player, control? The opposite
team? The ground? The ball? You may try all of that,
but the fact is that you will control yourself. You will
direct yourself, in terms of speed, direction and
techniques, and in doing so you will gain control over
the ball, through that control the ground and the
opposite team. The same principle applies in life.
Since the beginning of human kind, lots of exercises
have been done on humans to understand how the
human mind works. Psychology and Neuroscience
have evolved many centuries and have in the last few
decades accelerated the findings multiple times than
the previous decades. Out of the scores of tests
done, experiments conducted by great psychologists
world wide, one prominent test is “Marshmallow
experiment” conducted in the beginning of 1970s,
considered to be a very significant experiment and
the finding of which have a far-reaching impact on
human life. This experiment was designed and
conducted by Prof Walter Mishcel.
The study was done with four-year-olds. A table and
a chair were placed in each of the rooms of the
institution. The children were individually escorted to
the room and made to sit comfortably. Then the
teacher will keep a marshmallow on the dish kept on
the table and the child was given a choice that he
could either eat that marshmallow immediately, or he
could wait 15 minutes and then receive a second
marshmallow as a reward for waiting. If they chose
the first option, they wouldn’t get the second
marshmallow.

You will appreciate 15 minutes is a long period of time
for the 4 year olds, more so when the marshmallow is
right in front of their eyes, and they are intaking the
aroma of the marshmallow. There were no-one
watching the children or guiding them, they were on
their own. 

The average wait until the first marshmallow became
irresistible was three minutes. However, 30% held out
for 15 minutes and got the second marshmallow. 

As adolescents, this group scored 200 points higher
on the SAT. As adults, they had more education;
higher socioeconomic status; and stayed away from
vices.
The whole experiment exposed an on-going struggle
in the mind choosing between “immediate gratification
vs delayed gratification” The study also proved the
benefits of letting go things that provide immediate
gratification to earn something that is more gratifying
in future. 30% of those kids, did hold on for 15
minutes to get that extra marshmallow.
You are facing marshmallow test every day. Even
every minute. The marshmallow test starts right in the
morning as you are contemplating about getting up
from the bed and another 5 minutes of comfort of that
cozy bed.
When you are about to start your morning exercise of
sit-ups, you face another marshmallow test.
At your dining table, you face marshmallow test.
Applying for a qualification, when you are having a
comfortable job, is another marshmallow test.
While sitting down to draft and write a letter to an
unknown prospect, (MT) while preparing for a meeting
scheduled by the week-end, while your social media
platforms are trying to grab your time.
You know preparing for the meeting scheduled next
week, you will earn an elevation in your career, but
then just after a 5 minutes of preparation you mind
craves for, the pleasure in playing a video game, or
chat with a friend, or watching movies or reading/
watching news from medias.
Every day, every minute you are taking small, small
decisions, that are shaping your future. Some of these
decisions are bad decisions. What stands between
you and your ambitious goals are these (bad)
decisions.
Mostly these bad decisions are having that one
marshmallow kept before you, rather than wait that
15 minutes to get the extra. Immediate gratification vs
Delayed gratification. in essence, failing the
marshmallow test, very often. You also find reasons
to justify failing this test, rather that correcting
yourself.

If four year olds can wait 15 minutes for a beneficial
future, can you not as a grown-up, with greater
intelligence, let go that impulsive submission to those
things that give pleasure now, but steal away a great
future from you, rob your dreams, loot your
reputation?

The arguments arise like, what if a few minutes lost in
playing a video game? or on face book or in watching
some movies. Am I not entitled to the present joy?.
Worse still are justifications like, Smoking makes me
more creative, it relaxes my mind. Alcohol soothes my
tensions, helps me forget all those painful incidents.
You know how empty these arguments are, but still
you don’t know how to get out of these things?

In this world anything can be learned and mastered
through Deliberate practice. I would like to underline
the word “Anything” in the above statement.
Whatever things you able to do with ease today are
all the results of such DP in the past. By extension
you must realise that anything that has to be done
with ease in the future demands DP from now. What
is the meaning of DP?
Intentional, focused repetitive actions sums-up the
meaning of the word deliberate practice. Look back
and you will find that you learnt to ride a bicycle, drive
a car, knot your tie, do complex calculations on
spreadsheets, bake a cake and many other things
only this way, DP. 

How to start winning the Marshmallow tests, every
time? Where does the whole game start, how does it
proceed and what is the conclusion of this game?
Watch the quadrant drawn below. 

Q1 is an area where you are not even aware of your
incompetences. In the context of this article it refers
to failing the marshmallow test, and not being aware
that you are failing this test, that can take away a
great future from you. (For example some people
don’t know they are over-eating, over-sleeping,
wasting their time, they are procrastinating, their
actions are in the zone of immortality). At this stage to
improve one-self is not possible, because the self is
not even aware that corrections are needed.
Corrective actions can start only from Q2, where you
become conscious of those incompetences that are
causing losses to you. This movement from Q1 to Q2
can happen in two ways. 

1) Others pointing out the situation to you and then
you become aware of it. May be your spouse
mentioned this to you, and you realised it now.
Parents, gurus, mentors, good friends who have
been observing you they point out causing a
realisation in you and you move to Q2.

2) Self introspection: You start thinking about your
behaviours, your habits, your thought processes
and you start realising your incompetences. This
requires a non-judgemental analysis of yourself.
Either way, once you reach Q2, you need to correct
yourself to reach Q3. You need to initiate DP here.
(The steps are suggested towards the end of this
article.) 

By Persisting the DP you come to Q3 where you
know you have overcome all those incompetences
and you are winning the Marshmallow test.

As you continue your DP you will enter Q4, where the
competences have become an ingrained part of your
nature that you don’t have to consciously attempt at
that. You are now in the auto-pilot-zone-of-
excellence. You do your regular exercises, you eat
properly, you sleep well, you work efficiently, you
keep up the promises you made, you are a shining
star in your office, you do your negotiations in style,
you enjoy the life that you have always wanted to
have above all you feel the pride of having absolute
power on yourself.

We must appreciate that the marshmallow test that
the kids had undergone and the marshmallow tests
that we undergo every minute/ every day are different
in three aspects. 

1) If you observe the marshmallow test of the kids,
they were assured of two marshmallows if they
wait that 15 minutes, but in real life tests you
don’t feel such guarantees. You only increase the
chances of being benefited. For example a boy
focusing well on studies may not feel the
guarantee of a job of his liking after finishing his
education. By doing well in studies he feels that is
increasing his chances of landing in a job of his
liking. 

2) The time of waiting was fixed, and known at the
beginning itself. In real life tests you are not sure
of the time of waiting for that great thing to
happen. For example weight reduction exercises,
it might take 6 months or even 2 years to achieve
the result and till then you have to keep watching
the marshmallow before you and you are not
supposed to eat it. It might take an athlete years
and years of tough practice before qualifying for
olympics. It may take months of working and re-
working to write codes for a computer application
that you are trying to develop.

3) Marshmallow test with the kids were like bilateral
agreements. Other conditions did not apply. They
wait for 15 minutes and they get the extra one:
that’s it. But in real life tests multiple conditions
apply. For example weight reduction is subject to
many other situations like food available, climatic
conditions, work pressure, family support and so
on. Each step has a consequence. So we have to
be cautious at every step in the process of wining
the marshmallow test, otherwise we would have
won one test and the consequence (not so good)
of it would be seen in some other important
aspect of life.
But all the above three reasons must not become
justifications to stop us from becoming great.
Remember the beginning of this article, where we
said “great people are not those who have been
endowed with special talents; but are people who
kept using whatever they had to its fullest capacity.” If
they are humans and we are also humans ( I suppose
you have no doubts on this fact), then we should be
able to touch those heights of life which they had
achieved or even higher than that. 

The picture below shows the marshmallow line. M1
means marshmallow 1 and M2 means crossing the
line and availing the extra marshmallow also. That is,
Winning the game. DP means deliberate practice.
There are two major supportive forces required to
cross this line. Let us look at a rocket scientist, he
has two primary objectives in designing and
constructing the rocket. 1) Reduce Friction operating
on the rocket in the flight path and 2) Increase the
velocity of the rocket as it traverses its flight path. To
achieve this he may work on the engine capacity, the
fuel efficiency and factors like that.

Learning our lessons from these rocket scientists we
are going to adopt similar strategies to move away
from the gravity of M1 (immediate gratification) and
into the space of M2( Delayed gratification).

Let me give you some examples of conditions related
to the test done on those 4 year old kids and see if
the results of the test (30% winning and 70%
averaged gobbling marshmallow in 3minutes)

1) Suppose the stake was higher? Let us say it is not
just one extra marshmallow but an extra everyday
in breakfast for 3 days. Would this have altered
the test results? Presumably yes more children
would have waited. 

2) Suppose it was difficult to grab that marshmallow
Say that they have to cross the corridor to the
principal’s room and take this marshmallow from
him. Would this have altered the test results?
Presumably yes more children would have waited.
3) Suppose the children were visible to their parents
and they kept giving them the feed back and
encouraging them. “Great going boy, you are
doing well, you have crossed 3 minutes waiting
and you are going strong” Would this have altered
the test results? Presumably yes more children
would have waited.

4) Suppose the marshmallow was painted black and
appearing not like a good marshmallow? Would
this have altered the test results? Presumably yes
more children would have waited.

You will find from the above 4 situations some worked
on the friction part and others on the velocity part.

What you do about the marshmallows that you have
identified that are holding you from becoming that
great individual that you wanted to be? Look at
picture below and you will find the answer.

First let me handle the Distortion part. 

Even a gigantic Airbus A320 flying in the sky appears
like a small toy from the ground. Only when you stand
by its side, you are awed at its massiveness.

Some good impact that is going to happen to you in a
distant future appears largely reduced from today’s
perspective. It has less motivational pull than even a
small benefit that can be attained today or this week-
end. 

Some bad impact that is going to happen to you in a
distant future appears largely reduced from today’s
perspective. It has less aversion push than even a
small loss that can happen today or this week-end. 

This is where you could use the technique called
deliberate distortion. Making one appear bigger or
nearer Or Making one appear smaller and far away.

To explain this let me give you the example of Prof
Walter Mischel himself and how he was repeatedly
failing the marshmallow test in terms of smoking
cigarettes. 

Walter Mischel was almost addicted to this habit. He
knew the harmful effects of smoking. He exercised
his will power to stop smoking, but could not hold on
for long. He broke his promise and started off again. 

One day when Prof Mischel was walking through the
lobby of a general hospital on the way to meet
someone know to him, he saw a patient being
wheeled into a ward on stretcher bed.

I am quoting Prof Mishcel, “and this poor man on a
gurney had his arm stretched out at his side, his
chest was bare, his head was empty, He looked
terrible, and he had little green Xs all over him.

With a throat full of terror.”

Mischel asked the nurse what was going on. The man
has metastasized lung cancer, she replied, and the
little green X marks directed where the radiation
treatment was to be targeted. 

At the time, Mischel was still a self-described
"tobacco addict." He thought that someday he might
get into trouble for his stress-relieving habit, but who
knows? Seeing the dying man in the gurney, he
realized that smoking wasn't helping him out.
Courtesy of Michele Tolela Myers
Walter Mischel is the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in the
Department of Psychology at Columbia University.
"Even though it feels great at the time, it has delayed
consequences that would probably not have me alive
at this time if I continue”. He understood that he
couldn't just rely on his willpower to stop smoking.

Instead, he realized that he would need to make a
distant consequence (dying of lung cancer) feel
immediate in his life. He would have to keep the result
of his smoking "very hot" in his mind, otherwise he'd
just continue smoking.

To do that, he'd have to take the temptation and
subvert it. And that's where things get psychological.

First, he imagined himself in the same position as the
unfortunate soul he came across in Stanford Med
School - stretched out limply on a gurney, hair all
gone, green x's painted on his body to guide the
radiation treatment.

So every time he reached out to a box of cigarettes
he virtually imprinted that beleaguered picture of that
patient self on its cover, In this way, the future self on
the gurney becomes more vivid, and the present
temptation to smoke suddenly gets a lot less
attractive.

This way Prof Walter Mischel could quit his addictive
habit. There was an internal war between the
immediate gratification of the so called relief the
smoking habit gave and the delayed gratification of
living long and healthy. 

You will find instances of this distortion in many
places around you. I was attending a conference in a
five star hotel, which had a huge spread for the buffet
lunch. Against each dish on the counter, a small
placard placed near it mentioned the calories it
contains, the sugar and the fat proportions. While
people self serve themselves with these dishes they
could contain extra consumptions which is normally
triggered by the taste the dish offers. 

Suppose you are a high school student and you still
have 4 years to enter a college. You will be subjected
to a marshmallow test of “enjoying” the present or
studying to become the Aero Space Engineer that
you keep dreaming about. To get into the best of the
colleges 4 years from now you need to top score in
your final exams and also in the common entrance
tests of selection. But then you still have 4 long years
to go.
Here the immediate gratification of “enjoying” the
present possibly can be more appealing compared to
the benefit at long distance away. You can now
magnify the benefits of entering the college, by using
your power of imagination and start feeling the
admission right now happening, vividly. Look at the
photograph of yours in the hall of fame of the
prestigious college. Look at the magnificent
ambience the college provides. Look at sharing the
dias with luminaries in the space of Aero space
engineers. You will possibly get to work at the
stations that the great Dr Kalam, Prof Vikram
Sarabhai did. Collect those pictures of the past and
see yourself now in it. 

It is not that playing video games or being on social
media or watching a couple of good movies are
wrong. But what about the limits? How long? How
many times? and What websites? Are you allowing
yourself to be dragged into a world of emptiness?

When you magnify the benefits, it subverts the
pleasure of the trivia of the present. Or when you
magnify the present gratification then the benefits of
a committed work receivable in future gets subverted. 

Nudge: Is another useful technique. Nudge means “a
gentle push” In a certain environment you behave in a
certain manner. So Nudge uses this concept of
making things difficult for you to access “Distancing”
or making things easy to access “Associating”

First let me explain “Distancing” 

Let us say you are a research associate and you are
working on your research and you have volumes of
pages to be typed out and edited daily. Let us say
your marshmallow is “Watching movies frequently”.
Because of this you do your work for hardly 5
minutes and you sense an urge to visit Netflix,
Amazon prime or Hot star. You are hardly able to
resist it and most of the times you loose the
marshmallow test succumbing for the immediate
gratification that watching those movies provide you
with. 

Earlier days watching movies took lots of efforts. You
travel to the theatre, stand in the line buy your ticket,
jostled by the crowd, you move towards your seat,
and after the movie, get back, find you vehicle in the
parking and travel back home. Sometimes this
assignment took 6 to 7 hours. But with all the movie
platforms available at your desk top that too on the
same laptop you are using for your research it just a
click of the mouse (sometime double click). Very few
people can resist this temptation, because the
environment has made it so easy.

Let us use the distancing technique here. All these
browsers/platforms/apps have a sign-in process to
open them. Normally you save your password in the
browser itself that it auto opens without the
requirement that you sign-in every time. Now you
remove that provision and make it sign-in every time.
At the end of every visit log out of that browser. That
makes it compulsory for you to type the password
and log in. You made it little more difficult for you
now. You can also avail the help of your spouse or
children here. Many times the apps are family
viewing. So you tell your spouse to keep changing
the passwords every second day. Right in the midst
of your research you feel tempted to visit this movie
platform for a while, now you find your password is
not working. You will have to call/ask your spouse or
children for the latest password. You feel the
embarrassment of even in venturing that. So you
have effectively distanced those attractions (or
should I say, distractions?) from you. 

Another method of nudge is creating strong
associations to remain on the correct side. For
examples groups to perform the tasks together. Like
“Walking syndicate”, Research syndicate, Science
syndicates, Cultural syndicates. These examples
prove how the environment impacts our behaviour. As
a member of a walking syndicate you easily
overcome the marshmallow of staying in the cozy bed
a little longer. Such syndicates can be formed in the
families too. Joint walking, joint gardening, joint
studies and so on.
You will find one thing in common that keeps you
falling for the immediate gratification is the impulse
received through your sensory organs, Eyes, Ear,
Touch, Nose and the Tongue. The one who is able to
control and direct the uses of these sensory organs is
the one who keeps winning marshmallow tests. 

One necessary suggestion related to DP (Deliberate
Practice) is that you can marginally escalate the
practices in certain frequency. For example if a
person is injured in an automobile accident and had
multiple fractures in both of his legs. How is he taught
to walk again. Initial practice is to sit by himself, then
stand by himself, then walk only one step with
support and later without support. Meaning marginal
escalation. Our Deliberate practice to win
Marshmallow tests also can be started small and then
keep escalating in certain frequency till the time we
have reached Q4 (Auto pilot-zone-of -Excellence)

As humans, our resources are limited. The resources,
we as humans have, Time, Energy and Space are
limited. Whereas our aspirations are unlimited. In this
imbalanced equation, if we further allow these limited
resources like time and energy to flow into activities
that do not connect with our aspirations, we are only
making the resultant equation worse. The gap widens
and we live an ordinary life. Born as a common man,
lived like one and left this Earth as a common man.
No significant contributions to be talked about after
our departure. That means we have reduced the
human potential to the level of just existing on this
Earth for a given period of time. 

Whereas people born along with us have contributed
significantly and made a place for themselves in the
history. They live for centuries in the memories of
humans on Earth. Their birthdays are celebrated as
Engineers’ day, Doctors day and Governments
declare Holidays to help people pay their tributes
every year to those great souls. Currency notes carry
their pictures, Postal stamps carry their pictures and
school text books carry their biographies.
Rocket scientists have two objectives 1) Reduce
friction and 2) Enhance velocity. The same principle is
applicable to our lives also. Whatever is hindering or
slowing down our progress, eliminate all of that and
whatever accelerates our progress adopt them.

Summary

1) Identify your marshmallows (M1)

2) Move to Q2

3) DP (Deliberate Practice ) to Q3

4) Continue DP and move to Q4

5) Q4 is the Auto-pilot-zone-of-excellence.

6) DP in the form of Distortion Magnifying and
Subverting
7) DP in the form of Nudge Distancing and
Associating. 

8) How far you will go in your life depends on how
much power you have on yourself.
GURUS SPEAK
R.GOPINATH
FINANCIAL PLANNING- THE BASICS
PART 1
R.GOPINATH
gopinathr@go-past.com

Quite frequently people ask me what is that we can
achieve by Financial Planning (services)? Then they
quickly add, “And please don’t venture into a lecture
to answer this, be as brief as possible.”

So see this picture. This will explain what is financial
planning all about.(Pic:1)
The first question that arises when I offer this
explanation is “Branch of Social science?” What do
you mean? 

Yes it is a branch of social science as much as
Economics is a branch of social science. In financial
planning aspects other than the money also have to
be considered:

1) Monetary Aspects like Income, Expenses, Assets,
Liabilities, Cash flow, Inflation, Depreciation,
Amortisation, Risk management etc.,

2) Psychology of the client and his dependents, their
dreams, fears and concerns about certain
happenings, their perceived needs and their real
needs.

3) The Social Culture, value systems, and the
unwritten rules that operate in the family.

4) The law of the land dealing with the possessions
and inheritances and taxes.

Let me explain the definition of financial planning that
I gave at the beginning of this article: 

“FINANCIAL PLANNING IS A BRANCH OF SOCIAL
SCIENCE THAT DEVICES A PROCESS TO MANAGE
THE GAP BETWEEN OUR RESOURCES AND THE
ASPIRATIONS, NEEDS AND WANTS OF SELF AND
FAMILY”
Let me show you some of the gaps, that necessitate
a planned approach. 

#3 Spans of life.
There are three spans of life, as shown in the picture.
(Pic:2) 

The first line (Green) represents the Earning span.
Mostly it starts at age 25 and continues till age 60.
(There can be exceptions in the min and max age).
The second line (Blue) represents the life span,
starting from the birth of the person and continuing till
his death.

The third line (Red) represents the expenditure span.
You will notice that it starts before the birth of the
person and extends beyond the death of that person. 

If all the three spans are differing so much in length
how is it then possible to provide for the expenditure
span without a “PLAN”?

If all the three lines were to be parallel and congruent
like this picture (Pic:3), then PLANNING may not be
required. Just keep living, keep earning and keep
spending.
But if they are as different as shown in pic1 then
planning is a must. 

This picture raises two pertinent questions:

1) The expenditure before the birth (like ante-natal
care) is taken care by the parents, then why
bother? The truth is that parents bear the
expenses, not just till our birth, but till the time we
complete our education and get employed. But
we must be aware that all that expenses pertain
to us. This line is drawn only to stress the feeling
of gratitude for their sacrifice. It is also likely that
they had raised loans to fund our education and
we may have to start repaying the loans to such
institutions once we start earning 

2) How can the expenditure extend beyond the
death of the person. It is normally presumed that
the expenditure span will come to a full stop upon
one’s death. There are 3 types of outgo that can
happen after the death of a person:

a. Unfulfilled Responsibilities 

b. Unsettled Liabilities and

c. Unrealised Dreams.

In the coming episodes of this article I will provide
real-life examples of all the three above.
The very fact that there are differences between all
the three spans necessitates the process of
“Planning”. 

There can be some special occupations wherein the
earning can be short. Earning can be more in volume
but in the length of the span it can be much shorter
than the common man. (Pic:2a) Look at this pic:

Professions like cine artists, sports persons, are a few
examples of this phenomenon.
Let me move to the concept of 3 Scenarios in life:
(Pic:4)
Scenario A:
We live till age 80+ and our income also continues till
80+ and life long. This is a happy scenario which
many of us want to happen in our life.

Scenario B:
We live till age 80+, but our income stops at age 60.
This shows a non-income phase of more than 20
years. 

Scenario C.
Our income stops due to death, but our family
continues to live, that means their expenditures will
continue for many more years.

Even though we wish scenario A to happen we must
admit that there are some probabilities of Scenario B
or Scenario C happening in our life. 

We also know that the Scenario A can not happen by
default and it can happen only by a design called
Plan. If we want scenario B to become A then savings
during the earning span is required and if we want to
provide for the expenditures of our beloved family if
Scenario C happens then we need adequate Life
insurance.
There is also a possibility that scenario B1 happens.
(Pic:5) 

Our income stops for some reason before retirement,
and we live longer. In this Scenario the expenditures
pertaining to us and pertaining to our family both
continue. How to manage this situation? Adequate
risk management solutions like Critical illness cover
disability cover and such insurances are required. 

In all the above cases I had shown you the gap in the
spans and the shortfall in different scenarios. But
don’t you think that these shortfalls have to be
quantified and bridged. To quantify such shortfalls
and decide optimum ways to bridge that we need
“Financial Planning”

In my 36 years of service in this area of financial
planning, I frequently come across people (prospects)
who do not feel the need of Financial planning
services. 

The major reasons for such a feeling are:

1) Not aware such services are available: Many
prospects ask me is it about selling life insurance to
me or are you going to sell any investment products
to me? Our response, “No sir, It is about planning our
financial resources for the whole our life and beyond
…..”

2) Not realising the FULL financial impact of
certain (Uncertain) events. A person with an
occupational income of 28lakhs yearly has a life
insurance policy of 2lakhs Sum assured and no plans
for post retirement life. 

3) Feeling invincible because of assets: Sometimes
people say that “I have huge assets, so even if
anything goes wrong, I will not have to suffer at all”.
But as financial planner we know that Assets have 3
Dimensions 1) Safety 2) Liquidity and 3) Yield. There
are 3 Natures of Assets to be considered for deciding
the suitability of the asset for the purpose we need it
1) Granularity, 2) Transparency and 3) Transferability.
This portion involves the Assets Liability matching
properly.
4) Feeling secure because of relations: This arises
from the feeling that There are so many to take care
of any shortfalls. Jointly held businesses, joint
families and so on. But we know as a planner that
being taken care by and independence are different
levels of aspirations.

5) Whatever has to happen will happen: This feeling
comes from a state of helplessness if something were
to go wrong. But as a planner we can not wait for
things to happen and respond to them, instead
anticipate and get prepared will provide lot of respite. 

Bad weather can not be avoided, but if we are fully
prepared then we can minimise of even nullify the bad
effects of the bad weather. Good weather can not be
preponed or advanced. But if we are fully prepared
then we can multiply the good effects of the good
weather.

6) Tendency to enjoy the present rather than
concerned about the long-term needs: This is a
very common reason why people do not prepare
themselves to be future ready. But as planners we
know that we will have to face our future some time
later and we can now wish it off.

7) Planning needs extra commitment of money:
This myth makes people avoid a planner. But as a
planner we know that the plan will help them to
spend approximately and spend without guilt. This
will free the money that is getting locked into
avoidable expenditures.
8) Finance is a common sense matter therefore I
can handle it well, I may not need assistance.
While on the face of it Finance appear to be a
common sense matter like do some savings and the
savings will save you. Financial planning is a science
that needs lots of calculations and also requires
recommending the client with the appropriate
financial solutions from the maze of thousands of
financial instruments available out there in the market.

We should not allow these objections to discourage
us. Instead because of these objections we must
understand the need to prepare well and present the
solutions in a manner that the client understands it
well and happily implements it.

Stay tuned in for the sequential episodes under this
topic. The next issue we will discuss the difference
between the perceived needs of our client and his
real needs and how to handle this situation without
our appearing as “Can not Understand us” sort of
feeling in the client.
CATERPILLAR SPACE
Mr Vidyadhar Lagad
Retirement Planning (Adoption of Son)
Retirement is Your Longest Vacation
Why Retirement planning is important:
Life is a beautiful journey .It has got 3 major junctions.
1) Up to age 30 self development & updating ( dreaming &
acquiring)
2) Age 30 to 60, responsible for family & their well being, strong
support for full filling all dreams.
3) After 60 living in independence for physical, emotional &
financial needs.
There are few reasons why we need to plan for golden years
(retirement) .
Following are key points:
Retirement is Natural and Aging is Compulsory
At retirement GUARANTEED REGULAR MONTHLY INCOME is
essential
Retirement is not an exit but an entry. Entry in freedom of life.
When you work till retirement there is only one Sunday in
eek, he d k e e da i S da i eek.
Regular cash flow is essential; cash is King and assets are
intermediators
Have you created you private ATM
Your Children are 24 carat gold, but they have their own
responsibilities and priorities.
Do you have GUARANTEED REGULAR MONTHLY INCOME?
Sir/Madam,
May I ask you a personal question,
if on second child you had twin what would be your action
that time and responsibility now
If you adopt a child now you will be financially independent
in your golden years.
You need a son who will take responsibility to your life
If you upbring this son, he will promise you. He will not argue
with you.
He will take care as your own son or may be better than your
own son.
He will be your walking stick & old age assistant for your living
in significance.
He is your financial son who will support you and your family
at all times
He will give you best IRR: Ideal Relation Ratio.
Would you like to adopt son today?
BENEFITS OF ADOPTED SON:
During your working time
1) He will take care of your responsibilities till retirement.
2) He will be a strong support for your family.
3) He will take care upbringing of your children if you are
unable.
4) He will take care for education & others needs of your family
if you are unable.
During your non working time (Retirement):
1) He will take care of you & your spouse.
2) He will take care of house maintenance, daily commitment,
and health care expenses.
3) He will take care of your critical & rehabilitation, extra care
expenses.
4) He will be strong support to live in financial independence.
Y da deci i ill ake b igh f e i g lde ea .
What would you prefer?
To live in financial freedom/ independence
(YES) opt now
(NO) after all its your Life & your choice.
Vidyadhar Lagad
Registered insurance Advisor
MDRT USA,CII UK,CIS India
Mobile No. 9823119322
Direct :91-253-2315101/2316101
Visit Us @ www.lagadinsurance.com
PROUD TO BE
ASSOCIATED
Mr Utkarsh Mathur
We are proud to share the achievement of
Master Utkarsh Mathur son of Mr Samrat
Mathur Financial Advisor Kotak Mahindra
Life Insurance Co Ltd also associated with
Gopast has been certified for Exceptional
Skills and Outcomes in Game Developement
by White Hat Jr Live Online Coding For kids
- year 2020. We also know that he is very good
in accadamics as well. God bless him.
Utkarsh Mathur , Class: Eleven N.K.BAGRODIA PUBLIC SCHOOL , ROHINI, DELHI
Inscriptions 31 october 2020

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Inscriptions 31 october 2020

  • 1. A MAGAZINE FROM THE GOPAST CENTRE FOR LEARNING Inscriptions 31 TRUTH STAYS FOREVER PANNEL 4 WALL 8
  • 2. Page CHAPTER Topic By 3 SCULPTOR SCULPTS SELF CONTROL- IS IT A ROCKET SCIENCE MR R.GOPINATH 30 GURUS SPEAK FINANCIAL PLANNING- THE BASICS MR R.GOPINATH 43 CATERPILLAR SPACE RETIREMENT PLANNING (ADOPTION OF A SON) MR ANIKET PATEL 47 WE ARE PROUD OF MR UTKARSH MATHUR PAGE INDEX
  • 4. IS “SELF CONTROL A ROCKET SCIENCE? R.GOPINATH gopinathr@go-past.com You would have read about great people who have created wonders in this world. Some have done so in politics, some in the space of sports, some in arts, some in science, some in the space of humanity. In every aspect of this human life, you will find some great achievers. While reading about such people and their achievements we can not stop wondering about the finesse they had brought into their domain. We can not even help getting a feeling that they have been blessed with some special talents to have reached that heights in life. But the fact is that, it is not true. They have/had used whatever was given to them fully. Be it the time given to them, the communication skills that they got, or the knowledge that they had acquired. Fully, is the key word in this context. This means they did not allow even a small portion of those gifts to go waste, or getting used for other unimportant things. Incidentally let us at this stage remind ourselves that we also got those gifts in equal measure. (Difficult to belief !!, but that is the incredible truth).
  • 5. How do they make it possible to be so focused? Since it is quite natural for humans to get drawn to other tempting attractions (or diversions?). From this stage of this article I am going to address you, as if I am talking to you. Who are you to your life, A spectator or an Active player? Suppose your answer to this question is “Active player”, then let us discuss how an active player will behave. Let us assume the situation is that during the halftime your team is behind by 5-1 goals (Soccer). If you are an active player then what all will
  • 6. you be doing from now, till the end of the match. I am sure you will give your very best in the next half with full hopes of winning the match. You may in discussion with the coach and other team members device a game plan and stick to it. What do you, as a player, control? The opposite team? The ground? The ball? You may try all of that, but the fact is that you will control yourself. You will direct yourself, in terms of speed, direction and techniques, and in doing so you will gain control over the ball, through that control the ground and the opposite team. The same principle applies in life.
  • 7. Since the beginning of human kind, lots of exercises have been done on humans to understand how the human mind works. Psychology and Neuroscience have evolved many centuries and have in the last few decades accelerated the findings multiple times than the previous decades. Out of the scores of tests done, experiments conducted by great psychologists world wide, one prominent test is “Marshmallow experiment” conducted in the beginning of 1970s, considered to be a very significant experiment and the finding of which have a far-reaching impact on human life. This experiment was designed and conducted by Prof Walter Mishcel.
  • 8. The study was done with four-year-olds. A table and a chair were placed in each of the rooms of the institution. The children were individually escorted to the room and made to sit comfortably. Then the teacher will keep a marshmallow on the dish kept on the table and the child was given a choice that he could either eat that marshmallow immediately, or he could wait 15 minutes and then receive a second marshmallow as a reward for waiting. If they chose the first option, they wouldn’t get the second marshmallow. You will appreciate 15 minutes is a long period of time for the 4 year olds, more so when the marshmallow is right in front of their eyes, and they are intaking the aroma of the marshmallow. There were no-one watching the children or guiding them, they were on their own. The average wait until the first marshmallow became irresistible was three minutes. However, 30% held out for 15 minutes and got the second marshmallow.  As adolescents, this group scored 200 points higher on the SAT. As adults, they had more education; higher socioeconomic status; and stayed away from vices.
  • 9. The whole experiment exposed an on-going struggle in the mind choosing between “immediate gratification vs delayed gratification” The study also proved the benefits of letting go things that provide immediate gratification to earn something that is more gratifying in future. 30% of those kids, did hold on for 15 minutes to get that extra marshmallow. You are facing marshmallow test every day. Even every minute. The marshmallow test starts right in the morning as you are contemplating about getting up from the bed and another 5 minutes of comfort of that cozy bed.
  • 10. When you are about to start your morning exercise of sit-ups, you face another marshmallow test. At your dining table, you face marshmallow test. Applying for a qualification, when you are having a comfortable job, is another marshmallow test. While sitting down to draft and write a letter to an unknown prospect, (MT) while preparing for a meeting scheduled by the week-end, while your social media platforms are trying to grab your time. You know preparing for the meeting scheduled next week, you will earn an elevation in your career, but then just after a 5 minutes of preparation you mind craves for, the pleasure in playing a video game, or chat with a friend, or watching movies or reading/ watching news from medias. Every day, every minute you are taking small, small decisions, that are shaping your future. Some of these decisions are bad decisions. What stands between you and your ambitious goals are these (bad) decisions. Mostly these bad decisions are having that one marshmallow kept before you, rather than wait that 15 minutes to get the extra. Immediate gratification vs Delayed gratification. in essence, failing the
  • 11. marshmallow test, very often. You also find reasons to justify failing this test, rather that correcting yourself. If four year olds can wait 15 minutes for a beneficial future, can you not as a grown-up, with greater intelligence, let go that impulsive submission to those things that give pleasure now, but steal away a great future from you, rob your dreams, loot your reputation? The arguments arise like, what if a few minutes lost in playing a video game? or on face book or in watching some movies. Am I not entitled to the present joy?. Worse still are justifications like, Smoking makes me more creative, it relaxes my mind. Alcohol soothes my tensions, helps me forget all those painful incidents. You know how empty these arguments are, but still you don’t know how to get out of these things? In this world anything can be learned and mastered through Deliberate practice. I would like to underline the word “Anything” in the above statement. Whatever things you able to do with ease today are all the results of such DP in the past. By extension you must realise that anything that has to be done with ease in the future demands DP from now. What is the meaning of DP?
  • 12. Intentional, focused repetitive actions sums-up the meaning of the word deliberate practice. Look back and you will find that you learnt to ride a bicycle, drive a car, knot your tie, do complex calculations on spreadsheets, bake a cake and many other things only this way, DP. How to start winning the Marshmallow tests, every time? Where does the whole game start, how does it proceed and what is the conclusion of this game? Watch the quadrant drawn below. Q1 is an area where you are not even aware of your incompetences. In the context of this article it refers to failing the marshmallow test, and not being aware that you are failing this test, that can take away a great future from you. (For example some people don’t know they are over-eating, over-sleeping, wasting their time, they are procrastinating, their actions are in the zone of immortality). At this stage to improve one-self is not possible, because the self is not even aware that corrections are needed.
  • 13. Corrective actions can start only from Q2, where you become conscious of those incompetences that are causing losses to you. This movement from Q1 to Q2 can happen in two ways. 1) Others pointing out the situation to you and then you become aware of it. May be your spouse mentioned this to you, and you realised it now. Parents, gurus, mentors, good friends who have been observing you they point out causing a realisation in you and you move to Q2. 2) Self introspection: You start thinking about your behaviours, your habits, your thought processes and you start realising your incompetences. This requires a non-judgemental analysis of yourself.
  • 14. Either way, once you reach Q2, you need to correct yourself to reach Q3. You need to initiate DP here. (The steps are suggested towards the end of this article.) By Persisting the DP you come to Q3 where you know you have overcome all those incompetences and you are winning the Marshmallow test. As you continue your DP you will enter Q4, where the competences have become an ingrained part of your nature that you don’t have to consciously attempt at that. You are now in the auto-pilot-zone-of- excellence. You do your regular exercises, you eat properly, you sleep well, you work efficiently, you keep up the promises you made, you are a shining star in your office, you do your negotiations in style, you enjoy the life that you have always wanted to have above all you feel the pride of having absolute power on yourself. We must appreciate that the marshmallow test that the kids had undergone and the marshmallow tests that we undergo every minute/ every day are different in three aspects. 1) If you observe the marshmallow test of the kids, they were assured of two marshmallows if they wait that 15 minutes, but in real life tests you don’t feel such guarantees. You only increase the chances of being benefited. For example a boy
  • 15. focusing well on studies may not feel the guarantee of a job of his liking after finishing his education. By doing well in studies he feels that is increasing his chances of landing in a job of his liking. 2) The time of waiting was fixed, and known at the beginning itself. In real life tests you are not sure of the time of waiting for that great thing to happen. For example weight reduction exercises, it might take 6 months or even 2 years to achieve the result and till then you have to keep watching the marshmallow before you and you are not supposed to eat it. It might take an athlete years and years of tough practice before qualifying for olympics. It may take months of working and re- working to write codes for a computer application that you are trying to develop. 3) Marshmallow test with the kids were like bilateral agreements. Other conditions did not apply. They wait for 15 minutes and they get the extra one: that’s it. But in real life tests multiple conditions apply. For example weight reduction is subject to many other situations like food available, climatic conditions, work pressure, family support and so on. Each step has a consequence. So we have to be cautious at every step in the process of wining the marshmallow test, otherwise we would have won one test and the consequence (not so good) of it would be seen in some other important aspect of life.
  • 16. But all the above three reasons must not become justifications to stop us from becoming great. Remember the beginning of this article, where we said “great people are not those who have been endowed with special talents; but are people who kept using whatever they had to its fullest capacity.” If they are humans and we are also humans ( I suppose you have no doubts on this fact), then we should be able to touch those heights of life which they had achieved or even higher than that. The picture below shows the marshmallow line. M1 means marshmallow 1 and M2 means crossing the line and availing the extra marshmallow also. That is, Winning the game. DP means deliberate practice.
  • 17. There are two major supportive forces required to cross this line. Let us look at a rocket scientist, he has two primary objectives in designing and constructing the rocket. 1) Reduce Friction operating on the rocket in the flight path and 2) Increase the velocity of the rocket as it traverses its flight path. To achieve this he may work on the engine capacity, the fuel efficiency and factors like that. Learning our lessons from these rocket scientists we are going to adopt similar strategies to move away from the gravity of M1 (immediate gratification) and into the space of M2( Delayed gratification). Let me give you some examples of conditions related to the test done on those 4 year old kids and see if the results of the test (30% winning and 70% averaged gobbling marshmallow in 3minutes) 1) Suppose the stake was higher? Let us say it is not just one extra marshmallow but an extra everyday in breakfast for 3 days. Would this have altered the test results? Presumably yes more children would have waited. 2) Suppose it was difficult to grab that marshmallow Say that they have to cross the corridor to the principal’s room and take this marshmallow from him. Would this have altered the test results? Presumably yes more children would have waited.
  • 18. 3) Suppose the children were visible to their parents and they kept giving them the feed back and encouraging them. “Great going boy, you are doing well, you have crossed 3 minutes waiting and you are going strong” Would this have altered the test results? Presumably yes more children would have waited. 4) Suppose the marshmallow was painted black and appearing not like a good marshmallow? Would this have altered the test results? Presumably yes more children would have waited. You will find from the above 4 situations some worked on the friction part and others on the velocity part. What you do about the marshmallows that you have identified that are holding you from becoming that great individual that you wanted to be? Look at picture below and you will find the answer. First let me handle the Distortion part. Even a gigantic Airbus A320 flying in the sky appears like a small toy from the ground. Only when you stand by its side, you are awed at its massiveness. Some good impact that is going to happen to you in a distant future appears largely reduced from today’s
  • 19. perspective. It has less motivational pull than even a small benefit that can be attained today or this week- end. Some bad impact that is going to happen to you in a distant future appears largely reduced from today’s perspective. It has less aversion push than even a small loss that can happen today or this week-end. This is where you could use the technique called deliberate distortion. Making one appear bigger or nearer Or Making one appear smaller and far away. To explain this let me give you the example of Prof Walter Mischel himself and how he was repeatedly
  • 20. failing the marshmallow test in terms of smoking cigarettes. Walter Mischel was almost addicted to this habit. He knew the harmful effects of smoking. He exercised his will power to stop smoking, but could not hold on for long. He broke his promise and started off again. One day when Prof Mischel was walking through the lobby of a general hospital on the way to meet someone know to him, he saw a patient being wheeled into a ward on stretcher bed. I am quoting Prof Mishcel, “and this poor man on a gurney had his arm stretched out at his side, his chest was bare, his head was empty, He looked terrible, and he had little green Xs all over him. With a throat full of terror.” Mischel asked the nurse what was going on. The man has metastasized lung cancer, she replied, and the little green X marks directed where the radiation treatment was to be targeted. At the time, Mischel was still a self-described "tobacco addict." He thought that someday he might get into trouble for his stress-relieving habit, but who knows? Seeing the dying man in the gurney, he realized that smoking wasn't helping him out.
  • 21. Courtesy of Michele Tolela Myers Walter Mischel is the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. "Even though it feels great at the time, it has delayed consequences that would probably not have me alive at this time if I continue”. He understood that he couldn't just rely on his willpower to stop smoking. Instead, he realized that he would need to make a distant consequence (dying of lung cancer) feel immediate in his life. He would have to keep the result of his smoking "very hot" in his mind, otherwise he'd just continue smoking. To do that, he'd have to take the temptation and subvert it. And that's where things get psychological. First, he imagined himself in the same position as the unfortunate soul he came across in Stanford Med School - stretched out limply on a gurney, hair all gone, green x's painted on his body to guide the radiation treatment. So every time he reached out to a box of cigarettes he virtually imprinted that beleaguered picture of that
  • 22. patient self on its cover, In this way, the future self on the gurney becomes more vivid, and the present temptation to smoke suddenly gets a lot less attractive. This way Prof Walter Mischel could quit his addictive habit. There was an internal war between the immediate gratification of the so called relief the smoking habit gave and the delayed gratification of living long and healthy. You will find instances of this distortion in many places around you. I was attending a conference in a five star hotel, which had a huge spread for the buffet lunch. Against each dish on the counter, a small placard placed near it mentioned the calories it contains, the sugar and the fat proportions. While people self serve themselves with these dishes they could contain extra consumptions which is normally triggered by the taste the dish offers. Suppose you are a high school student and you still have 4 years to enter a college. You will be subjected to a marshmallow test of “enjoying” the present or studying to become the Aero Space Engineer that you keep dreaming about. To get into the best of the colleges 4 years from now you need to top score in your final exams and also in the common entrance tests of selection. But then you still have 4 long years to go.
  • 23. Here the immediate gratification of “enjoying” the present possibly can be more appealing compared to the benefit at long distance away. You can now magnify the benefits of entering the college, by using your power of imagination and start feeling the admission right now happening, vividly. Look at the photograph of yours in the hall of fame of the prestigious college. Look at the magnificent ambience the college provides. Look at sharing the dias with luminaries in the space of Aero space engineers. You will possibly get to work at the stations that the great Dr Kalam, Prof Vikram Sarabhai did. Collect those pictures of the past and see yourself now in it. It is not that playing video games or being on social media or watching a couple of good movies are wrong. But what about the limits? How long? How many times? and What websites? Are you allowing yourself to be dragged into a world of emptiness? When you magnify the benefits, it subverts the pleasure of the trivia of the present. Or when you magnify the present gratification then the benefits of a committed work receivable in future gets subverted. Nudge: Is another useful technique. Nudge means “a gentle push” In a certain environment you behave in a certain manner. So Nudge uses this concept of
  • 24. making things difficult for you to access “Distancing” or making things easy to access “Associating” First let me explain “Distancing” Let us say you are a research associate and you are working on your research and you have volumes of pages to be typed out and edited daily. Let us say your marshmallow is “Watching movies frequently”. Because of this you do your work for hardly 5 minutes and you sense an urge to visit Netflix, Amazon prime or Hot star. You are hardly able to resist it and most of the times you loose the marshmallow test succumbing for the immediate gratification that watching those movies provide you with. Earlier days watching movies took lots of efforts. You travel to the theatre, stand in the line buy your ticket, jostled by the crowd, you move towards your seat, and after the movie, get back, find you vehicle in the parking and travel back home. Sometimes this assignment took 6 to 7 hours. But with all the movie platforms available at your desk top that too on the same laptop you are using for your research it just a click of the mouse (sometime double click). Very few people can resist this temptation, because the environment has made it so easy. Let us use the distancing technique here. All these browsers/platforms/apps have a sign-in process to
  • 25. open them. Normally you save your password in the browser itself that it auto opens without the requirement that you sign-in every time. Now you remove that provision and make it sign-in every time. At the end of every visit log out of that browser. That makes it compulsory for you to type the password and log in. You made it little more difficult for you now. You can also avail the help of your spouse or children here. Many times the apps are family viewing. So you tell your spouse to keep changing the passwords every second day. Right in the midst of your research you feel tempted to visit this movie platform for a while, now you find your password is not working. You will have to call/ask your spouse or children for the latest password. You feel the embarrassment of even in venturing that. So you have effectively distanced those attractions (or should I say, distractions?) from you. Another method of nudge is creating strong associations to remain on the correct side. For examples groups to perform the tasks together. Like “Walking syndicate”, Research syndicate, Science syndicates, Cultural syndicates. These examples prove how the environment impacts our behaviour. As a member of a walking syndicate you easily overcome the marshmallow of staying in the cozy bed a little longer. Such syndicates can be formed in the families too. Joint walking, joint gardening, joint studies and so on.
  • 26. You will find one thing in common that keeps you falling for the immediate gratification is the impulse received through your sensory organs, Eyes, Ear, Touch, Nose and the Tongue. The one who is able to control and direct the uses of these sensory organs is the one who keeps winning marshmallow tests. One necessary suggestion related to DP (Deliberate Practice) is that you can marginally escalate the practices in certain frequency. For example if a person is injured in an automobile accident and had multiple fractures in both of his legs. How is he taught to walk again. Initial practice is to sit by himself, then stand by himself, then walk only one step with
  • 27. support and later without support. Meaning marginal escalation. Our Deliberate practice to win Marshmallow tests also can be started small and then keep escalating in certain frequency till the time we have reached Q4 (Auto pilot-zone-of -Excellence) As humans, our resources are limited. The resources, we as humans have, Time, Energy and Space are limited. Whereas our aspirations are unlimited. In this imbalanced equation, if we further allow these limited resources like time and energy to flow into activities that do not connect with our aspirations, we are only making the resultant equation worse. The gap widens and we live an ordinary life. Born as a common man, lived like one and left this Earth as a common man. No significant contributions to be talked about after our departure. That means we have reduced the human potential to the level of just existing on this Earth for a given period of time. Whereas people born along with us have contributed significantly and made a place for themselves in the history. They live for centuries in the memories of humans on Earth. Their birthdays are celebrated as Engineers’ day, Doctors day and Governments declare Holidays to help people pay their tributes every year to those great souls. Currency notes carry their pictures, Postal stamps carry their pictures and school text books carry their biographies.
  • 28. Rocket scientists have two objectives 1) Reduce friction and 2) Enhance velocity. The same principle is applicable to our lives also. Whatever is hindering or slowing down our progress, eliminate all of that and whatever accelerates our progress adopt them. Summary 1) Identify your marshmallows (M1) 2) Move to Q2 3) DP (Deliberate Practice ) to Q3 4) Continue DP and move to Q4 5) Q4 is the Auto-pilot-zone-of-excellence. 6) DP in the form of Distortion Magnifying and Subverting
  • 29. 7) DP in the form of Nudge Distancing and Associating. 8) How far you will go in your life depends on how much power you have on yourself.
  • 31. FINANCIAL PLANNING- THE BASICS PART 1 R.GOPINATH gopinathr@go-past.com Quite frequently people ask me what is that we can achieve by Financial Planning (services)? Then they quickly add, “And please don’t venture into a lecture to answer this, be as brief as possible.” So see this picture. This will explain what is financial planning all about.(Pic:1)
  • 32. The first question that arises when I offer this explanation is “Branch of Social science?” What do you mean? Yes it is a branch of social science as much as Economics is a branch of social science. In financial planning aspects other than the money also have to be considered: 1) Monetary Aspects like Income, Expenses, Assets, Liabilities, Cash flow, Inflation, Depreciation, Amortisation, Risk management etc., 2) Psychology of the client and his dependents, their dreams, fears and concerns about certain happenings, their perceived needs and their real needs. 3) The Social Culture, value systems, and the unwritten rules that operate in the family. 4) The law of the land dealing with the possessions and inheritances and taxes. Let me explain the definition of financial planning that I gave at the beginning of this article: “FINANCIAL PLANNING IS A BRANCH OF SOCIAL SCIENCE THAT DEVICES A PROCESS TO MANAGE THE GAP BETWEEN OUR RESOURCES AND THE ASPIRATIONS, NEEDS AND WANTS OF SELF AND FAMILY”
  • 33. Let me show you some of the gaps, that necessitate a planned approach. #3 Spans of life. There are three spans of life, as shown in the picture. (Pic:2) The first line (Green) represents the Earning span. Mostly it starts at age 25 and continues till age 60. (There can be exceptions in the min and max age).
  • 34. The second line (Blue) represents the life span, starting from the birth of the person and continuing till his death. The third line (Red) represents the expenditure span. You will notice that it starts before the birth of the person and extends beyond the death of that person. If all the three spans are differing so much in length how is it then possible to provide for the expenditure span without a “PLAN”? If all the three lines were to be parallel and congruent like this picture (Pic:3), then PLANNING may not be required. Just keep living, keep earning and keep spending.
  • 35. But if they are as different as shown in pic1 then planning is a must. This picture raises two pertinent questions: 1) The expenditure before the birth (like ante-natal care) is taken care by the parents, then why bother? The truth is that parents bear the expenses, not just till our birth, but till the time we complete our education and get employed. But we must be aware that all that expenses pertain to us. This line is drawn only to stress the feeling of gratitude for their sacrifice. It is also likely that they had raised loans to fund our education and we may have to start repaying the loans to such institutions once we start earning 2) How can the expenditure extend beyond the death of the person. It is normally presumed that the expenditure span will come to a full stop upon one’s death. There are 3 types of outgo that can happen after the death of a person: a. Unfulfilled Responsibilities b. Unsettled Liabilities and c. Unrealised Dreams. In the coming episodes of this article I will provide real-life examples of all the three above.
  • 36. The very fact that there are differences between all the three spans necessitates the process of “Planning”. There can be some special occupations wherein the earning can be short. Earning can be more in volume but in the length of the span it can be much shorter than the common man. (Pic:2a) Look at this pic: Professions like cine artists, sports persons, are a few examples of this phenomenon.
  • 37. Let me move to the concept of 3 Scenarios in life: (Pic:4)
  • 38. Scenario A: We live till age 80+ and our income also continues till 80+ and life long. This is a happy scenario which many of us want to happen in our life. Scenario B: We live till age 80+, but our income stops at age 60. This shows a non-income phase of more than 20 years. Scenario C. Our income stops due to death, but our family continues to live, that means their expenditures will continue for many more years. Even though we wish scenario A to happen we must admit that there are some probabilities of Scenario B or Scenario C happening in our life. We also know that the Scenario A can not happen by default and it can happen only by a design called Plan. If we want scenario B to become A then savings during the earning span is required and if we want to provide for the expenditures of our beloved family if Scenario C happens then we need adequate Life insurance.
  • 39. There is also a possibility that scenario B1 happens. (Pic:5) Our income stops for some reason before retirement, and we live longer. In this Scenario the expenditures pertaining to us and pertaining to our family both continue. How to manage this situation? Adequate risk management solutions like Critical illness cover disability cover and such insurances are required. In all the above cases I had shown you the gap in the spans and the shortfall in different scenarios. But don’t you think that these shortfalls have to be
  • 40. quantified and bridged. To quantify such shortfalls and decide optimum ways to bridge that we need “Financial Planning” In my 36 years of service in this area of financial planning, I frequently come across people (prospects) who do not feel the need of Financial planning services. The major reasons for such a feeling are: 1) Not aware such services are available: Many prospects ask me is it about selling life insurance to me or are you going to sell any investment products to me? Our response, “No sir, It is about planning our financial resources for the whole our life and beyond …..” 2) Not realising the FULL financial impact of certain (Uncertain) events. A person with an occupational income of 28lakhs yearly has a life insurance policy of 2lakhs Sum assured and no plans for post retirement life. 3) Feeling invincible because of assets: Sometimes people say that “I have huge assets, so even if anything goes wrong, I will not have to suffer at all”. But as financial planner we know that Assets have 3 Dimensions 1) Safety 2) Liquidity and 3) Yield. There are 3 Natures of Assets to be considered for deciding the suitability of the asset for the purpose we need it 1) Granularity, 2) Transparency and 3) Transferability. This portion involves the Assets Liability matching properly.
  • 41. 4) Feeling secure because of relations: This arises from the feeling that There are so many to take care of any shortfalls. Jointly held businesses, joint families and so on. But we know as a planner that being taken care by and independence are different levels of aspirations. 5) Whatever has to happen will happen: This feeling comes from a state of helplessness if something were to go wrong. But as a planner we can not wait for things to happen and respond to them, instead anticipate and get prepared will provide lot of respite. Bad weather can not be avoided, but if we are fully prepared then we can minimise of even nullify the bad effects of the bad weather. Good weather can not be preponed or advanced. But if we are fully prepared then we can multiply the good effects of the good weather. 6) Tendency to enjoy the present rather than concerned about the long-term needs: This is a very common reason why people do not prepare themselves to be future ready. But as planners we know that we will have to face our future some time later and we can now wish it off. 7) Planning needs extra commitment of money: This myth makes people avoid a planner. But as a planner we know that the plan will help them to spend approximately and spend without guilt. This will free the money that is getting locked into avoidable expenditures.
  • 42. 8) Finance is a common sense matter therefore I can handle it well, I may not need assistance. While on the face of it Finance appear to be a common sense matter like do some savings and the savings will save you. Financial planning is a science that needs lots of calculations and also requires recommending the client with the appropriate financial solutions from the maze of thousands of financial instruments available out there in the market. We should not allow these objections to discourage us. Instead because of these objections we must understand the need to prepare well and present the solutions in a manner that the client understands it well and happily implements it. Stay tuned in for the sequential episodes under this topic. The next issue we will discuss the difference between the perceived needs of our client and his real needs and how to handle this situation without our appearing as “Can not Understand us” sort of feeling in the client.
  • 44. Retirement Planning (Adoption of Son) Retirement is Your Longest Vacation Why Retirement planning is important: Life is a beautiful journey .It has got 3 major junctions. 1) Up to age 30 self development & updating ( dreaming & acquiring) 2) Age 30 to 60, responsible for family & their well being, strong support for full filling all dreams. 3) After 60 living in independence for physical, emotional & financial needs. There are few reasons why we need to plan for golden years (retirement) . Following are key points: Retirement is Natural and Aging is Compulsory At retirement GUARANTEED REGULAR MONTHLY INCOME is essential Retirement is not an exit but an entry. Entry in freedom of life. When you work till retirement there is only one Sunday in eek, he d k e e da i S da i eek. Regular cash flow is essential; cash is King and assets are intermediators Have you created you private ATM Your Children are 24 carat gold, but they have their own responsibilities and priorities. Do you have GUARANTEED REGULAR MONTHLY INCOME?
  • 45. Sir/Madam, May I ask you a personal question, if on second child you had twin what would be your action that time and responsibility now If you adopt a child now you will be financially independent in your golden years. You need a son who will take responsibility to your life If you upbring this son, he will promise you. He will not argue with you. He will take care as your own son or may be better than your own son. He will be your walking stick & old age assistant for your living in significance. He is your financial son who will support you and your family at all times He will give you best IRR: Ideal Relation Ratio. Would you like to adopt son today?
  • 46. BENEFITS OF ADOPTED SON: During your working time 1) He will take care of your responsibilities till retirement. 2) He will be a strong support for your family. 3) He will take care upbringing of your children if you are unable. 4) He will take care for education & others needs of your family if you are unable. During your non working time (Retirement): 1) He will take care of you & your spouse. 2) He will take care of house maintenance, daily commitment, and health care expenses. 3) He will take care of your critical & rehabilitation, extra care expenses. 4) He will be strong support to live in financial independence. Y da deci i ill ake b igh f e i g lde ea . What would you prefer? To live in financial freedom/ independence (YES) opt now (NO) after all its your Life & your choice. Vidyadhar Lagad Registered insurance Advisor MDRT USA,CII UK,CIS India Mobile No. 9823119322 Direct :91-253-2315101/2316101 Visit Us @ www.lagadinsurance.com
  • 47. PROUD TO BE ASSOCIATED Mr Utkarsh Mathur
  • 48. We are proud to share the achievement of Master Utkarsh Mathur son of Mr Samrat Mathur Financial Advisor Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co Ltd also associated with Gopast has been certified for Exceptional Skills and Outcomes in Game Developement by White Hat Jr Live Online Coding For kids - year 2020. We also know that he is very good in accadamics as well. God bless him. Utkarsh Mathur , Class: Eleven N.K.BAGRODIA PUBLIC SCHOOL , ROHINI, DELHI