Five money lessons from Aamir Khan's Dangal movie
Films are inspiring; use it in other aspects in life, especially when it comes to money
By Narayan Krishnamurthy
An Aamir Khan film is much awaited and Dangal was no different. Within a month of release, it has already made the headlines for being one of the biggest grosser. The inspiring story of two wrestling girls from Haryana is a story worth every minute with the right dose of drama. In many ways, Dangal is a game and for those who do not understand the stock markets, the perception is that markets also act like a game, a gamble. During the interval, I could hear several moviegoers discussing their plans to send their kids to wrestle. I am sure that was the view after viewing Mary Kom and Dhoni: The Untold story.
As long as the inspiration is being channelized to the right outcomes, there is nothing wrong. In the film, the society laughs at Mahavir Singh’s decision to ask the daughters to be wrestlers. I am laughed at by people when I tell them that they should invest in equities. Here are five money lessons that one could learn from Dangal, be inspired and start using their savings and investments effectively.
Have a goal: The desire to win a medal for India was channelized into encouraging the children to take up wrestling as a sport. The goal was broken into smaller elements – village level, district level, national and international wrestling tournaments. Use the same analogy to set the goal for financial independence. You will be able to break it into short-, medium and long-term goals. Contextualise them as goals to buy a house, go on a vacation, get married, educate your children and finally retire.
Start early: Not just Dangal, in his seminal book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell has detailed on how practice and habits makes for a winner. You should start investing early. You can see how the two girls start young and how that helped them to be focused and achieve their goals. A slight shift from the goal, caused Babita to lose, should be a lesson for you to stay focused when it comes to investing.
Cut the noise: There is a dialogue in the film when Mahavir mentions how he will remove every distraction or obstruction that will sway his daughters from focusing on wrestling. So, out goes spicy food and long hair. When you are investing, there will be a lot of noise in the markets; there will be a lot of diverse views. One way is to filter it all out; another is to listen to only the sane voice.
Practise: It takes time and dedication to become a champion. Do not expect your investments to zoom up overnight. Give them time and you are sure likely to benefit from the outcome. Invest with 5-10 years as time frame for investments, especially when investing in markets. The longer you invest for, the better it is.
Confidence: Faith and belief is good, but do not be blinded by it. You need to analyse the situation you are in to act accordingly when it comes to your money. Just because your investments have done for a while does not mean that they will do so permanently. You will need to change tactics bases on the external environment. Have the flexibility and leeway to adjust the way you invest.