Thank you to everyone who joined the virtual meetup #8. Again a very low turn-up but we had some interesting discussions. This is a follow up to that meeting where I paraphrase and summarize what happened in the meet-up. I will not cover all the topics. Just the ones I felt that might help the readers or if I felt that I needed to add more clarity to my responses.
What are your thoughts on the new Navi US total stock market fund?
I don’t have any opinion on this particular fund, but given how extreme the markets currently are, it would probably be better to use an index fund instead of active funds. You will at least get the market returns if nothing. Again this is my personal opinion and the market may not be really high yet. Who knows.
Given that the markets are high, does it make sense to continue investing in equities?
It does not matter whether market is high or low, you should always be investing based on your goals. For example if you determined your asset allocation for some goal to be 50:50, then continue to invest 50% in equities and 50% in fixed income asset classes every month. If the markets fall in future then rebalance. Basically you are moving money from an asset class that has run up too high into an asset class that has fallen. So in future the returns will be better. As I always say, asset allocation and rebalancing are far more important that current market conditions. See my post on goal based investing for more details.
What are your plans for your kid?
Well, I don’t have any plans :). We will see how this unschooling thing goes and based on her interest we will do something. What that something is too early to say. My kid is just 8 years old and she has not yet formed a knack for anything specific. Only time will tell.
Please write more about unschooling specifically around getting a traditional job
I have written a few articles on unschooling in general. On the topic of landing in a traditional job, I have one article which sort of touches on it but perhaps I can go more into detail in another post.
Having said that, I am not sure if I am the right person to write about it since I don’t believe in a traditional job for my daughter. The thing is that job requirements and tastes of job seekers keep changing from generation to generation. So I cannot predict how it will work out in future for my daughter. For example, in my parent’s generation, a job is a requirement and the only jobs they could find are government jobs which are too few. So the competition is intense. The employers hire people based on recommendations and/or bribery. Once you have a job, you work till retirement because that is when you get pension etc. Job safety is high. No one is going to fire you for the most trivial of things. You need a job to make ends meet.
In our generation, it is more about education than anything else. Person with a higher degree from a good university gets the higher paying job. Most jobs are in private companies. You can be fired at any time if your work is not good. People with good jobs have the flexibility to retire early. Jobs are used to improve lifestyle and not to make ends meet.
Slowly we are seeing the culture change to start-ups. Most youth these days don’t want a job in the traditional sense. They want to think big. They are thinking of start-ups or freelancing. They want to work when they feel like and need money. Then they take a break and then get back to work. I think that will be the future. I don’t know how to prepare my daughter for this kind of future. She will figure it out like every generation has done for their situation.
May be in future everyone will have a company providing some micro service and we just buy services from them directly instead of from big name companies. Then they don’t need a resume or educational background. What they need is a portfolio and skills. They can learn the skills by themselves or by working as an apprentice who have those skills. They will not work 40 hours week. They will work, earn, take a break and come back. Who knows?
Any trips planned?
Given that the third wave is now on the downward spiral, we will hopefully get a chance to go on a couple of trips. Perhaps in March. We don’t normally do far away vacations so mostly around Bangalore area.
Any new offers or work coming up your way?
I have an offer from a friend of friend (who worked in my previous workplace) to work on a small side project. It sounds interesting, but I am not sure how much time commitment it will require. So I haven’t promised anything yet and if he pursues me strongly then I might think about it. Other than that I am going to do another financial planning workshop on popular demand. So we will have to see how that goes. Should keep me busy for a month :).
That is pretty much what happened on the call. I am starting to wonder if there is much value in continuing these quarterly virtual meetups. So I will pause it for a while and restart when I see the need. Until next time, take care.