Self-help Activities

Knowledge is essential. But practice is key. The activities here are designed to benefit you, and you alone. Use them to become more curious and to improve your learning.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready...the teacher will disappear.
Lao Tzu

Activities F.A.Q

  1. My first batch of students in 2011 had the same request. It was a fair one. So I wrote a 3 page summary. But it wasn’t covering all the bases and I realized it could cause harm. Half knowledge is dangerous after all, and investing is all about knowing the footnotes. So I wrote some more. And then more.
  2. I stopped writing when I felt that I had covered the most amount of ground, without it becoming too overwhelming. And thus was born my first book.
  3. The book contains everything that I feel you must know.
  4. So, the shortest write-up I could give, without being haunted by the thoughts of not giving you enough information, is my book.
  5. So please pick up a copy. Most authors make less than 10% on the price of the book. So while I have little incentive to sell it, its reader stands to gain a lifetime of useful knowledge, for the price of a bad pizza.

Though all these assignments can be done solo, I would recommend forming a peer group. Pair up with a friend or a familiar colleague and do them together. Research independently and then tally up your findings.

This will help keep the learning process alive. Once you’re done with the book, you may/will move on to topics which are beyond fundamentals. And having someone to bounce your ideas off of, will ensure continuous improvement.

Activities

General

  1. Research types of calculators available online.
  2. Narrow down on 5 calculators which you think are most useful.
  3. Create a 1 slide deck and present your findings to your team/peer-group.
  1. Read the chapter on common types of Return calculations — CAGR, Annualized etc.
  2. Research their formulas and try out a few online calculators
  3. Create an excel sheet which automatically calculates various types of returns, based on start price, end price and duration.

After reading up on Inflation:

  1. Research how inflation is calculated by India and then, inflation rates for the past 5 years
  2. Read and list 3 articles on how inflation affects our returns

Debt

  1. Summarize 10 top learnings from the chapter.
  2. Create a 5 slide deck highlighting what  you’ve learnt and present them to your peer-groups/teams.
  1. Research 7 post office savings schemes, their lock-in periods, current interest rates offered.
  2. Analyze who each product is most suitable for.
  3. Present your findings to your team/peer-group
  1. Research latest interest rates on FDs offered by various banks
  2. Do post offices offer an FD? Research the same.
  3. If yes, include it’s returns in your overall findings as well.
  4. Present your findings to your peer groups/teams.
  1. Research how you can access your EPF account
  2. Create relevant logins and find out how much its currently worth.

Gold

  1. Create a 3 slide deck highlighting what you’ve learnt and present them to your peer-groups/teams.

Find out their benefits, how one can apply for them, when are they available

  1. Look up historical prices of Gold. Find a site which will give you this info
  2. Then, based on the current price of Gold, calculate CAGR ratings for Gold over 5, 10,15 & 20 year periods.
  3. Present your findings to your teams/peer-groups.

Insurance

  1. Summarize 10 top learnings from the chapter.
  2. Create a 5 slide deck highlighting what  you’ve learnt and present them to your peer-groups/teams.
  1. List down at least 5 types of health insurance riders & understand what each of them mean.
  2. Present your findings to your team by explaining them in layman’s terms.
     
  1. Read at least 5 recent articles on life insurance products. Make sure the articles are written by independent sources and not insurance middlemen or insurance companies themselves. 
  2. List down 3 best insurance providers based on your findings and common selection criteria.
  3. Present your findings to your teams/peer-groups.
  1. Search online for recent articles of insurance mis-selling.
  2. List down which product was mis-sold, how, and what the repercussions were to investors.
This is a solo assignment.
 
  1. Take the quiz on the site.
  2. If you get an answer wrong, research more until you figure out the right answer.
  3. Goal is to score a 10/10 while knowing exactly why each answer is correct.
 
  1. Based on everything in the book and everything discussed in sessions, evaluate your life insurance needs. How much will your dependents need if you don’t wake up tomorrow.
  2. Purchase a good term life insurance policy within 30 days of starting this activity.
  1. Find out if your employer provides a way to top-up your health insurance cover.
  2. If yes, then based on your dependents and family medical history, sign up for the same.

Real Estate

  1. Create a 5 slide deck highlighting what  you’ve learnt and present them to your peer-groups/teams.
  • Understand what ‘rental yield’ means
  • Search online for 3 articles from last three years on rental yields in India.
  • Present your findings to your team/peer-group in a 3-slide deck
  • Search online for 3 articles from last three years on buy vs rent arguement when it comes to real estate
  • Ensure articles are not from sources which are related to the real estate industry.
  • Present your findings to your team/peer-group in a 3-slide deck.
  1. Research on what classifies as affordable housing in India
  2. List down any additional tax benefits that it has.
  3. Analyze how rental yields change when it comes to affordable housing.
  4. Present your findings to your team/peer-group in a 5-slide deck

Mutual funds

Income and taxation