Financing your child’s overseas education through ESOPs

ESOPs are a priceless tool for attracting and retaining talent at start-ups and MNCs. Many of us working here get ESOPs in overseas companies. Since the Indian Rupee has depreciated against other currencies like the dollar over the years, overseas investments may be a good option to help reduce currency risk. And with strategic planning, parents can secure their child’s overseas educational dreams through ESOP benefits. The lumpsum that ESOPs provide, could be suitable to fund the large investments required.

If your company’s ESOPs are overseas, it would help to reduce the currency risk. A lumpsum gain from your domestic ESOPs could also help fund education.

Multiple factors must be considered while signing up for ESOPs. They may not be good for the risk-averse as they are linked to the volatile stock markets. They may also not suit someone looking for liquidity in the near term. Sure, stocks can be volatile. This is why it is important to time the sale of ESOPs. 

The decision to sell the shares acquired under ESOP is like any other investment decision. You need to take into account the capital gains implication as well as the need for liquidity for arriving at the decision. Moreover, whether and when to sell will also depend on the prospects of the company and how the stock is performing.

So, before you decide to liquidate the amount, take note of your three options:

When stocks are performing well.

Sell when the stock is performing well. If your child’s education is a few years away and the stock price of your company is already faring well, it is best you exit the plan and park it in debt options.  

When you expect a better performance in the future.

Alternatively, you may also choose a staggered exit at a few higher prices. But take note of your risk appetite if you decide to do so. Since stocks can be volatile, don’t keep these investments for the last minute.

When stocks are performing poorly.

If the company’s stocks have seen better days, you might as well take a loan to finance your child’s education. When your ESOPs begin to look up, you may exit and square off the loan.

ESOPs can be very successful when implemented in the right situation. They can be a good way to fund your child’s education. They allow their owners to create sustainable and transferable value and a well-prepared and successful exit. However, keep in mind that they can also be volatile. Take heed that you exit it in advance when the stock price is doing well and move it to non-market-linked options. That way you guarantee yourself good returns at an optimal time.

How to Select the Right Portfolio Management Service for You?

Portfolio Management Services, Portfolio Management, PMS advisory services, Portfolio Management Services in India

Portfolio Management Schemes (PMS) have done well, so you may be looking to invest in one of them.  Since the minimum investment into a PMS is Rs 50 Lakh, you may not be able to diversify as one does for Mutual Funds.  Further, most schemes also have an exit load up to 2-3 years.  Hence, choosing the right PMS becomes critical for you. A few points to consider:  

  • Establish clarity of purpose

There should be clarity and understanding of your risk appetite while choosing your service provider. i.e. Do you want the highest returns (which comes with higher volatility) or a consistent performer who manages risk well. You should accordingly shortlist the most suitable ones.

  • Vet the credentials of your PMS provider

Make sure that you have gone through all the required credentials of the provider like the past track record, transparency, and risk-adjusted returns; and draw out a comparison. Ultimately, there should be a consensus of minds before finalizing any deal and you shouldn’t be discriminating based on past performances alone.

  • Make informed decisions about the cost structure

You should be well-versed with the cost structure. It should be flexible enough to accommodate all your financial constraints and should allow you to choose between fixed and variable fee options. Annual fund management charges normally apply both for fixed and variable fee structures.  Variable fees are normally computed as a percentage of the profits generated above a threshold but would have a lower fixed fee component. Make sure that your manager briefs you about the expense structure apart from the fund management fees.

  • Choose a fund that aligns with your goals

Whether it is a large or multi or small cap fund, choose a fund based upon your risk-taking capacity. You may also choose your strategy based on the market environment as it keeps oscillating between large and midcap funds.  One way to take a mid path through a multi-cap fund.  It’s important to see what you are capable of and align your investments accordingly.

  • Allocate your funds suitably

While the PMS requires you to invest in lumpsum, many PMS houses have created a systematic transfer approach into the equity fund. They take your money into a debt fund and allocate it in a phased manner based on your instruction.  This protects you from the risk of buying equity at its peak value and a down-cycle may impact you adversely.

Things to watch out for

First, going after the highest returns could also mean higher risk. Ask yourself if you have the risk appetite to bear higher losses. In any case, you can mitigate risks through systematic transfer mechanisms.

Secondly, pay attention to your portfolio size. Considering the minimum investment is Rs 50 lakhs, track what percentage of your investment is going into this scheme. Some portfolio managers may allow mutual fund strategies to lower the risk for you.

Remember, diversification complements your safety margin with a value-driven approach. It also helps smooth out the effects of changes in stock price momentum and other market risks. If it’s too complex, get a professional to help you there.

Everything you need to know about taxation of ESOPs

Multi Asset Portfolio, Portfolio Management Services, Portfolio Management, PMS advisory services, Portfolio Management Services in India

Employee Stock Ownership Plans(ESOPs) and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) have been a great wealth creator for many employees who benefited from them.  It’s hardly surprising why it’s a hype – startup, or otherwise. However, it is important to understand the taxation, lest a good part of the gain is paid out in taxes.  Today, the pay cuts are all the more reason for you to squeeze out the best from your ESOPs. In this article, we’ll glaze over a few key terms and discuss the basics of ESOP taxation.

ESOPs terms-to-know:

  • The date your employer issues you ESOPs is the grant date.
  • The date you’re entitled to buy the shares is the vesting date.
  • And the time between the grant date and the vesting date is the vesting period.
  • After you’ve vested, the date you exercise the option is the exercise date
  • The exercise price is the amount at which you exercise the option, which is usually lower than the FMV (Fair Market Value is the price at which the share is traded for a listed company).

Simple enough. No doubt, you may choose to not exercise the option immediately. In which case no tax is payable till you exercise the option. 

There are two stages of taxation of ESOPs.  Let us see how they work:

  • On Exercise: the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value is added to income and taxed as a prerequisite.
  • On sale: The difference between fair market value and sale price is taxed as capital gains. Capital gains are taxed as follows: 
    • For Indian listed company shares: If held for a period of 12 months or less after exercise, this is treated as short-term capital gains, and taxed at 15%. After 12 months, the gains are called long term capital gains, and gains over one lakh are taxed at 10%. 
    • For unlisted company shares, ESOPs held for over 24 months are treated as long-term capital gains which are taxed at 20% with indexation; otherwise short-term capital gains are added to income.

Furthermore, if you own shares across borders, the taxation is the same as unlisted company shares.

This time of the year may also be a good time for you to think of these options within your company of employment. Since markets have done well in recent months, you may want to convert your paper profit into real profit!

Investing beyond India

If you are investing in Indian stocks and assets, you might as well expand internationally. For three reasons: the prudence of forex diversification, participation in the growth story of markets, and a more lucrative outlook for your portfolio. Let’s see why it’s important in more detail.

Reasons why you should invest across borders:

  1. Currency diversification

A truly balanced portfolio of Indian and international stocks over the long-term has proven better risk-adjusted returns with lower volatility. Currency diversification can be influenced by your lifestyle and financial goals. Here’s how you do it. Understand the currencies that you’re exposed to and the ones that align with your habits and goals. Eg. You may be traveling frequently or looking to plan for your child’s overseas education.  You may look to diversify based on factors like outlook of various assets like equity, real-estate, bonds, commodities, etc; outlook of currencies, and how complementary it is with your current portfolio. Then decide what makes sense for you.

  1. The benefits of stocks in Global Markets

You can have access to global MNCs in sectors that are not represented in Indian exchanges.  Eg. The US stock market is home to some of the most desirable stocks in the world like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc; which opens up a more diversified investment avenue. One has the option of participating in global innovation and other themes from time to time.

  1. More options

Going beyond the US, you’ll find that different currencies and stocks perform differently at different times. Acquaint yourself with the indices, trends, and dynamics. Developed and emerging markets respond differently to economic turns. While many markets took a plunge, some recovered faster than others. For example, Libyan oil market was looking hopeful (subject to political volatility) and the Australian stock market saw a boom before the Wall Street sugar high in November.

Furthermore, it strengthens your portfolio, offers a wider horizon, helps manage risk better and can potentially enhance returns.

The pitfalls

It’s only fair if we discussed the downsides as well. Investing is tricky. Investing in multiple markets internationally gets trickier and more complex. Moreover, something that’s in hype currently may lose its momentum, and even deliver negative returns in the future. Before you head out there, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Does this align with my personal goals?
  • Which markets suit my lifestyle?
  • Can my wealth manager or myself track this investment decision with due diligence?
  • Am I aware of nuances like currency dynamics, trends, geopolitical correlations, etc?

Making the most of your global portfolio.

If you’re still contemplating your options, here’s a mental model to help you decide which assets and stocks will pay off for you. It’s called Warren Buffett’s “20-Slot” Rule.

In a lecture at a B-School he said,

“I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only 20 slots in it so that you had 20 punches—representing all the investments that you got to make in a lifetime. And once you’d punched through the card, you couldn’t make any more investments at all.”

It’s quite evident that the winners usually are very selective. Selective focus helps you trim away good options and make room for great decisions. And, you can always consult a professional who has experience in global markets and whom you can trust when in doubt.

Yes, there’s a better way to spend your Diwali bonus!

Security beats uncertainty. Light triumphs darkness. Hope prevails over fear. And that is the reason for this season. We at Right Horizons are inspired by the human propensity for security and peace. Investments, when done right, are made up of such timeless themes.

Calendar 2020 has made trivial pursuits seem all too trivial. Savings, investments, and security are taking center stage. 

Here are 5 learning on how to navigate this bear market.

  • The science of security: Invest in what counts

Security is both a feeling and a reality. And the two are not the same. To guarantee security for real, it is important to gauge the market flows and sentiment. Lights, clothes, and other festive gifts are all cute. And holidays aren’t happening until we have a vaccine that works. What is comfortable is rarely profitable in investing. Don’t you think sparking off a new plan with your Diwali bonus might do some good? Invest your time into doing a financial plan if you have not done it already. This would be the best Diwali gift for you and your family.

  • The better way: Pay yourself first

If you stripped investments of the jargon, it’s pretty simple. Like Warren Buffet maintains: Pay yourself first. This may mean taking time off for a meaningful chat with your mutual fund’s planner and educating yourself first. If you’re already savvy, go on right ahead to invest in plans that resonate with your goals. Try your hand at debt and equity mutual funds, and if you have a larger capital, look at other options like portfolio management schemes. 

  • The death of decision anxiety: Asset allocation

Global studies have shown that asset allocation has a higher impact on portfolio performance. This removes the decision anxiety of shopping and gives you a more balanced, risk-free, and data-driven approach to spending your disposable income.  There are multiple competitive discounts on gold. Make your Dhanteras-Diwali extra special this year. Start investing in gold funds, especially if you’re expecting to plan for your children’s weddings.

  • Lifestyle changes are welcome: Investing as a way of life

In the wake of the pandemic, everyone is forced to make massive lifestyle changes. Pumping up your existing investments is a great way to use your bonus or even lower expenses on account of the pandemic impact. It could be as simple as boosting your SIP to reach your investment goals faster.

  • The reason for the season: Legacy and dynamic themes

You’ve revisited your portfolio and re-shuffled your investments. Given the global atmosphere, you can also add more value to your gifting choices. It’s time to show your loved ones that you care, more so if they’re far away. Pass your learnings on to your children and pay it forward. And remind them of the reason for this season: light, love, and life. 

Go on, make the right choice. We’ve got you. Both you and yours.

5 Things to ask when hiring a financial planner

Financial advisor

The financial planning ecosystem is incredibly complex. The space is vulnerable to anyone with minimum qualifications. But, to glean out the financial planner who works best for you, make sure you are equipped with the right questions. Here are the five pressing matters you should be aware of before you hire your financial planner.

1. What are your qualifications and credentials?

The question is likely to cover how competent and knowledgeable the professional is in their field of expertise. Regulations require the person to be a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) being licensed from SEBI. RIA regulations will ensure a certain standard of the advisor and various compliances are to be maintained. In terms of qualifications, they must ideally be certified by NISM Investment Advisor Certifications or hold a CFP from the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) of India.

2. How do you ensure tracking of goals and data security?

Apart from executing a financial plan, it is critical to track your progress towards these goals. It is good to understand how the advisor tracks your portfolio, the reports they provide and at what frequency they will review progress towards achieving your goals. Further, they need to ensure that your data is secure. The last thing you want is for your confidential data to be leaked. Furthermore, with the wave of digital revolution, there are labyrinthine things that can go wrong in advertising, social media marketing, and communications. Take due note of each of these aspects before you make a decision.

3. How do you charge for your services?

Financial advisors are allowed to charge a fixed fee or a fee based on assets under management. You should focus not only on the fee, but the costs associated with their strategies like transaction costs, fund expense ratios, trading costs, and taxes.

4. How do you ensure that the engagement is aligned with my requirements?

While you are negotiating terms, it is important to find out what topics, decisions, or areas of advice are they not held to a fiduciary standard. You can ask the advisor to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. It may also help if you ask your advisor for a reference if you have not already approached them through one. You can talk to the reference yourself for a better understanding.

5. Do you have the secret ingredient?

Isn’t it ironic that transparency is the secret ingredient? It is important to be able to express your financial concerns and receive simple advice without jargons. You will need to have the negotiated terms signed in black and white and easily verifiable. It’s simple. Transparency breeds trust, two foundational experiences for a healthy working relationship with your financial planner. You can probe the advisor to get comfort on the transparency of their service.

Before you sign up, remember to knock these things off your checklist.

Ask yourself if the advisor is making you feel like your finances are too complex to be managed by yourself. The ideal financial planning professional would be one who gives you the flexibility to take back your finances into your own hands. However, be aware that professionals may be able to support you better in achieving your financial goals.

5 Healthy financial practices post-COVID

New rules for the new world order
What’s the easiest, most certain way to achieve your financial goals even in uncertain times?
Healthy financial habits.

Any goal you want to achieve is reachable through a few key habits with a little bit of time. It’s really that simple. Here are a few of these practices that you can include in your financial habits.

1. Leverage the gig economy.
On-demand contract work and the gig economy was possible even before the pandemic. But the paradigm shift in corporate culture has caused several companies to transform almost overnight. Gig economy workers have the benefits of earning money on their terms. The flight to digital and remote models of working have opened up opportunities to

2. Review expenses and savings
Even if salary budgets have been slashed, the virus outbreak has influenced consumer expenses in every industry (think cuts in expenses like fuel, travel, entertainment, shopping, dining outdoors, etc). Spending behaviors are settling into a new normal with a shift to value and essentials. You may also try to further optimize your cash flows and treat the margins as impact savings.

3. Reprice or refinance your home loans
Interest rates have also taken a plunge over the last few months. If one has home loans, check your rates of interest, and approach your bank for lowered rates. It is an opportune time for homeowners to review monthly cash outlays and ease up financial strains. You may either refinance (i.e., take a loan with another bank with lower rates of interest) or reprice (switch to a more competitive loan plan with the same bank), depending on which works for you best.

4. Review your financial plan
You may use the time to also re-visit your financial plan. Take an inventory of all your assets and liabilities and check for optimal diversification. Re-evaluate your choices. See if you have financial plans that can balance out your risks and guarantee safer and more secure returns. Re-shuffle your investments. Consult a professional if it helps.

5. Review your insurance covers
COVID-19 is a wake-up call. Very low medical covers in the past have fallen woefully short considering the number of days one is likely to be hospitalized if tested positive and serious. Check for the family floater plan of Rs 10L/25L/50L. The good news is that incremental premium is much lower for these. Protection instruments like health and life insurances can leave your savings scot-free while retaining your family’s lifestyle and long-term financial goals without disruption.

As local and global communities re-orient themselves to the new norm at a time such as this, you can re-organize your finances. The proverbial rainy day is here, and if you’ve made it this far, you can secure the future for you and your family. Even amid a pandemic, you can identify the new rules of financial planning and optimize.

Choose wisely – Annuity options for retirement

ideal retirement image

The hard-earned retirement corpus secured in accounts such as the NPS, PPF, and/or the EPF is the final nest egg for public or private sector individuals who retire after a few decades of continuous service. While certain central government retirees are eligible for pension and lumpsum fund benefits, almost all the private sector employees are not entitled to a pension from their employers and have to fall back on lumpsum (defined contribution plan) corpuses.

As a result, the post-retirement monthly expenditures of the family, most often, depends on corpus inwards from such accounts. There are two important considerations for such corpus inward for individuals – Safety and return on such corpus since this impacts the amount of derived pension on the same for the rest of the life.

Upon retirement, most individuals rely on traditional plans such as a combination of fixed deposits, Sr Citizen savings Schemes and/or plain vanilla Savings accounts to create cash flows for longer duration and this raises several risks of the safety of corpus, interest rate risk and thereby risk of variability of periodic cash flows and the possibility of hardships during retirement years.

Annuities – Should be the first choice for retirement corpus

Annuities should be the preferred choice for retired individuals; however, this product is not very popular due to lack of awareness, perceived lower rate of returns and liquidity issues. Annuities offer the best hedge against the variability of cash flows, against interest rate risks and consistent cash flows for most of the living life.

Today annuities offer a wide range of choices which were not available 5-10 years ago. Flexibility, market comparable rate of return, and wide range of options are available from over half dozen annuity service providers. Besides this, regulations and oversight of annuity providers make this product extremely safe as compared to other market-linked products.

A quick glance of the variety of options from annuity service providers is summarized as below.

Table 1: Choose the option wisely
Annuity for lifeAnnuity for life with return of purchase price on deathAnnuity payable for life with 100% annuity payable to spouse on death of annuitantAnnuity for life with a provision for 100% of the annuity payable to the spouse of the annuitant for life on death of the annuitant, with return of purchase price on the death of last survivorAnnuity payments would be made to the annuitant and his/ her spouse throughout their lifetime. Thereafter, these pay-outs would be made to the subscriber’s mother and after her, to the father. On death of the father, the purchase price would be refunded to the annuitant’s child/ nominee.
Source: NPSTRUST.org.in

 

Which option makes sense?

This depends upon a variety of factor and the retired individual’s objective, dependents, and other personal factors. For instance, for couples with no dependents the easiest choice would be to choose option 1: Annuity for life. Here, they are likely to enjoy higher cash flows or put in lower corpus to enjoy required cash flows. The standard of living could be higher for such couples since this option pays the highest pension as compared with other plans across annuity service providers. Options #2 and #3 might suit retired couple with legal heir (children / grandchildren) where they might want to gift such corpus earned.

Option #4 & #5 could severely impact the current cash flow for the retired individual since the objective is to return the corpus. Unless there is adequate liquidity and other assets these options defeat the very purpose of buying an annuity and therefore can be avoided.

Housewife’s guide to managing money

The Indian household has an unwritten rule – that the quintessential home maker is the home minister (and perhaps also the Prime minister) and the bread earner being the default finance minister – the husband or the Karta of the house. Now while this has been as normal for an Indian middle-class household; an aspect that has remained hidden through times old and new is the fact that this home maker has always been juggling amongst many roles that she does with great alacrity is also that of being a finance manager.

This aspect seldom comes out since it has never been the main job of the homemaker; her main job has always been to run the operations, human resources, food & beverages, travel & transportation, education, social & media, entertainment, design & development and many more. The one department that is run without much hullabaloo is the finance department since it is the domain of the Karta. Now we are not really stereotyping as modern women have come of age with their finances but generally, women financially aware too willingly pass this domain since there is the main rudder to take care of.

Having said this, the home maker does a silent function in the domain of finances for any household and the following roles as a finance manager ought to be taken as seriously by persons running their personal finances.

Role of the liquidity manager – in this role the home maker’s ability to manage two types of liquidity challenges, depending upon situations need highlight. The tactical one and the strategic one. In the tactical situation the ability to manage the month end low liquidity by having kept reserve cash from previous month’s surpluses, side pocketing and deep valets needs special mentioning. In the strategic situations, the ability to thus dig for hidden side pockets to tide over immediate high demand for funds by dipping to savings / local chit fund activity and access to peer network for deficit funding are extremely crucial. This role is under appreciated and such techniques though widely known are hardly used by individuals in the households who are in-charge of finances. We would go to the extent of saying many frontline money managers seldom use these basic practices and thus end up becoming sitting ducks. So, pat the home maker for this crucial but underappreciated role.

Role of the Risk manager – this is the supplementary role of the liquidity manager for the family. In fact, the role of being a risk manager is of greater value than being a liquidity manager, since being a risk manager averts major catastrophe that might befall a family. During such critical times, the ability to tide over the financial crises becomes foremost. In this role of the risk manager, the homemaker – by methods of side pocketing, hidden box savings and above all, diversifying the savings and investment pattern can significantly control risk. A case in point here might be the penchant of buying physical gold (ornaments and/or coins etc), silver etc. on a recurring basis (festivals / functions) which has been accumulated over a long period adding to significant reserve. This helps to tide over a financial crisis. This apart, the home maker’s ability to stick to basics on managing personal finances are fundamental part of risk management. On this count too, in general, home makers score higher marks on managing financial risk for a family.

Role of the planning and budgeting department – this role come as naturally to homemakers as fish take to water. Be it managing finances on a day to day basis, or for functions and special occasions. Planning and managing the budget however tight things might become is one aspect that seasoned finance manages need to learn. How do home makers, plan, anticipate events, the expenses and prepare for the occasions is something that needs to be inculcated by all. However, small or miniscule the cash flow or cash at hand might be, the home maker would fit the expense to suit the budget at hand. Tactics such as bargain hunting, discounting skimming, substituting and many other methods come quite naturally to them. Individual can learn a lot from them in terms of how budget and expense management should be done.

Role of the financial planner – this role therefore is a logical end to all the things that the home maker does on a routine basis. The ability to think strategic when it comes to financial planning are worthy of note. For instance, planning for retirement and keeping dry powder for a rainy day is something could come by instinct we believe. Though home makers might not be consciously planning the goal planning activity but at a sub-conscious level there is always keeping the retirement planning and kitty building or coaxing to do the same. So, don’t ignore that sane advice. Second, the shorter yet important goals like keeping aside money or accumulating the same for her children’s education even if it means doing spending cuts on other expenses are done with purpose.

So, look around you and you will find a home maker who has done all the above and more. It is time to learn the nuances of how and why things are managed and there are over a dozen things to keep in mind while you do your own financial planning and achieve your financial goals. Just remember the two rules. Do the basics just as the home maker does and concentrate on the various roles she does to find out how it is clicking.

Lessons from the CoVID 19 Lockdown

The CoVID19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown has brought in a humbling experience to many of us, including individuals and/or businesses thought to be foolproof of themselves given their indispensable nature of product or services. Barring food and dailies (groceries) none of the presumed basic services needed to mankind have become affected adversely. Alas, none has been spared. The neighborhood barber/salon or the cobbler who mends shoes right up to liquor barons (barring regulatory risk) and would have thought to be proof from any eventuality have faced different levels of threat during this pandemic. India’s service economy which is almost 2/3rd of the GDP has taken a massive hit. At the business and at individual levels, the lessons the current crisis has have been of very basic nature. On the principles of “risk management” most of the lessons that this crisis offers are rudimentary. A quick look at basic lessons from this crisis.
Cash is King
We need to write this title in large and bold font in our minds and actions. Cash if the blood of any business and a key element of an individual’s personal financial wellbeing. Without enough cash businesses freeze or worse, go bankrupt. Without cash, an individual’s household can face immense hardship and probably make or break the family and household. The current crisis has brought out this basic element of money management to the fore. Many businesses (large and small) and individuals all are strapped for cash during these times, however, people who had planned for crisis level reserve for cash would emerge out of this crisis stronger and would be able to grab opportunities crisis’ bring after they pass. So, what is the lesson from this crisis to us all? Keeping reserve or emergency cash/liquidity, always, is as basic as it should be. For a business, 3-4 months of cash burn should be available to tide over during such unforeseen times, and similarly for individuals, 4-6 months cash for expenses should always be kept at call. People who followed this golden rule will find it easier to tide over the current situation without much hassle.
Health is Wealth
This again is as basic as one can understand. Health is not acquired without effort. To remain healthy – physically and mentally, individuals must put effort into eating good food, resting enough, and working out physically. Similarly, for mental health, individuals require attainment of inner peace, sound conscience, and a positive attitude. All the above is easy to attain if the practice of working towards it is regular and not when the crisis is on the horizon. The second aspect of health is a risk. The first part was risk mitigation by doing many things as explained earlier, the second and the most important part is risk transfer. Despite all the care and work on your health, it could be possible that your health is compromised due to reasons beyond your control; risk transfer helps you to cover health failure without any financial damage. The best form of risk transfer is “health insurance”. And to plan for the same when there is time is again a basic thing to do. Individuals should be prepared to pay a small cost to cover himself/herself and family from any health eventuality. The health risk is real. Recognize and prepare for the same without delay.
Multi-tasking is underrated
The CoVID19 crisis has taught this one thing – one more time. Specialists are overrated and generalists are underrated. The crisis has been easy for generalists. Everyone who depended on a specialist for everything from household chores, outsourcings kitchen (and cooking), and technical staff and many more things, have been rendered faced with a big handicap. People who could easily mold and become a self-service oriented person are having a relatively easier life during this crisis. Multi-tasking on the home front or office front should be the way forward. Cooking, housekeeping, fixing the small things, doing office duties with minimal help and above all ability to learn quickly – technical as well as basic stuff is the key to ever remain relevant. The faster one learns this the better prepared he/she is for the current and future crisis.
Upskilling has no age bar
Why is it that suddenly everyone is rushing to get enrolled for the online course? That is because nobody knows what kind of skills the world would demand, in 2021. People are rushing to upskill/upgrade their knowledge for the fear of being left out once the world re-opens. While that might sound a good thing to do, upskilling and staying relevant is a continuous process. It does not start during the crisis and ends when the world is normal. Leaning a new skill does not have an age bar. To stay productive and relevant an individual must repeatedly upskill and upgrade continuously. This way, the person would be the sought-after individual when the normalcy returns. Corporate / businesses are looking at human talent that is ready and easy to plug/play during difficult times. Upskilling/upgrading requires time and an individual should set the same aside regularly and not just when crisis hits the horizon.