The British newspaper The Observer came under heavy criticism on social media on Sunday for its story that offers a sympathetic portrayal of RK Pachauri, the former director general of The Energy and Resources Institute who has been accused of sexually harassing a female colleague.
Authored by John Vidal, the environment editor of Observer’s sister publication The Guardian, the report describes the fall from grace of an “international figure, who was named Indian of the year and has received major awards from dozens of countries”.
It recounts that in February 2015 a young colleague at TERI had publicly accused Pachauri of besieging her “with offensive messages, emails and texts” and making “carnal and perverted” advances. Based on her complaint, on March 1, the Delhi Police filed a 1,400-page chargesheet against Pachauri, accusing him of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation.
Now “faced with prison, ruin and disgrace”, The Observer report says, Pachauri has “stepped back from Teri”. It adds: “Meanwhile, his many enemies are revelling in his discomfort, his health has suffered and he has been subject to death threats and demonstrations by women’s groups.”
In email conversations with The Observer, the report says, Pachauri claimed that “his accuser was acting for money, and was probably set up to trap him by persons unknown”. The former head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won a Nobel peace prize in 2007, even suggests that climate change sceptics are to be blamed for the charges against him.
The report, which some called an “apologia”, was widely decried on Twitter, making #Pachauri trend on the social network during the first half of Sunday. Many criticised The Observer for not fact-checking the article – for instance, the newspaper describes Pachauri as a Nobel laureate, whereas it was the UN panel on climate change under his leadership that won the award. Many including historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted their indignation over the misrepresentation and hyperbole in the article.
Want to retire at 45? Make your money work for you
Common sense and some discipline are all you need.
Dreaming of writing that book or taking that cruise when you hit your 40s? Well, this dream need not be unrealistic.
All it takes is simple math and the foresight to do some smart financial planning when you are still young. If you start early and get into the discipline of cutting down on unnecessary expenditure, using that money to invest systematically, you can build wealth that sets you free to tick those items off your bucket list sooner than later.
A quick look at how much you spend on indulgences will give you an idea of how much you can save and invest. For example, if you spend, say Rs. 1,000 on movie watching per week, this amount compounded over 10 years means you would have spent around Rs 7,52,000 on just movies! You can try this calculation for yourself. Think of any weekly or monthly expense you regularly make. Now use this calculator to understand how much these expenses will pile up overtime with the current rate of inflation.
Now imagine how this money could have grown at the end of 10 years and overcome the inflation effect if you had instead invested a part of it somewhere!
It is no rocket science
The fact is that financial planning is simpler than we imagine it to be. Some simple common sense and a clear prioritization of life’s goals is all you need:
Set goals and work backwards: Everything starts with what you want. So, what are your goals? Are they short-term (like buying a car), medium-term (buying a house) or long-term (comfortable living post-retirement). Most of us have goals that come under all the three categories. So, our financial plans should reflect that. Buying a house, for example, would mean saving up enough money for up-front payment and ensuring you have a regular source of income for EMI payment for a period of at least 15-20 years. Buying a car on the other hand might just involve having a steady stream of income to pay off the car loan.
Save first, spend later: Many of us make the mistake of putting what is left, after all our expenses have been met, in the savings kitty. But the reverse will have more benefits in the long run. This means, putting aside a little savings, right at the beginning of the month in the investment option that works best for you. You can then use the balance to spend on your expenditures. This discipline ensures that come what may, you remain on track with your saving goals.
Don’t flaunt money, but use it to create more: When you are young and get your first job, it is tempting to spend on a great lifestyle. But as we’ve discussed, even the small indulgences add up to a serious amount of cash over time. Instead, by regulating indulgences now and investing the rest of your money, you can actually become wealthy instead of just seeming to be so.
Set aside emergency funds: When an emergencyarises, likesudden hospitalisationor an accident, quick access to money is needed. This means keeping aside some of your money in liquid assets (accessible whenever you want it). It thus makes sense to regularly save a little towards creating this emergency fund in an investment that can be easily liquidated.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: This is somethingany investment adviser will tell you, simply because different investment options come with different benefits and risks and suit different investment horizons. By investing in a variety of instruments or options, you can hedge against possible risks and also meet different goals.
How and Why Mutual Funds work
A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment scheme that pools money collected from investors like you and invests this into a diversified portfolio (an optimal mix) of stocks, bonds and other securities.
As an investor, you buy ‘units’, under a mutual fund scheme. The value of these units (Net Asset Value) fluctuates depending on the market value of the mutual fund’s investments. So, the units can be bought or redeemed as per your needs and based on the value.
As mentioned, the fund is managed by professionals who follow the market closely to make calls on where to invest money. This makes these funds a great option for someone who isn’t financially very savvy but is interested in saving up for the future.
So how is a mutual fund going to help to meet your savings goals? Here’s a quick Q&A helps you understand just that:
How do mutual funds meet my investment needs? Mutual Funds come with a variety of schemes that suit different goals depending on whether they are short-term, medium-term or long-term.
Can I withdraw money whenever I want to? There are several mutual funds that offer liquidity – quick and easy access to your money when you want it. For example, there are liquid mutual funds which do not have any lock in period and you can invest your surplus money even for one day. Based on your goals, you can divide your money between funds with longer term or shorter term benefits.
Does it help save on taxes? Investing in certain types of mutualfunds alsooffers you tax benefits. More specifically, investing in Equity Linked Saving Schemes, which are funds that invest in a diverse portfolio of equities, offers you tax deductions up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
Don’t I need a lot of money to invest in MFs? No, you can start small. The returns in terms of percentage is the same irrespective of the amount you invest in. Additionally, the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) allows you to invest a small amount weekly, monthly or quarterly in a mutual fund. So, you get to control the size and frequency of your investment and make sure you save before you spend.
But aren’t MFs risky? Well many things in life are risky! Mutual funds try to mitigate your risk by investing your money across a variety of securities. You can further hedge risk by investing in 2 to 3 mutual offers that offer different growth stories i.e. a blue-chip fund and a mid-cap fund. Also remember in a mutual fund,your money is being managedby professionals who are constantly following the market.
Don’t I have to wait too long to get back my returns? No! Mutual Funds, because of the variety of options they offer, can give you gains in the short or medium term too.
The essence of mutual funds is that your money is not lying idle, but is dynamically invested and working for you. To know more about how investing in mutual funds really works for you, see here.
Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mutual Funds Sahi Hai and not by the Scroll editorial team.