Personal financial management can lead to many undesired, sometimes disastrous, outcomes if not handled properly. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What will happen to the family if its sole earning member dies untimely, and the surviving members do not have a clue on the financial front?
2. How will the family cope with upcoming major expenses if their income is not substantial despite knowing that they cannot rein in their expenses?
3. Should you send your kids to a school with a high fee structure when your income does not permit it?
4. Can we have out of box thinking when traditional solutions are not working out?
5. To what extent can a couple’s relationship get strained if financial decisions, detrimental to the family’s interest, are taken without consulting or by ignoring the warning signals given by the partner?
Suppose you are not able to find answers to these questions or have any confusion in your mind. In that case, it is highly recommended to read this brilliantly written book – If God Was Your Financial Planner by Suresh Sadagopan.
Books on personal finance generally cover the technical aspects, and numbers remain at the core. However, Suresh has intentionally kept the book as simple as possible. In the book, he guides the readers through the seven chosen stories based on his years of experience in the field. Interestingly, he has tightly inter-twined finance with spirituality and philosophy in his unique style. The message is loud and clear – a financial planner is more than managing numbers and providing returns on your investments. In fact, according to the author, the financial planner manages your life and finances, anticipates and mitigates the risks, and offers the right advice based on his wisdom and experience; returns on investment being a small subset of the overall offering.
In the book, while navigating through different emotions, he has also shown the vulnerabilities of a financial planner who sometimes get emotionally drained and does not have solutions to all the challenges faced by the seekers. While accepting this fact, Suresh has introduced a different dimension in his storyline. Some of the plans and reasoning are only with the God. And he may be creating an opportunity within the adversity. This, I believe, is an interesting aspect of Suresh’s book.
In my opinion, this book is perfect for people who are working and have family responsibilities. In fact, it can be used as a reference book that guides the readers whenever they face a dilemma in financial life. This book will also help personal finance professionals understand ways to lead their clients towards financial bliss through holistic planning rather than just chasing the next return generating idea.