Earn With Your Mind, Not Your Time
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
- Leo Tolstoy
The world has changed drastically. What was easy may have become impossible. What was complicated maybe, is much simpler than ever before.
When your financial world has been turned upside down, how you make your money and save too is the next big question, so that you can take care of your family.
This is the time to own your financial past and make money that you can use to work less if you choose.
Undoubtedly It has been a scary month. To say nothing of the actual scary aspect and health implications of the Coronavirus. It has also been a scary month for investors. This time is a much-needed reset and a chance for you to thrive in the coming decade.
Learn about yourself and your psychology in this recession. Then apply the learnings and grow from there. Don't let skills or training collect dust, even while busy raising a family.
No matter what your career goals are, nothing is certain in today's job market.
Besides putting together an emergency fund, building your mental fitness, updating your professional profiles, and networking — below are several things you can do to recession-proof your career and make a huge amount of money during this time.
Invest in developing new skills and new networks
Mastering new skill-sets will always pay off in the long term, no matter what the economic climate. Constantly growing your skills will give you a competitive edge and a blend of capabilities that sets you apart.
Being proactive will help you develop an agile mindset. No matter what industry you work in, there will always be more to learn: new approaches, tools, and opportunities.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
- Leo Tolstoy
You can learn about these through sites like Coursera, Google Code Academy, and Udemy which give access to free online courses in a wide range of subjects. You could learn how to use Python for Data Science and Machine Learning and whatnot, all from your own home.
Have at least one side hustle
Curfews and lock-downs are some of the measures that the governments are using to limit interactions of people. This is a result of the fact that the COVID-19 virus is primarily spread via human to human interaction. Also, some companies are downsizing the number of employees as well as closing businesses altogether.
These are the times that you should use your side-hustle, to ensure that you still got income coming. If you don't have another source of income, you can start looking for gaps in your immediate market and dive into the business. It pays in the long run.
Position yourself within industries that are growing
While it's important to invest in yourself, it's crucial to make sure that new skill-set fits within resilient industries. Research shows that the technology sector has been one of the strongest.
While most companies scale back during a recession and are typically more resistant to hiring full-time employees, there is usually an increased demand for technology consultants. Recessions are powerful times for IT consultants as they help companies to reduce their expenses.
This means that positions such as UX/UI Designers, software developers, software engineers, and data analysts (among others) can become more available as they often work on a contract-to-hire or per-project basis.
Your number one goal should be to make yourself irreplaceable at work.
Build An Emergency Reserve
Paisabazaar.com showed that nearly 63 percent of Indians have no emergency savings. This means that an unexpected bill like an auto expense or medical emergency could leave that same 63 percent in a distressed financial situation.
For an entrepreneur, this is the last thing you can afford. When your financial situation is put at risk, so too is your company. Whether you are currently navigating the entrepreneurial waters or plan to leap in the future, make sure you build up your emergency reserves.
Wela suggests three to six months' worth of expenses in your emergency fund. Says Reiner: "This would be in cash at your bank, in a savings account. So, if your monthly expenses are Rs 30000 then we would suggest having Rs 90000 to Rs 180000 in your emergency reserve account.
Do not sell your investments in sheer panic
Paper losses can impact your sleep, real losses can impact your retirement.
If there is a lesson that we can learn from the financial crisis and apply it to the Coronavirus situation, it's to avoid making a fear-based decision to sell when the market tanks. If you're going to sell any positions, it should be part of a well thought out plan not in reaction to some scary headlines.
If you want to reduce the fear and anxiety at a time like this, I would start by turning off the news and stop checking the balance of your portfolio every day.
The irrational investor is selling right now while the rational investor is staying the course with their long term strategy.
Clear your debts
If you are sitting on a pile of credit card debt during a time of economic expansion, odds are you will struggle more than most during a recession.
Realign your spending and start getting aggressive about clearing your credit card and other consumer debt.
Invest in safe havens
A haven in a recession is also known as gold. When fear is rampant, people buy gold as they can hold it themselves and it's a scarce resource that can't be destroyed by inflation or money-printing governments giving away what looks like free money to its citizens. Nothing is free during a recession, but you already knew that.
How much of your money is put into a haven like gold is up to you? Well-known finance gurus with a proven track record say, recommend 10% of your money.
You might be wondering why I didn't list cash in the bank as a haven. The trouble with cash in the bank is that it's not your money. If the bank has a financial problem, similar to the one we faced right now, Yes Bank Financial Crisis, you become an unsecured creditor of the bank. If they go down, some or all of your money could be used to bail them out.
It means if the finance industry uses your savings to gamble with, and their bets are wrong, both of you could lose.
Spread your money between banks
This is not fear-mongering, we learned what can happen to banks the hard way. Thankfully the banks got bailed out but this is not guaranteed.
It takes a few minutes to open a bank account and it can help you keep your life savings. During a global recession, spread your money between banks. That way, if one does go down because of a black swan event, you can at least access the rest of your money.
Right now I have two banks I'm using. Each of their internet banking apps is on my phone so that I can access my money quickly if need be and transfer money out of the traditional system. It's unlikely to happen but it gives me peace of mind that I can if need be.
Don't let a 100-point identification check be the barrier between you and protecting your money.
Being in cash has its advantages in a recession. If you have no idea what to do, sit in cash. Take it easy and de-risk yourself. Hoard physical cash, or spread cash amongst multiple banks.
The key to managing your money during a recession is to practice being calm. Here are some practical strategies:
Read books that are not about finance.
Escape with movies that take you to another world.
Netflix and chill if your mind is racing a million miles an hour.
You make stupid financial decisions when you're not calm, which causes you to work more hours, to earn money doing work you may not enjoy.
Don't throw away your life savings because of your mental state. Breathe.
Downtimes are normal, they come and go. The challenge is understanding how to manage these downtimes when they come
The rules of money have changed again. The old rule states that you create value to make money. But the new rule is that you use the money the central banks print to create value.
Always remember that money is anything the central bank calls it. Think about that.
If you are not properly positioned for this recession, think about how you can. Don't hang on too much to a dead business. Don't be emotionally attached to something you know deep down in your heart that is over.
Move on quickly. Then position yourself where the money is going to.
On a final note
In conclusion, during this pandemic season, keep a close eye on every coin that leaves your pocket. Stop and ask yourself if what you are spending your money on is of ultimate importance.
Remember that the best way to be safe in the future is saving today. If you are disciplined by sticking to a budget, then the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your finances will not dent your well-being.
When things get bad, rise above and respond with your best. Now is not the time to panic. Now is the time to care for ourselves, care for others and Care for Our Common Home.
Take it easy out there. Manage your money carefully and don't be afraid to not do anything. Keep a bigger buffer of money than you think you need to.
And don't forget: life is about more than how much money you have in your bank account.
If you manage your mindset in a recession, you can manage your money.
Let's stay calm — and carry on.
I hope you have gained something.