An open letter to my younger self
If you are reading this letter, then I have successfully mastered how to bend the time-space continuum and I’m back from the future.
Dear 25-year old Anirudh,
If you are reading this letter, then I have successfully mastered how to bend the time-space continuum and I’m back from the future. Besides so many things that I have to tell you, I NEED to tell you about the financial planning of the future that will blow your mind.
Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but let’s fix that. We both know you say your favourite movie is “The Usual Suspects”, but the correct (and secret) answer is really “Love Actually”. Now, quit being so surprised and let’s get to why I chose this moment to come back to see you.
First things first, that PG exam coming up, you have three weeks to study for it and change your life forever. Don’t let the day the results come out become the day you give up. You won’t be able to live it down. I know, because I’m 35 and still dealing with guilt and shame of not giving it my all when I could. But you won’t find comfort in at the bottom of a bottle or by hanging out with those so-called ‘friends’.
You know Pooja, who you are crazily in love with right now, hang around consoling her through all her terrible boyfriends and can’t work up the guts to ask her out? Ask her out now! Before she winds up with Tanmay - that halfwit who can’t see the sunshine in her eyes and the laughter in her smile. She might say no. But at least, you’ll have one less “what if”.
And while we’re at it, ditch the Subreddits and stop wasting time with that multiplayer shooter game. It’s an addition that will cripple you forever. If you think this sounds like over-the-top, melodramatic rubbish, you’re wrong!
This is why I chose this moment to come back to you. It’s when you need this advice the most. Put down the gaming and pick up that advanced coding course you’ve been thinking of instead. The future will need your tremendous skills and be willing to pay top money for your rare talent.
If you take my advice, the journey you will take will be uncharted and life-altering. You will discover things about yourself that you didn’t even know you could do. You will make new friends - real ones, the ones who will push your boundaries, yet have your back if you find yourself struggling.
You may not be able to appreciate this right now, but here’s the most straightforward reason you should take my advice. Making these (read smarter) decisions puts you on the fast track to a lot of money, IF you can hold on to it.
Don’t bother with sticking it in a bank for a measly profit. It probably won’t even appreciate enough to cover inflation. You’ll actually end up losing money. Look for opportunistic goal-based investments instead like a mutual fund investment. The future is volatile – the leaders of the nation will spend time building walls instead of economies, we’ll begin to care more about reality television than real life, and we’ll be finding cures yet creating more illnesses. The best way to be secure is to remember what Dad told you about investing and the power of compounding.
Think seriously about the benefits of market-linked Mutual Funds (MFs) over Fixed Deposits (FDs). In the long term, mutual fund benefits prove to be way higher than others. The longer you keep your investment, the better your returns. Another great reason to invest in mutual funds as soon as you can! Once you start earning a steady paycheck, set aside a percentage to put into your MFs. There are plenty to choose from, and the perks are tremendous.
Your journey to success won’t be comfortable. You will lose many so-called ‘friends’ along the way but will continue to learn and grown proficient in your field. Stay humble, stay hungry for knowledge and be willing to put in the work - amazing things will happen for you.
You will become an expert computer analyst. I know it doesn’t sound exciting right now, but at some point, your coding skills will come in handy, and your persistence will pay off. Working smart will be your trademark – but it’s your knowledge of the types of mutual funds and how to invest smartly that will be your ace card!
Spoiler alert: You will discover an unparalleled passion for what you do, which will make you both exceptional at your job, as well as financially stable. Where earlier you couldn’t even buy Mom a birthday gift, you will take Mom and Dad on that European holiday and fly them First Class. Funny how life turns out sometimes!
Along the way, there will be many reasons to give up, most of all because you still can’t get over the fact that this is a wake-up call from the future. But there will come a day when you read this letter and are grateful that you studied for the test, asked Pooja to see Tanu Weds Manu, invested in Mutual Funds early and then… this will all begin to make sense.
You see, Anirudh, you won’t always be popular, you won’t be able to please everyone, but as long as you take care of yourself and the ones you love most, you’ll be all right. Don’t give in to unwarranted moments of fear and inadequacy, and you will shine. These are the moments that will shape you forever!
I wish you all the luck in the world.
All my love,
Your (somewhat) wiser, 35-Year-Old Self.
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