5 Investment Lessons from Lord Ganapati, the Deity of Wisdom and Wealth

Sep 18, 2023 / Reading Time: Approx. 10 mins

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Ganesh Chaturthi Special

This year, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated in India on September 19, 2023.

Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayak Chaturthi, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of Lord Ganesha. In India, religious ceremonies always begin with offerings to Lord Ganesha. He holds the unique distinction of being the 'Prathama Pujaya' (the first lord to be worshipped).

|| वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ||

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the onset of the 10-day Ganapati Festival, known as Ganesh Utsav, with great enthusiasm across the country, especially in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka. To celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, people bring idols of Ganpati Bappa into their homes for durations ranging from one-and-a-half days to three days, seven days, or ten days.

Considering the ongoing environmental concerns around us, many individuals now prefer crafting Ganesha idols from mitti (soil) or clay. When these eco-friendly Ganesha idols are immersed in water during the Visarjan, they dissolve easily posing no harm to the nature and contributing to a safer environment.

In Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha is the epitome of wisdom, the remover of obstacles (Vighnaharta), the symbol of happiness, and the master of knowledge (Vidya). Devotees seek Lord Ganesha's blessings before starting any work or event.

Moreover, each quality Lord Ganesha possesses holds significance, which can also be applied to the world of personal finance and investments. This year, try to handle your wealth sensibly by drawing motivation from the Vighnaharta (the remover of all obstacles).

As we offer our prayers to Lord Ganesha and seek his blessings, here are 5 investment lessons from the god of prosperity, wealth, and wisdom to help you maintain your financial well-being:

Let us understand this in an interesting way with the help of stories related to Lord Ganesha.

Lesson #1 - No Matter the Amount of Your Investment, Be Prudent!

It is said that the demon Gajmukhasur, a fervent follower of lord Shiva, received a blessing from the benevolent God that no man nor God could destroy him. lord Shiva had to send Ganesha to reign over Gajamukhasur because, as a demon, he was killing people and causing destruction. Ganesha defeated the demon in a battle of wits and transformed him into a mouse, which he now rides (the Mushaka) to subdue all demonic impulses.

The symbolism of a large-bellied (Lambodara) God riding on such a small mouse should not escape smart investors like you! It doesn't matter how small your investment amount is, be prudent. The minute you begin to invest, you may be overwhelmed with the plethora of investment options.

Consequently, there are two crucial factors that a beginner investor should take into account. One, you must start investing as soon as you can, preferably via SIP in mutual funds, regardless of the size of your investment (it can be as low as Rs 500/-).

[Read: Begin with Minimum Investment in Mutual Funds And Watch Your Money Grow]

Second, you must be prudent while selecting the investment options and consider your suitability with the schemes based on your risk tolerance, investment horizon and alignment with your financial goals.

Lesson #2 - Ensure Your Ability to Stomach Risk

Everyone knows that lord Ganesha has a big belly (that's why he is called Lambodara). The large belly symbolises the ability to be able to digest both the good and bad in life. It symbolises that you must be ready to face all pleasant and unpleasant experiences in your life with patience and calmness.

Ganesha's endearing pot belly represents endurance, it also tells us to consume only as much as you can afford, evaluate your risk tolerance and invest accordingly. This is one aspect that many investors overlook and begin investing without giving due consideration to their risk appetite.

[Read: 5 Things to Consider While Evaluating Your Risk Appetite]

If you are a risk-averse investor or new to the equity market, consider to begin investing in a systematic manner through SIPs in mutual funds and gradually increase the amount you invest over time. Avoid directly jumping towards high-risk equities by investing a huge lump sum amount.

Given the volatility in the market and uncertain macroeconomic activities, if you invest in instruments beyond your risk tolerance, you may suffer capital loss. You must develop the risk capability to munch through market volatilities and digest any bad decisions.

Building an emergency fund with 12 to 24 months' worth of costs, including loan EMIs, is one approach to construct a safety net. Uncertain events can alter your risk tolerance and ruin your portfolio performance. This emergency fund will serve as your backup strategy in case of a financial emergency.

Lesson #3 - Diversification Is the Key

Lord Ganesha is portrayed as having several arms, as are many Hindu deities. He holds a conch shell, an axe or rope lasso, a hand in the "Abhaya" mudra (blessing of fearlessness), and laddoos or modaks in another hand.

Each of the element in his arms holds a significant value; the conch heralds new beginnings, and the axe or a rope are weapons to destroy all obstacles to your financial success. 'Abhay' mudra means fearlessness.

Similar to the components in each of Ganesha's arms, you must diversify your investments so that they are positioned to meet a variety of financial goals. When it comes to your investment portfolio, do not put all your investments in one basket.

[Read: Benefits of Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio for Your Financial Goals And How to Do It?]

No two asset classes perform in the same direction. A well-diversified portfolio containing a broad mix of asset classes like equity, debt and gold will likely be less volatile over the long term than a portfolio concentrated in only equity or debt investments.

One of the easiest ways for an investor to diversify all these asset classes is through a multi-asset fund. If the equity portion of your portfolio is not performing well due to turbulent market conditions, there is a possibility that the debt portion may provide stability to your portfolio and avert extreme losses.

Lesson #4 - You Must Analyse Any Complicated Situation to Find the Solution

Lord Shiva and Parvati have two sons, Ganesh and Kartikeya. Parvati was asked to pick which of her sons should get the fruit of wisdom when Lord Brahma gave it to her, and she was not permitted to divide it in half.

Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati held a small race for their sons, in which the winner will receive the fruit as a prize for circling the globe three times. Kartikeya mounted his peacock, which served as his 'vahan' or ship, and took off to complete a circumnavigation. Ganesha's ride is a mouse (the Mushaka); how could he compete?

So, Ganesha simply folded his hands and walked in complete devotion three times around his parents and 'You are my world' was his reasoning. He won the fruit of knowledge, and since then, is known as 'The God of Wisdom'.

Now, you could apply this story's lesson to your financial situation and discover that all issues you face require a calm and solid mindset to overcome.

Let's assume that the market is highly volatile and everyone is experiencing minor panic. As an investor, you can exercise patience while carefully analysing the circumstances, comprehending your risk tolerance and the financial objectives aligned with your investments.

[Read: 5 Investment Lessons You Should Learn from Mr Benjamin Graham]

In the long run, the effects of short-term volatility may be recovered if you stick with a long-term investment strategy rather than liquidating or switching to alternative mutual fund schemes in panic.

Lesson #5 - Learn Adaptability from Ganesha

Vakratundaya is another name that stems from Ganesha's trunk, which represents flexibility and adaptable nature. The trunk also embodies the power and strength to perform various delicate and complex tasks.

It stands for the idea that one must have the righteousness of patience to adjust under difficult circumstances because things do not always go as planned. Although market volatility can have an impact on your investments, but one must never forget that the sky eventually clears for bright and beautiful rainbow.

Not to forget, if you are as flexible as Ganesh's trunk, then you will be able to face the whims of the market well. You can counter this by periodically reviewing and rebalancing your investment portfolio to see if its performance is aiding your wealth creation journey.

[Read: How to Analyse Your Mutual Fund Portfolio]

If you want to maintain a robust investment portfolio, a certain degree of flexibility between asset allocation, diversification, timeline adjustments, and the amount of investment is always advisable. Your financial circumstances, risk appetite, and financial goals may alter as a result of unexpected uncertainties in your life. Thus, you may need to rebalance your portfolio to align with the prevailing conditions.

To summarise...

Just like lord Ganesha's ears are open to hearing everything, your learning also, comes with good listening skills. His eyes look directly at you, so should you direct your attention to all details. Just like Ganesha, aim to seek wisdom and earn that prosperity.

Lord Ganesha's favourite food, 'Modak' is distributed amongst devotees as 'Prasada' after conducting the 'Puja rituals'. As an investor, once you've constructed an effective investment portfolio, here, the 'Prasad'a represents the positive results of your investment (significant returns).

A lot of planning goes into making the celebration successful, including cleaning up, decorating the location where lord Ganesha will live throughout the festival, organising the offerings for each day, and much more.

Similarly, robust investment planning, defined financial goals and better awareness will successfully reward you with sweet gains and a secure financial future. The earlier you begin to build your financial plan and make sound investment decisions, the easier it will be to manage your wealth and establish a solid corpus.

[Read: How to Choose Mutual Funds For Your Investment Portfolio]

Lord Ganesha is known as the lord of new beginnings, so this Ganesh Chaturthi, with his blessings, begin your journey of wealth creation, invest in the best suitable mutual fund schemes to accomplish your envisioned financial goals.

Additionally, never allow the flame of knowledge to go dim and keep up your wisdom and intellectual curiosity only growing, allowing you to make wise investment decisions.

Consider these investment lessons as you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi this year to manage your wealth and start along the road to prosperity!

Wishing You All a Very Happy Ganesh Utsav!

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

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MITALI DHOKE is a Research Analyst at PersonalFN. She is an MBA (Finance) and a post-graduate in commerce (M. Com). She focuses primarily on covering articles around mutual funds including NFOs, financial planning and fixed-income products. Mitali holds an overall experience of 4 years in the financial services industry.
She also actively contributes towards content creation for PersonalFN’s social media platforms in the endeavour to educate investors and enhance their financial knowledge.


Disclaimer: Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.
This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to influence your investment decisions. It should not be treated as a mutual fund recommendation or advice to make an investment decision in the above-mentioned schemes.

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