I started investing towards the end of my 20s. In the past five or six years, the act of investing has changed the way I live my life for the better. The process of investing may be largely automated but building a corpus gives you an incredible insight into how you make decisions in your life and career.

Here are 4 key observations, as an investor, that I would like to share with you that show how investing can transform you.

1. You become adept at looking at the big picture

The first few months of investing don’t change your life much. You are quite ambivalent about it, irrespective of whether you had goals or not. I started with the simple goal of having an emergency fund because I know first-hand what the lack of money in between jobs can do to one’s state of mind. Trust me, helplessness is not a great feeling. 

Along with building my emergency fund, I started tax-saving investments in ELSS funds because that was, to me, a convenient way of starting equity investing. Since I work for Scripbox, I chose the platform to do all of this. 

Going from 0 to multiple lakhs in an investment portfolio taught me more about looking at the bigger picture than anything else in life. Small irritations that would have led me to make impulsive decisions began to seem less relevant. 

It didn’t happen all at once but the more I accumulated the more nuanced my decisions and choices became. I began moving towards specific goals.

When you don’t start from headline-grabbing salaries and create a corpus from your savings, you learn more about finance and financial decision making than from anything else.

2. You look at key decisions differently when you have a corpus, small or big

When you have a comfortable emergency fund, and other investments, you look at decisions based on long term effects rather than just immediate perceived benefits. Taking a break doesn’t seem like a terrifying decision. Work becomes something you want to do rather than something you do just because you need money to survive.

Even simple decisions whether to move to a better apartment become about your comfort rather than just about budget. Reading about an abundance mindset and experiencing one are two very different things.  

3. You become responsible for your own life and mature faster

I started my professional life in 2007. My earnings were barely enough for rent, much less saving. Tiny increases in pay went more towards having fun rather than anything remotely responsible.

Then I started saving and investing when my salary increased. Earning more, saving more from them, and investing made me realise what was truly important to me. After all, why was I making the sacrifice of saving and what was I investing towards?  

The answer to that question helped me make more informed and responsible decisions that take me forward rather than backwards. 

Investing played a big part in giving direction to where I want to head in life. Money is a resource we exchange for goods, services, or more importantly, time.

4. You set meaningful goals and start seeing life in that context

I didn’t realise the importance of goals until I started saving seriously. Setting small achievable goals set me up to achieve bigger goals. The progress was not linear, but the results were beyond what I expected.  

Investing played a big part in giving direction to where I want to head in life. Money is a resource we exchange for goods, services, or more importantly, time. As I mentioned in this article, I invest to buy time. My corpus will have a big role in deciding how much time I can potentially take out for myself and my loved ones. Understanding the whys, made setting up goals easier and the rest was just about getting the basics right. 

Investing transformed me as a person. Hope it does the same to you, for the better.