Never be complacent about your wealth


Picture this: You being four times as wealthier than your boss — given that he earns about six times as much as you do and has about three times the work experience that you have.

Kishen Khanna, 39, is the national head of operations of a leading MNC. He earns about Rs 48 lakh per annum and has stock options worth about Rs 2 crore, which will accrue over the next couple of years.

He has a cash balance of Rs 6 lakh in his bank account, zero life insurance, no stocks, no mutual funds, an ancestral home about 50 km from Kanpur having little value for him.

But he uses Mont Blanc pens and belts, wears Armani suits, sports a Movado watch, uses a BlackBerry. If you were face to face with him you can easily count the Rs 4 lakh he has spent on himself by totalling the cost of his accessories and apparel. In addition he owns two cars, flies only business class, dines at five-star restaurants on weekends etc. In sum, he lives a dream lifestyle.

Looking at another side most of his subordinates today have more wealth than he has. One would think that it is quite easy for Kishen to produce assets if he really desired so. In about a year's time by simply saving part of his earnings he can create far more than most people would be able to in say 10 years. But that will just not happen. Does that seem weird? By all means — this really is quite weird for most people. All the same I see this happening — quite commonplace.

Kishen suffers from a new kind of financial disease — one that comes close to financial intoxication. It is kind of a feeling where one thinks that there is no perceivable shortage for supply of money.

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