“You are asking me to invest into something that would give me lower returns”, said Rohan indignantly. We were sitting in his car, going back from work. The song, “Gandi baat…” was ironically playing through the radio FM channel that he had switched on. Rohan liked to listen to loud music whenever driving. We lived just two blocks away from each other and worked at the same company. Today was his turn to take out his car.
“Pranay! You must be crazy to invest in life insurance! It doesn’t give me decent returns. Add to that the long time span required”, he continued. “It’s not about returns. It’s about security for my family; my loved ones and also about planning for the long-term”, I said. It was early February and Mumbai not being the coldest place on earth, there was only but a slight chill in the air. I was trying to explain to him the benefits of buying a life insurance policy.
“Fixed deposits are a better option. They give better returns, are secure and short-term in nature. If you are willing to take more risk, dive into the stock market. They provide easy liquidity also. Go for MF’s. They are a safe bet.” Rohan was somebody who always invested in money market and banking instruments.
“Hmm”, I said and started thinking to myself. Was Rohan right? After all, this was an endowment insurance plan that I had bought. I had purchased it thinking about my long term plans. The time span fro getting returns was 20 years which, was, as Rohan suggested, very long. “There you are. We’ve finally managed to reach home. This traffic will give me a heart attack one day. Does your life insurance policy cover that?”, he winked at me. I just smiled and waved a good-bye to him and marched towards my home.
“Papa!”, my 4 year old screamed as I reached home. He ran towards me and jumped towards me. I caught him and held him in my arms upright. He squealed in delight. “He is not eating his food. He says he wants Papa to feed him.”, an angry voice shouted from inside the house. My wife had tried hard for the last 1 hour to feed him, but all her efforts were in vain. My kid would just not budge. I put my things down and began to feed him. He told me stories about what he did and did not do in school. At times, I wondered as to whether I was even half as intelligent as him when I was his age. I always used to get this feeling that given the right kind of support, he had the talent to achieve big things in life. This was what had motivated me to buy the endowment plan. It would at least give me the financial support when I would perhaps need it; for his higher education.
After dinner, everyone settled for a good night’s sleep. My mind was still wondering about the discussion I was having with Rohan. Did I make a mistake? My mind slowly drifted off and I don’t know when I dozed off.