What OneMint has taught me

As you know I’m on vacation, and the time away has given me a good opportunity to reflect on the past year; especially on the things I’ve learned in the process of building OneMint, and I thought I’d share them with you because they’re useful lessons in all walks of life.

Talk is cheap

Building OneMint has taught me the true meaning of this phrase. It has made me realize how easy it is to criticize anything, and how tough it is to achieve the smallest of things.

These days I think a lot more before I criticize anyone, since I fully realize that the only thing coming in the way of OneMint’s growth is me, and if I’m so good at giving other people advice – why not use it to build my own blog. After all, nothing stops me from doing that right?

The flip side of this realization is that I’m far more impatient with others than I used to be. Recently when a friend suggested that a video we were watching on You Tube was really amateur I told him quite curtly to shut up, and start talking only when he’s made something half as good himself.

Obviously this isn’t going to go down well with everyone, but then to hell with the folks who will criticize anything on the drop of a hat, and never take any initiative on their own.

Be true to yourself

I set out on creating a blog that will attract smart people who realize that there are no shortcuts, no “tips” that can make them a million overnight, and I’ve been guided by the principle that I need to provide people with facts that will help them in making the final decision.

Unfortunately, for every person who is willing to work hard and take the trouble to understand their finances, and make smart decisions – there are a 100 others that want quick tips, and shortcuts.

I used to wonder if I should change direction and start giving out tips, and making decisions for people in a bid to increase readership, but I’d never be happy doing that.

I’m glad that I didn’t go that route because I’m happy doing what I do, and OneMint already clocks about 200,000 page-views in a month, which is a reasonable number for any blog.

These days, I have no hesitation in telling people that they won’t get any tips from me, and though I get several emails of this type, I don’t fall in to the temptation.

Giving out recommendations might increase the readership, but I know that it’s not the right thing for me or the person seeking out the advice, and I’m glad that I’m building readership while being true to my beliefs.

Every person is different, and deserves to be treated accordingly

I’m amazed at how many emails I get from people who demand information, and write as if they’re doing me a favor by requesting information. In fact, I just received an email from someone who sent me a list of 5 mutual funds and wants me to send their NAV to him. If there was a please or thank you in his message, I must have missed it. Some of the messages I get are truly ridiculous, and I’ve learned not to mind them, and simply tell them I don’t have the time to Google stuff on their behalf, or if the message is too bad then I just delete it.

On the other hand, there are people who are courteous, and go out of their way to reply to me even when I’m unable to help them. Needless to say – I give more attention to their comments, and emails, and I’m sure everyone else does that as well.

If you think a “Sent from my Blackberry” signature eliminates the need to insert an odd please or thank you in your message – do yourself a favor this coming new year, and talk to your mom to get your Ps and Qs in order.

Working on OneMint has been really great, and it’s been something that I’ve truly enjoyed every bit. The fact that I’ve learned so much has been an added bonus. I hope the blog continues to grow in the coming years, and everyone associated with it benefits as much as I do.

31 thoughts on “What OneMint has taught me”

  1. I stumbled across onemint while researching Gold ETF and from that day I haven’t missed even a single article . I appreciate the time and effort you are putting in to this lovely blog. Thanks a lot for spreading this knowledge of Wealth.

    This particular soul searching and introspective post has inspired me take on a resolution for the New year “Not to criticize” and if need to “Criticize for a positive impact”.

    Hope you are having a great vacation. Eagerly waiting to see your next post.

  2. Recently, a committee constituted by SEBI under Shri. Bimal Jalan, Former Governor of the RBI submitted its report to SEBI. Most of you would have known the sum and substance of the report. For the complete report, click http://www.sebi.gov.in/commreport/ownershipreport.pdf

    Now the report is open for public comments. Responses could be sent to

    I felt it important to share this with you because I recently feel that I have let go the opportunity given to me by SEBI for registering my opinion on increasing the limit for RII from 1 lakh to 2 lakh.

    My opinion on this particular topic is

    1. Market infrastructure should not be listed.
    2. Market infrastructure should not work towards profit maximization because Market Infrastructure has an additional role to perform as the first-line regulator. For any regulator, profit maximization will result in a conflict of interest and will put investor protection on the back-burner. Hence, I support the report on this count.

    The excess income from markets should be used for investor education, investor redressal and for improving and making market infrastructure accessible to everyone to increase retail participation in the markets.

  3. Hi Manshu
    I have always liked Onemint since the time I started reading it. I just came across your blog once while surfing the net and found it interesting and relevant and hence immediately subscribed to it. Now, I look forward to reading it everyday. The topics covered in your blog are very relevant to the common investor. I also like the way you personally reply to every message sent to you or to a comment posted on your blog. Hope you continue to share knowledge so that readers like me can use it for enhancing their investment skills.
    Here’s wishing you and all the readers of One mint a very Happy and Prosperous new year. May the readership of Onemint grow in the next year and all the years to come.

    1. Hi Meetali – That’s really nice of you to say 🙂 and your kind words are really heart warming 🙂 Thank you very much, and wish you and your family a very happy new year also.

  4. Great introspection.

    I tell people start a blog and see how it is, the worst thing that can happen is you might enhance your writing skills. Many of your articles were great and the associated graphics were impressive.

    Keep it up for 2011!

  5. Hi

    I bumped into your blog just about a month ago and since then, I have started visiting your blog on a daily basis reading your blog and comments.
    I share a deep anguish that most people who don’t have financial literacy are taken for a ride by such sites that promise assured returns from the stock market on a day-to-day basis. I never read intra-day tips sent to me by my stock broker. Infact I never read any financial tip from any one. Whenever anyone asks me for a stock tip, there are certain things I used to suggest them :

    1. Don’t enter the stock market if your investment horizon is less than 5 years.
    2. Invest only the surplus (after setting aside atleast six months’ salary as contingency in a savings account + sufficient medical insurance + sufficient amount of life insurance in the form of a Term Insurance plan like the Anmol Jeevan – I from LIC or iTerm from Aegon Religare)
    3. Never invest on borrowed capital
    4.Never invest in stocks yourself if you can’t read the balance sheet, future prospects of the company, understand the business and believe in the ability of the management.
    5.If you can’t do step 4, go in for a mutual fund which believes in bottom-up stock picking based on value investing principles and has an in-house research wing like the Quantum Mutual Fund or the Fidelity Mutual Fund.
    6. Invest systematically for a period of a minimum 5 years.
    and FINALLY I used yo add…

  6. I am a silent reader of your wonderful blog and this is the second time I am posting my comment. I could not resist myself writing something for your blog. I enjoy reading each and every article in your blog. Thanks for giving the knowledge and I wish you good luck in the coming year and expecting much more wonderful work from you.
    Happy New Year and Enjoy your vacation.

  7. Lovely learnings. Although the world is full of wisdom, it’s only when a person learns it in practice from real life incidents that he realizes the true meaning of learnings and incorporates them into one’s own life. So, yes talk is cheap.

    Have enjoyed reading your blog all this while because every time i have spent time reading it I have been enriched with knowledge. Also it has kept me on track to keep myself on top of my financial life.


    1. Thanks a lot – and all the best to you with your finances, blog and other ventures that you’re pursuing in this new year. I hope everything is coming along well.

  8. Very nice learnings.

    Everyone can learn from what you have learned. All the three points are great and can be used in our day to day life.

    Thanks for sharing and hope your touch 10,000 readers this year, best of luck.

  9. I have been following your blog for a little while and I am really grateful that you have not made this into a blog to hand out tips and recommendations! Hope you continue to do the great work you have been doing and wish you a very happy new year!

    1. Thanks Puneet – I’m glad I stuck to what I was doing, though somewhere in July or August this year I was wondering if I should do something different because the blog was stagnating a bit. I’m glad I persevered, and in time the growth numbers were back on track. Wish you a happy new year as well!

  10. hahaha – do yourself a favor this coming new year, and talk to your mom to get your Ps and Qs in order.

    Hoping that onemint will grow in coming years and you will learn and teach useful fundas to readers.

    1. Thanks for your wishes IT – vacation is going great – I just hope India wins today, and I’m able to watch it – wish you a very happy new year as well!

        1. Yeah, that’s right – I guess you won’t be interested in PF if you make so much money that a few million here or there don’t make any difference, so let’s do hope that it happens 🙂

  11. I am not for sure when I starting following you or even how I stumbled across your blog but I read every article you publish even if it doesn’t directly affect me or interest me because there might be the one piece of insight I hadn’t thought of before.

    I hope you keep doing what you do, I would much rather be engaged in topics than having another Jim Cramer spout nonsense at me.

    1. I’m sure I can’t possibly put on the show that Cramer does, and every time I see him I’m amazed how many people take him seriously even with all that craziness going on in his show. I thought he’d moderate a bit after appearing on Jon Stewart, but looks like he’s back to his old ways now.

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