SHARON, MA—The incredible sense of humor, optimism, passion and an unshakable commitment to make the world a better place overflowed during the interview with one of Boston’s power couples: Raj and Nalini Sharma.
In the exclusive interview with Chai with Manju, the couple provides an in-depth look into their lives and the work they do. To watch this interview, please click here.
Raj is the founder of The Sharma Group, a private wealth advisors firm, and managing director of Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. He has been recognized as one of 15 Barron’s magazine All-Stars — advisors that have appeared on the Barron’s Top 100 Advisors list in the US for 10 consecutive years. He manages $10.4 billion in assets.
Nalini has a passion for art, music and environment. She is a member of the Board of Overseers: at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and sits on the board of MIT Heritage Arts of South Asia (MITHAS).
“To me, philanthropy is a personal thing, like religion: it should not be forced onto someone. One has to be drawn to it. So find causes that move you and give wholeheartedly, be it time or money,” says Nalini. “It doesn’t have to be money. You can volunteer your time energy and enthusiasm at your local organizations -whether it’s the library, school, hospital, nature preserves, gardens etc.”
Raj, the All-Star financial advisory, provides the following 10 steps to financial freedom:
1) First, think of your 2-3 most important long term goals such as retirement, becoming financially independent, developing a source of cash flow, education for kids etc.
2) Second, develop a different investment strategy for each goal, driven by factors such as time horizon and return expectations.
3) Rebalance your investment mix every quarter.
4) Review your financial plan once a year to ensure you’re on track to meet your goals.
5) Don’t chase an index — what is most important to you is your specific outcome not a random market measure.
6) Avoid market timing and day trading. (there are no timers or day traders on the Forbes 400!). “Rebalancing” is a counter intuitive strategy that forces you to buy low and sell high.
7) Do not put off estate and legacy planning. The earlier you start the process , the greater the benefits to your family by optimizing income and estate taxes.
8) Don’t watch your portfolio daily; it is like watching a plant grow. Set the allocation and let the long term magic of the financial markets work for you.
9) Live within your means, save systematically into pre-tax retirement plans and a diversified portfolio mix.
10) Turn off CNBC, watching the markets daily can make you delirious. Relax and enjoy your life and family!