Ranveer Allahbadia, who goes by the social media nom de plume Beerbiceps, is unarguably one of the country’s most inspiring, engaging content creators. Boasting an Insta fan base of 1 million and another couple of million on YouTube, in addition to having a widely followed podcast, this serial entrepreneur seems to have his act together when it comes to his personal finance game.
When he’s not dishing out tips on personal growth, churning self-help videos, and inspiring his audience to become better versions of themselves, the dapper creator is working hard to invest, manage his own money, and pave the way for his personal and professional future. We caught up with Ranveer Allahbadia to get his tips on money management.
Where does creating content and money management converge for you?
I began my content creating career as an ‘infotainment’ creator — take information, make it entertaining, and put it out for the masses. The only way someone can do that successfully is if you are constantly studying about the subject, which could be anything from fitness to fashion to finance or multiple subjects. I went down the multiple subjects path.
With respect to money management, my ABCs began right after college, when I began training people about earning money, and I budgeted out my life pretty well. As I went forward, I got into little more details of personal finance. Whatever works for me in my life, from a financial perspective, I always put it out for my audience, and that’s where the two worlds converge.
When did you start looking at money management seriously? What were some of the roadblocks that you faced?
I began right after college when my parents told me they weren’t going to give me any pocket money and that I’d have to do everything independently. They taught me the value of money. For eg, I wouldn’t think twice about spending Rs 1,500 rupees on a meal outside, but training people for money really taught me the value of earning those Rs 1,500 in the modern world. That’s when I started taking money management seriously.
I also met a lot of older YouTubers, who at the age of 28/29 had already invested in mutual funds for a while. They had done their SIPs, their fixed deposits etc. They taught me that money can be ‘played around with’ — it can be manipulated in order to create more. That’s when I understood the nature of money and playing around with it seriously.
One of the main roadblocks I faced initially was that when you are a young professional, your money tends to drain out in unexpected ways. Fortunately, I didn’t pay my parents rent, but I had other expenses, like upgrading my content gear, hiring a team, etc. I strongly believe that one of the best investments you can make is investing in yourself or your team.
How did you develop your money management skills? What were some of the things that you actively started doing?
I started listening to a lot of podcasts from across the globe — I was following this guy called Ramit Sethi. These podcasts taught me the absolute basics of personal finance. I also figured out that in India the game is slightly different, and you have to play it the Indian way. Honestly, I just learnt it from smart Gujarati and Marwari uncles, whom I knew through my parents’ network.
Getting into your personal finance game is the best way to learn. What I actively started doing is to create habits, strict rules. I ensured that 30-40% of my earnings would go into savings, irrespective of what I would earn. By savings, I mean investing in a SIP. Obviously, as my income grew, I retained that early habit of 30% savings was crucial. Eventually, I started working with some portfolio management services. Whatever profits I earn, a large chunk of it goes back into the business, but the portfolio managers manage the rest of it.
Does someone help you with your investments, especially mutual funds? How do you decide where to invest?
I do take advice from my friends who are finance professionals. They are much more in sync with where you should be investing. As a creative professional who is not extremely inclined towards money or stocks or financial trends in details, I rely on my financial advisors, wealth managers, and PMS firms to take care of things. I read this quote once: “It’s very easy to turn zero rupees into one lakh. It’s very easy to turn one lakh into ten lakhs.” I strongly believe in this. Once you know a way to earn money, you should be reinvesting in that direction.
The pandemic hasn’t been kind on us all, more so on content creators. How did you manage?
I have to say that the pandemic was not as harsh on me. We were still at 80 per cent of our usual income. The stress, mental health-wise, was a little intense. I figured that we have to create a crazy amount of content in order to sustain and grow at the rate that we wish to grow. I stopped perceiving weekends as weekends. I figured out systems for myself. I figured that I needed to sleep enough to let my brain work at its creative best. That’s how I tackled the pandemic. Also, every time I feel extremely burnt out, I switch off for a week and start watching a lot of movies to refuel my head.
Money management mistakes you have learnt from?
In terms of managing finances not so much, but in terms of allowing certain aspects of your business to drain out your money, a lot. Hiring the wrong people, giving people a lot of leeways when they’ve let you down a bunch of times — they are a liability for your business. I have not really purchased my own car, because, like many millennials I use Uber; I have not yet purchased an apartment. The next plan would be to buy some sort of physical asset – could be real estate, gold, commercial real estate. I’m not sure yet. That’s the next plan.
Three things you would tell creators in terms of money management.
1. As long as you can stay consistent with your content and reinvent, the money will keep flowing into your life and it will grow exponentially. And get into the habit of saving money.
2. Constantly reinvest in your content process, use a good team.
3. If you think about it, to live a decent life in India, you need about Rs 4 or 5 cr in total, invested in different options. It is achievable and keeps these goals in mind as you go along.
All images: Courtesy Ranveer Allahbadia Instagram