A house for me

Updated: Dec 30 2007, 05:05am hrs
As the year comes to end, there are aspirations being built up for the New Year. Sulekha Nair of The Financial Express spoke with some celebrities, from various walks of life, to figure out how they were planning to manage their finances and investments. Most of them seemed to have charted out what they want, however here, investments in property came out as the best choice. Here are some of the excerpts:

Sagar Bellary, director, who made us laugh with his debut film, Bheja Fry was taken aback when asked about how he proposes to save money in the coming year. I dont think too much about money. I am happy with what I earn, though at times, I feel, earning a little more would be nice! Money, to me, is a variable with which a lot can be procured and managed. For 2008, my investments will largely be the same as in 2007 -- buying cinema-related equipment. If, I make a little more money, then I shall invest in a house and an outhouse as well. I would like to buy a house near the sea in Mumbai and, have an outhouse, just three hours away from Mumbai, perhaps in Lonavla, Karjat or Mahad, where I could relax and come back to the city refreshed to do more work.

Preetam, singer and music director, who gave the foot thumping hit, crazy kiya re and the current favourite mauja hi mauja from Jab We Met, amongst various other memorable number in 2007, never thought about money earlier, but, with a family now, his thoughts on it have changed. In the film industry, where I work, there are many highs and lows as far as money is concerned. The periods keep fluctuating and so does the money. I have a family now and their security is a top priority for me. I would like to invest in property in 2008. I want to buy a house in Mumbai, preferably in Andheri, where I live now. Also, I would like to have a place to work. These are my prime concerns as far as investments are concerned for the coming year.

Dabboo Ratnani, celebrity fashion photographer feels, though it is cool to say money does not matter, but the fact remains that it does. Money is very important to me and that is one of the reasons why I work very hard, though it is not the only reason for my work. In 2008, I would like to invest in property, preferably in Jaipur. I have a friend who advises me on the stock market and, following his advice, I have a mixed bag of investments. So, there are blue chips and some mid-caps as well. If, I have money to spare, I want to invest in sculptures, as I like it a lot. I think the art market is doing very well and it has not reached a saturation point as yet.

Abhay Vakil, essayed the role of Parth in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and a host of other serials like Hai Mujhko, Saara Aakash et al, is now seen on Sahara One in Zahara as Samar Khan. Money is very important in a city like Mumbai where the cost of living is very high. For the coming year, I would like to invest in property, for it is the only business where the risks are low, as of now. I also do invest in stocks, shares and mutual funds for which I have a financial consultant.

For Mahesh Dattani, playwright and director, now working on a screenplay for television, the value of money is relative to time. For instance, Rs 1,000 can seem a lot to be spent on a dinner, but it is nothing when one goes to buy a microwave. I consider money to be a symbol of energy. It is not Lakshmi. True wealth is different. Money is good to invest in a lifestyle. All my investments so far have been in a property in Bangalore. I am fairly old-fashioned and would like to invest in property again. If I have some money left after that, I would like to spend it on a holiday.

Sanjeeda Sheikh, TV actress and winner of Nach Baliye 3, took home Rs 50 lakh as part of her booty. I would rather let my parents decide on what to do with what I earn. I also have a financial planner who keeps advising me from time to time. Seeing the skyrocketing prices of property in Mumbai, I think I shall invest in a house in the coming year.

Reema Kagti, debutante director, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., says her father scolds her, as she does not save money. My dad lectures me a lot on the virtues of saving, but I have never bothered to do so till now. I try not to think of money too much, for it creates problems in relationships. Having said that, let me say, my New Year resolution is to save money. I shall talk with dad and my accountant and probably invest in mutual funds.

Leena Mogre, fitness expert and director, Leena Mogres Fitness Academy has her goals chartered out. Money is very important to achieve the goals one sets for oneself; for childrens education and for a good standard of living. When one achieves what one has set for oneself, money is a byproduct of ones work, which in turn helps one to raise the bar and achieve more. For 2008, I plan to open 15 more gyms throughout the country, both franchisee and owned. If I have money left, I will invest in property and if I can afford, will buy jewellery. I feel, since any business is risky, one should ensure ones investments are safe and steady. That is why I dont invest in the stock market, as I dont understand it and the fluctuations are quite high.

For Anita Dongre, fashion designer, there is nothing like too much money. Money to me is an ability to buy what I want. I have always ploughed back the money I have earned into my business and have 15 stores across the country. I would like to open 50 more stores in India, but show me the money, honey! I would like to open at least ten more stores next year. Apart from investing in business, I would like to invest in property in 2008, for it seems a safe bet. Property prices are increasing every day and this is happening across the country. I would like to have a property of my own, besides the company I have.