On Personal Finance & Swiss Army Knife!

Why Personal Finance has to be akin to a Swiss Army Knife?

I love listening to sales guys because that’s where you can gain knowledge for free, whether a car, residential property or financial products — sales guys, in general, are geared up with a good amount of expertise to sell their products. However, there are obvious limitations to it. You should not just listen to the music they play on their products but also gain insights on why not their competitors.

Let’s take an example of my recent interaction with an insurance sales agent.

According to her, one can plan for all their financial goals and get wealthy by ‘investing’ in endowment health insurance policies. While I know that it is not valid, I was curious about their opinion on equities and bonds. In most cases, such sales agents do not know these financial instruments, yet, they boldly proclaim the products they sell are the only and sure-shot way to become wealthy.


  1. A mutual fund sales agent may not explore real assets like properties
  2. An insurance sales agent may not research mutual funds or equities
  3. A Portfolio manager may not explore term insurance & other insurance products

Most of them are stuck to their domain of expertise, proclaiming their choice of financial instrument is the only path to becoming wealthy.

What’s My Take:

We often come across experts in a particular field who focus only on their area of expertise. By being so, they may miss out on potential risks /rewards outside of their field of expertise.


— The insurance agent who cannot see the beauty of mutual funds and equities

— The portfolio manager who cannot see the beauty of real estate investing

and more!

To me, Personal finance has to be like a swiss-army knife. A financial instrument for;

  1. Protection and Safety
  2. For Cash Flow
  3. For Capital Preservation, and
  4. For Capital Appreciation.

As you can see, all the tools in a Swiss army knife are tied together; likewise, all the financial instruments of our choice are tied to financial goals.

Why a Swiss-Army Knife?

Switzerland’s army needed a way to ensure that officers on the hunt could repair their guns, open their canned food, and cut stuff as required. With just a conventional knife, it was inconvenient to perform all tasks, and thus, they designed a knife that could help the officers to attend to any challenge when under pressure.

The last thing a fish would ever notice would be the water it is in!

— Ralph Linton

As Ralph Linton rightly said, the last thing a fish would ever notice is the water it is in. Unlike the fish, we should open up for new ideas and avenues, explore new things apart from our domain of expertise and yet, take note of the water around us.

If you enjoyed this story, you might subscribe to receive my newsletter first

Leave a Comment