10 Financial Lessons from KBC & Bigg Boss

These days reality shows are part of our life & I am not joking when I say I start my day with Bigg Boss. Yup! We record it on Tata Sky & once I am back from my Tennis Lessons, I & my wife watch it – I feel it’s a better option than listening to commentary of so called experts on Business Channels. Even I prefer watching ‘Doremon’ with kids over ‘Markets Today with Udayan’. But what should I do with power of my subconscious mind that can link even these Reality Shows with Financial Planning & Investments.

What KBC Can Teach Us

1. Setting Goals – First thing that Amitabh Bachaan asks is – where would you like to set your goals that you can achieve in given limited time. So there are 2 things, you set your goals according to your knowledge/stamina/capacity; second, risk is involved either you undershoot your goals or overshoot them. Setting realistic Goals is very important decision in your financial life & you should do it considering your resources & risk appetite.

2. Mind Game – participants get tensed as the stakes get higher. Investors say, we are very patient about our investments – we are investing since 2005 & we never sell in fear. (Even in 2008 when market was down more than 50%) And they are very sure that they will not do this in their lifetime – so my question is which one was your equation in 2008:

  • Your income was 10 Lakh & your equity portfolio size 5 Lakh. Or
  • Your income was 10 Lakh & your equity portfolio size was 50 Lakh.

There is difference between loosing 3 months’ salary in comparison to 2.5 years salary. In your investments your biggest enemy is your behavior & you do more mistakes when stakes are big.

3. Everything is equally important – is it possible that contestant give a wrong answer to one question & still win the Jackpot. Answer is NO. So it possible that one person is good at one aspect of financial life & he can have a successful financial life. Again answer is NO. One should be good at all the parts including investment, insurance, taxation, debt management, budgeting etc.

4. Help is Available – KBC gives 4 lifelines but contestant have to use it judiciously & some time a wrong choice can be fatal. Let’s check the Lifelines:

  • Audience Poll – this is following the herd mentality, which investors do very often in equity markets.
  • Phone a Friend – how many times you take financial decisions based on friends suggestions. But are they expert or they are just like you?
  • Double Dip – Some time luck is on your side & you make some money but luck never gives you a second chance. “Never Confuse Brains with a Bull Market”
  • Expert Advice – In KBC expert advice is available free but in real life it is not. Pankaj Pachuri helped Sushil Kumar winning is 1 crore but have you thought, what a wrong advice would have cost. Rs 48,40,000!! (or losing 95% of his money)

5. Tax – Sushil Kumar got 5 Cr or 3.5 Cr? Every investment should be seen in the light of tax – investments are compared on their after tax return. Is 8% return from PPF & FD are equal or 10% return from Debt & Equity are equal.

Bigg Boss lessons other than Cat Fights

1. Budgeting – these guys make weekly budgets with limited resources. Budget is the first step of financial planning & it is also the only medicine for good financial health. With technological enhancements, every day it we face new ways to spend our money without realizing its long term impact. When you don’t have budget everything looks important & necessary.

2. Cool Headed – why do you think most of the fights start in Bigg Boss House? Because most of the time we use Reflexive part (quick reaction) of the brain rather than Reflective Part (do analysis). Lot of time in articles I leave decision to you & write “take a cool headed decision”. This is part of Neuroeconomics – which says most of the financial decisions are taken by Reflexive part & Reflective part is not used. If you have invested heavily in some stock/asset – how you will react to some negative news flashing on TV during trading hours. THINK!

3. Wild card entry: Like entry of Sunny Leon, in Bigg Boss 5 or Dolly Bindra in Bigg Boss 4 changed the statistics of the game, same way financial life can also be full of surprises (and generally these are negative in nature & which is marked by cash outflows). In financial life one should be ready to face any negative accident and should change or revise his strategy accordingly.

4. Market is Supreme – Mr Bigg Boss changes the game with a small announcement. It doesn’t matter what you think about market – if you think market is undervalued, it can still go further down or vice versa. Don’t fight with the market – respect it.

5. And the winner is – who stays longest in the Bigg Boss house. Your one week/month performance will not make you the winner – you have to stay in the game till the end. Its time in the market & not timing the market which creates wealth.

Would you like to share what you have learned from these reality shows or any other TV Serial? Please don’t give examples from Serial KILLERS like CID or Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. 😉

Previous articleMutual Fund Taxation in India
Next articleHemant Beniwal – My Story
Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice & TFL Guide Blog in 2009. "The Financial Literates" is a dream & mission to make Indians Financial Literate.


  1. Hi Hemant,

    haha..very nice one..You have an amazing imaginative power of giving examples related to financial life.

    As far as my experience goes, I am 27 and unmarried. Recently started investing through mutual fund SIP and would like to continue for long time. Actually one important thing I learned from one of the shows of the business news channel “Your Money” is that it is not necessary to start investing only after getting married or after having kids. One can infact assume as a bachelor after how many years he will get married n after how many years he will have kids. So he can plan accordingly and start investing when he is a bachelor itself..That way we can build a more wealthier life and also achieve our goals a bit quicker.

    One of my favourite theories is :
    “It is better to prevent and prepare than to repent and repair”.

    • Hi Manoj,
      All plan are based on assumptions & one must take care of all future visible goals.
      Your money is a good show – even people should watch ‘Dent for Life’ on Bloomberg.
      Very nice quote “It is better to prevent and prepare than to repent and repair” – will be using it next week 🙂

  2. Hi Hemant
    Since I don’t watch TV serials and reality shows I can’t say that I have really learnt anything by watching TV. Instead of watching business channels I prefer to read business papers on the net and I am able to get a lot of useful information.
    You have covered most of the important points of financial planning and investment here.
    I particularly like this :
    Everything is equally important – One should be good at all the parts including investment, insurance, taxation, debt management, budgeting etc.
    It is very rare to find a person who is really good at all aspects mentioned.

    • Hi Anil,
      I don’t watch many serial but I love watching movies.
      I hate watching business channels – will prefer reading magazines to keep me updated.

  3. Interesting post…it shows that just as beauty lies in the eyes of beholder , one can learn from whatever one wants to…If you look you would even find lessons from CID and Kyon Saas Bhi kabhi bahu thi 🙂

    Ex: CID:Team work : To solve a case we need brains(Abhijit, ACP), brawn(Daya) and lot of ground work(Vivek, Doctor Saluke). Similarly to achieve financial goals we need a financial adviser as well as do due diligence understand the big picture and keep emotions in check.

    From Kyon Ki Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi: Just like a Tulsi has to manage her moody-dictatorial SAAS and make sure that the family atmosphere is still cordial an investor needs to manage the moody market and balance the debt and equity asset allocation so that financial goals are achieved..

    • Hey Kirti,
      Be very frank I don’t know anything about these serials – other than that they were there for centuries + Amar Upadhyay (BB contestant) played some important role in KKSBKBT.
      Your CID example is awesome 🙂

  4. Another fine article Hemantji. You have a good thought process going on your mind, it’s much appreciated. I was reading a comment about you on onemint and loved reading the saying “if you can have honeymoon in manali don’t think of goin to Mount everest”, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Mansoor
      Someday I will write an article on HONEYMOON 😉
      PS: On ““if you can have honeymoon in manali don’t think of going to Mount Everest”

  5. Very Nice Article Hemant……………

    You have Beautifully summarised the financial aspects in lay men’s language via famous TV Shows………..

    Well said Kirti for CID and Kyon Saas Bhi kabhi bahu thi ………..


  6. Thanks Hemant ji,
    for a article well written in a language
    so simple for so complex a subject like finance and investment.
    Keep it up and going, please don’t let us wait for long for your next article.
    Best wishes

  7. in which channel and which t v is YOUR MONEY and DENT FOR LIFE TELECAST. Pls. let me know so that i can benefit

  8. Hi Hemant
    I have learnt that kids are finally going to have financial lessons in their schools.
    According to a news report Indians may soon start getting schooled in financial literacy, as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is readying to integrate it into already taught subjects from the next academic year.
    With financial literacy being included in school curriculum, I think that we are on right path of financial inclusion where interesting methods would be adopted to educate children on money matters.
    Hopefully , in the long-run this would also help in curbing the rampant mis-selling which prevails at present.

    • Hi Anil,
      That’s a great news – I was not aware about the recent updates but 2 years back RBI started it as a pilot project in Bangalore Schools.

  9. hey
    i jus wanna say thanks for writing this.. it helped me for my hindi speaking.. i suck at hindi n was so scared abt this topic she gave me on wht does KBC n big boss teach us.. but u made life easy for me.. thanks a ton.. n btw ur knowledge abt financial investments n stuff is awesum!

  10. Superb correlation! 🙂

    Just subscribed to your posts today. Got your link from The Wealth Wishers. Your articles are good. 🙂

    Look forward to read some great articles on Financial planning.

  11. Hello sir.i am a salaried tax payer age 24. What type of investments are recommended for me with good returns and tax saving.

Comments are closed.