Resolutions: Debt-loss more popular than weight-loss

More than 80% of UAE executives polled by Emirates24|7 hope to reduce debt next year

A quick survey of more than 50 of the UAE’s senior executives conducted by Emirates24|7 reveals that while shedding weight remains a popular resolution for the New Year, shedding debt has overtaken it by a slight margin in 2011.

More than 80 per cent of the executives polled by this website mentioned saving more and/or reducing their overall exposure among their top 5 resolutions for the New Year, while losing weight was mentioned by 76 per cent of those polled.

“Smartly re-invest....reduce debts,” is one of the top 5 resolutions of Shivam Goyal, Concept General Manager, Emax, Landmark Group, Dubai. On the other hand, MR Raghu, Senior Vice President-Research, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), wants to “lose weight (21st year in the making)”.

Then again, there are some like Vineet Kumar, Head of Leasing & Sales – Dubai, Asteco Property Management, all five of whose top 5 resolutions focus on finances. “[One,] Family involvement in budget preparation; [two] Minimum spend on credit cards; [three] Travel by low-cost airlines; [four] Liquidate any unwanted assets to settle any loan /debt; and [five] Enjoy with friends and family in house rather than spend on outdoor when possible,” are his top resolutions for 2011.

Perhaps learning from what’s going on in the global economy, a surprisingly large number (42 per cent) of respondents to the Emirates24|7 poll said they were planning to set up an ‘emergency fund’ to bank on in times of crisis (in the event of a loss of job or an unplanned major expense).  “Keep a quarter of my earnings on the side every month – we’re not out of the woods yet and who knows when one might need it,” said an advertising executive who did not wish to be named.

However, risk-taking may be slowly but surely making a comeback. “Try and take some risks after being numbed for nearly three years,” is the No 1 resolution of Markaz’ Raghu, who also wants to “try and beat my mom in investment bets – she is still miles ahead with only a few investments, like land, gold, etc.,” acknowledges the financial expert.

Imad Ghandour, the Chairman of Gulf Venture Capital Association (GVCA), has “steer away from politics” as one of his resolutions for 2011, and also wants to “see the light at the end of the tunnel” next year.

Panos Manolopoulos, Vice Chairman – Regions, Managing Partner Middle East at Stanton Chase International wants to “keep up the vision for growth” and bring “stability and maturity for businesses in UAE” while Landmark’s Goyal hopes to “under promise and over deliver” as well as “think global, act local” in 2011.

Raghu, on the other hand, wants to “buy less of new gizmos, and use more of existing ones” while also hoping to “try and reduce the number of bank accounts as I finally realise that it is not proportional to the money you earn – people make a lot more money with a lot few bank accounts.” Good thinking, Raghu!

While Al Maya Group’s Kamal Vachani wants to “party hard”, Goyal wants to “slog at work but never ignore family.” GVCA’s Ghandour wants to “cherish entrepreneurship” while Vachani wants to “smile and be more positive and outgoing” while also “be myself.”

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2011? Let us know below. And here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2011.


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