Money & Me: ‘You can never grow your wealth with a salary alone’

Raghav Reggie Jerath, founder of content monetisation platform Hydro Online, believes it’s crucial to have multiple streams of income

Raghav Reggie Jerath, founder and chief executive of Hydro Online, says people should not be scared of money. Pawan Singh / The National
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Raghav Reggie Jerath believes in continually staying invested to grow his wealth.

The founder and chief executive of Hydro Online, a blockchain-based content monetisation platform, has a diversified investment portfolio and strongly emphasises the importance of multiple streams of income.

Mr Jerath is also a founding partner at a venture capital firm called Ghaf Capital Partners, which is “one of the first private royal-backed VCs” and invests in start-ups in the blockchain industry.

The 30-year-old Indian is also the co-founder of Crypto Fight Night, an influencer and crypto boxing event in Dubai.

He completed a business management degree from the University of Huddersfield in the UK and currently lives in Al Barsha, Dubai.

Did wealth feature in your childhood?

I wasn't financially educated very well when I was younger. I learnt about money when I was probably 18 or 19 and then more into my 20s. I learnt that you need money to be able to do certain things.

My father definitely played a role but after I turned 20, all I knew about money was more self-taught and from experience.

What was your first job and what did it pay?

I worked for the media agency, Publicis Group, when I was 23 and it paid me 18,000 Indian rupees ($215) per month.

Any early financial jolts?

Financial setbacks occur to everyone at some point in their life. When I was earning 18,000 rupees and even though the cost of living is lower in India, trying to manage on that salary was not easy, especially when you're trying to figure out everything on your own.

I wouldn’t call it a setback, just having to rely on myself, and those learnings were a big eye opener and a good learning experience.

How do you grow your wealth?

I worked in a couple of corporate jobs and quickly realised that if you want to grow your wealth, it’s never going to be from a salary. My perspective might be a little different from others because the common spiel most people give is to save and invest.

Generally speaking, if you're earning a salary of Dh100,000 or Dh200,000 ($27,225-$54,450) a year, manage to save 30 per cent to 40 per cent and invest it into a basket of stocks, bonds and cryptos. Depending on how you do it, you're not going to get super wealthy.

I learned after my second corporate job that I was never going to get wealthy or be in the top 1 per cent by working for someone else unless there was very high upside.

There are generally two to three ways to make wealth. You first need to have a capital raised by having side gigs, your main salary or whatever it may be. Then you need to identify opportunities.

If you have a risk appetite, you could consider investing in high-risk investments, cryptocurrency or even within the traditional market through equities.

You need to have multiple streams of income, especially passive investments via public market investing in stocks, equities, bonds, crypto or private placements.

That's why Ghaf Capital is very important to me because it's one of the main vehicles through which I'm able to invest in size into start-ups with different return profiles.

I have my stable income and a high upside from it. I also have investments, both low-risk and high-risk. For the lower risk, generally, you're able to deploy a lot more size, and the high risk is a lot less size, relatively speaking, but the returns are more outsized.

I also grow my wealth through advisory and receive equity or cryptocurrency tokens that are unreleased. So, it's a basket of multiple things.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I’m more of a spender. I spend on investments. At all times, I try to invest as much as I can.

And then your typical things such as gadgets. If I spend, it’s on experiences.

Have you been wise with money?

When I was younger, probably not as much. Now, I’m wiser with money.

When you work for yourself and need to earn everything without a helping hand, then you get the knowledge to handle money whereas if you have a safety net, it's different.

What has been your best investment?

It was a private placement coin in the cryptocurrency industry in 2022, on which I pulled a 95x.

Any cherished purchases?

I don’t go behind material things since they have a very short shelf life. I’m more about experiences.

One of my hobbies is camping. Spending money towards camping equipment is cherished. It’s not expensive like staying in hotels and you can camp on beaches and mountains in Oman. Those memories are hard to recreate.

Money is a tool and a means to an end. It provides leverage and opportunities
Raghav Reggie Jerath

How do you feel about money?

It's a tool and a means to an end. It provides leverage and opportunities, so don't be scared of money.

Debt isn't bad if managed and used correctly. Leverage is important and that's how financial markets work.

Any financial advice for your younger self?

Fail faster, go harder, learn more. You can learn a lot from books, but without the experience, it doesn't translate to reality.

What luxuries are important to you?

A good mattress to sleep on and an AC that cools well. Also, anything that can help save my time is a luxury.

What are your financial goals?

By the time I'm 40, I want my net worth to be at least in the mid-eight figures.

Any key financial milestones?

Yes, my net worth is already in seven figures.

Updated: May 10, 2024, 6:02 PM