Power packed with 998 cc engine, 4 cylinders, roaring with 322 BHP, the Kawasaki Ninja HR2, which can hit a maximum speed of 400 km per hour, had arrested the attention of my younger one. The desirous look on his face was evident with the way his eyes were glued on the TV set. Like every other desire-struck 7th grader, I got the obvious question of how much it would cost. However, his follow up question to that evoked my analytical and philosophical mind.
He wanted to know what he could do to achieve the money himself.
As a parent, I was overwhelmed to understand that my son was not asking me to provide him with the fish, instead asking me to teach him how to fish.
As a parent, I believe that our singular goal is to always induce a sense of independence in our younger ones, right from the time we start teaching them how to run, to walk and to talk.
So, how do we induce independence with the concept of finances? What does it mean? Those were the analytical part of my thought.
To be able to get what you desire for is gratifying, always. However, the sense of ownership and affection for the things obtained by self is an experience that can never be replaced or substituted.
I have often encountered a lot of young parents, with their kids on the threshold of entering a college or getting a new job, asking us to aid in educating their kids on the concept of personal finances, idea of savings, etc. In other words, they were asking me to assist their children to dream bigger and understand the means to achieve it.
In one case, we had to engage a beautiful young mind, Mr. Satvik, in the world of finances, who was fresh out of college, and in the outlook of pursuing his career as a journalist.
At the start of the engagement we used to have periodic calls. These calls were aimed at sharing knowledge on personal finance and general finance concepts. Satvik was already keen to start something in the real world with his personal savings after starting on his first job. We together created a plan to save regularly and to start building a portfolio.
The person in charge of the portfolio was Satvik himself. He had to take the decisions on what to do on the portfolio, with the adviser being his coach.
We laid out a plan where he would come up with questions during periodic calls based on what he had read from one of the leading business news daily. We would discuss the questions and provide the answers.
His curious questions on SIP and STP and their effect on the returns on the portfolio as opposed to Lump Sum investment were all explained in the most practical and working model, with his investments as the real example.
In due course of interactions, we realized that Satvik aspired to get his hands on a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 cc. As and when his savings began to progress, with two years of active learning and investment, he realized that he needn’t wait for his aspiration.
He got a bike of his own at the tender age of 24 years from his own savings! His own achievement, in every sense of it.
Today Satvik is ahead of his peers and understands the financial jargons, the value of money and how to manage his corpus. He understands the human biases that play in market cycles. He has even learnt how and what is classified as ‘income’ and has learnt to compute and file his taxes.
He says that the study of the market has been rewarding. The market has taught him to be patient. “Patience” is not about stopping yourself. In fact, it’s a tool to build endurance for you to aim higher and reach for the stars.
Today, Satvik’s parents are happy that their children are on track to manage their own finances and slowly take over from them as they age.
Satvik is now a member of the Royal Enfield Riders Club and goes out on a fortnightly excursion with his biker troop. His father recently saw a quote imprinted on his biker jacket. He sent me an image of the soul satisfying quote –
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass: it's about learning how to ride in the rain!”