Teachers have a major role in the lives of most of us. Teachers impart many life lessons to us, from setting educational and other goals to being patient and consistent towards whatever we do. On the occasion of Teachers Day, Outlook Money in association with Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund organised a panel discussion on “Financial Lessons To Learn From Teachers”. The members of the panel were K.S. Rao, head of the investor education and distribution development at Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC; Amit Trivedi, an author, speaker, blogger and trainer; and Vinayak Sapre, a financial coach, author, blogger and public speaker. The panel was moderated by Nidhi Sinha, editor, Outlook Money. Here are some edited excerpts:
Memorable Financial Lessons
Rao, who comes from a family of teachers, highlighted the lesson of building a solid educational foundation that he learnt from his parents and grandparents. “Also, they taught me that one should never stop learning and that lesson can be extended to finances too. Similarly, I learnt from my yoga teacher that the art was about patience and that too can be applied in one’s financial life. The lesson of patience especially comes handy in a bull market,” said Rao.
Trivedi spoke about his grandmother, who was a schoolteacher and taught him the importance of not wasting food. “That lesson can be applied to everything. For instance, people thing money is only for investment, but it starts from saving and that can only happen when wastages are plugged. Not wasting money is a good financial habit to inculcate,” he said.
He also gave the example of his father, who was a dramatist. “I learnt from him that you may make mistakes but try not to repeat them, and you need to resort to improvisation sometimes to get things in order,” said Trivedi.
Sapre invoked Kabir and his humble lifestyle to highlight that a simple attitude in life can take investors ahead. “No matter how much money you are sitting on, you need to stay humble. My father used to say that income minus ego is equal to happiness,” he said. Sapre highlighted going after buying things that other people possess cannot be a recipe to happiness.
Financial Education At School
Though financial education is not part of the school curriculum, but some of the values that we learn at school like patience and having a long-term perspective for examinations can be life lessons that can be used by everyone, said Rao.
Indeed, staying invested in the market with a long-term perspective can go a long way.
Trivedi said that besides the regular curriculum, sports and other school activities also have lessons. “Just like you need to pick up multiple school activities, the concept of diversification in investments can help,” he said. Plus, the system of regular school examinations also highlights the importance of portfolio review, he said. Besides, the way students need to keep reading books and newspapers, investors too need to keep updating their knowledge and play on their strengths.
In conclusion, the speakers agreed that while there are many sources of knowledge in the market these days, it’s important to approach the most genuine ones. In that sense, choose your financial teachers with care.