I am an MBA and still trying to understand various facets of this financial world. Whenever I think that I have learned enough of this and I know everything, there always comes in front of me a whole new aspect of Finance which makes me realize that I have a long way to go. It's like a circle without a start or an end but without a boundary or limitations.
When we were in school, we learned various subjects like English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Computers, etc. I remember we had Economics in school curriculum but not as one of the subjects, but as part of a subject (part of Geography, like Civics was to History).
At that time, during exams as less weightage of marks was given to Economics and more for Geography, many of my friends including me either read few chapters of Economics or leave it on option. I think that was the bad option altogether selected at that time of life. We never understood that we be in whichever phase of life, we would be dealing with this big fat financial world.
The problem was that we learned the importance of money only after school (I would rather say after graduation when we started earning money). We neither understood the importance of time (there would be exceptions though), nor the value of money. But, now whenever we are planning on investment related decisions, we have to use the golden concept of “Time Value of MONEY” to ascertain what extra efforts we need to put in to ensure a wealthy and bright future.
Can one understand these things only after twenties? Is that so? NO. Our minds were the most sharpest when we were in school. At that time we had a simple but the best concept of “POCKET MONEY”. Without the use of computer or calculator, every day when I went to canteen, I used to analyse how much money would I be left with, at the end of the month, in order to be able to buy my favorite toy. Because of this, I learned to rank the options and satisfied the most important desire. But the sad part was, such analytical thinking was not encouraged during our schooldays as we didn't had subjects like Economics, Savings, Investment, etc in our school curriculum. It's not that that I am against other subjects but it is just that the basis because of which we were able to go to school and learn important things for creating a happy life i.e. “The Hard earned Money” was not made part of our learning.
Every time when kids demand toys or games, they never understand the small price tag affixed on it. But as we all know small things matter a lot. We should not expect the child to understand these things just by themselves but should impart knowledge on the same at an early age.
I may sound somewhat sarcastic but I only wished that every child should learn about money (finance) and economics at a young age (in school). My view became more stronger when I read this book -
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Mr. Robert Kiyosaki.
I now come across some such initiatives for kids and students and would like to see more of it on understanding finance like:
- Initiative of Financial education by Reserve Bank of India for school kids as well as adults on http://www.rbi.org.in/financialeducation/home.aspx
- Uploading of Research projects on Finance by National Stock Exchange of India Limited on http://www.nseindia.com/research/content/research_projects_students.htm
- Sanjay Gupta's venture – Finance for kids which offers financial education to 5 – 16 year old kids.
- Various board games specially designed for developing the left analytical brain of a child.
Through this excellent medium called internet, I just want you all to make your children more aware about money and its value, from the very beginning (may be at a slower speed as per the understanding of the child but in a timely manner).
Always stay hungry for more learning in any phase of life. HAPPY LEARNING!!!