I am not into celebrating any particular day as father’s day, but it does give a chance to sit and think about a particular person or event.
What has been my Father’s contribution to my Financial awareness? Well nothing if you ask him. Truly, he has never sat down and said ‘this is money…this is how I earn it…this is how you will spend it’……
He was (is) not a very communicative person, but he was a great dad. When I needed money it was always ‘take it from my purse’. Unlike other kids in the 1970s and 1980s, I used to have a lot of money with me. He never asked me what I did with my money. He assumed that I was being responsible. Watches were Omega, Seiko, Cartier. Cameras were Pentax, Canon, Yashica. TV was Sony. Vacations were 3*+, music system was Garrard, and later cheap Japanese products like Akai! His books collection was like that of a small library. Me, my sister and cousins had all the books that we could think of.
In class 7 I told him ‘I spent Rs. 7 to buy a dictionary’ – he said ‘you do not spend on books, you invest on books’. I think that is the only financial teaching I had from him in my whole life. But he taught us one thing – do not WORRY about money.
To me money was never a bucket, it was a tap. Such a situation helps you later on in life – when you know that for 50 years of your life you NEVER had to worry about money being available.
He never said ‘my money’ and ‘your money’ – ever, ever to his parents or his children. Forget children he helped 7-8 people buy homes by bridging the gap between what they had and for what amount funding was available. All that money came back sans interest. He could never have ‘lent’ money for interest. Some of them still tell me about it. He helped all those people around him, and nobody else would know about it. He will wince if he saw this post. Luckily he does not go near the computer, so he will not read this. Unless my mother or sister get him to read it.
He had a large heart – he lent money to bachelors who said ‘my wife is unwell’. When a co-worker brought it to his notice, he said ‘Hey if somebody asks, I give. If he does not return it, bad luck’. Maybe God knew he could not take care of his money, so HE took good care of my Dad’s net worth!
In 1989 he retired and handed over his princely PF amount to yours truly to invest in equities. Leap of faith with a rookie. I could have ruined him, HIS luck, I did not. Today his dividend income is very close to his total PF accumulation over 37 years service.
Sorry if i have bored you. Obviously this is personal, but at age 51, it is time to think of your parents.
I always felt that parenting has one huge advantage – it helps you to ruin something right from scratch!
He did spoil me and my sister, and still does. Money for him is like sunshine, but for him he is the Sun. He has never been scared of darkness, now I know why.
When my daughter writes a note like this for me, I hope she has nice things to say about me. I will have to start work on that!!!
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