Parents and the education system

Most of the investor behavior in later years of a persons life comes from poor schooling. Let me take a very very different view of parents, schooling, conflicts…which I THINK are having a bad impact on adult’s behavior.

  1. Early school start: Parent’s lifestyle (observing, not commenting) allows kids to have dinner at 9.30 pm, sleep at 11 pm and be in a classroom by 7.30 am. I would hate teaching a class of PERMANENTLY sleep deprived kids.
  2. Early school start: Taking the same point further, forget morning exercise, kids skip breakfast to be in school on time. Remember Metro’s have to include 30 minutes of travel time too.
  3. Taught to ignore facts: At least in India the way history is taught is PATHETIC. Most of us from state boards were taught local history ONLY, and the Central board’s lopsided teaching ENCOURAGES children to prioritize wrongly.
  4. Neither parents, government, or the school syllabus wants to teach COMPOUNDING – while the formula was thrust on us in class 7.
  5. Summer vacation is the stupidest, super stupidest thing to happen. In 1900 it was introduced in USA so that farmers did not have to work in peak summer for long periods. Mumbai for example should have a vacation from 15 June to 15 August so that they need not go to school in MONSOON.
  6. Vacation time is very very very difficult time for kids from underprivileged class. Ask their parents – they have to pay a ransom for child care – and they miss the mid-day meal.
  7. Beyond class 8, summer vacation is coaching class time, not having fun time. Accept it. Stop fooling yourself.
  8. Sitting in the class obediently to ‘learn’ is very close to terrorism. Boys hate learning that way. Education is still medieval in its delivery mechanism. Parents role seems to be worse at home.
  9. The school examination and evaluation system is given too much importance – or I would have called it funny.
  10. My daughter did more ‘paper solving’ than ‘learning’ in her 15 years of schooling. I was a mute spectator. She aced exams.
  11. I taught my daughter ‘value investing’ in 3 hours at Crawford Market than what her school could have done.
  12. Children are encouraged to lie – and many a times punished for disobeying – while investing smartly, one needs to examine and re examine biases. Daily. Hourly sometimes.

Our educational system does not help foster the skills of successful investing. Thinking outside the box, following a scientifically backed process, constantly asking ‘can this create alpha if EVERYBODY knows this’ , not being afraid of making mistakes, changing your stance when the circumstances (or data) change –  are all attributes lacking in our current  educational system. It is for a parent to fill in this void. It cannot be done by a financial planner doing a one hour session once in 3 years.  While we have many great teachers, they are TRAPPED in our state due to various reasons. In some ways it is similar to the financial services industry!! Sadly, the truth could put many (most?) people out of work and so huge efforts are mounted to stop it from spreading. For example have you seen any article about fund manager corruption? No. We are shit scared to upset the ‘regulated’ financial services industry. We hide the fact that we have problems by saying ‘it is better than the UNREGULATED financial services industry.

As a young country we do not see the potential crisis for both the young and old regarding student loan debt, a terrible Home Mortgage industry designed to make you work for 20 years for a shit hole of a ‘house’ in Mumbai and Delhi, unprovided or under provided retirement plans, poor insurance infra, etc. Will we continue to ignore data in personal finance and education and reward a minority of our population that have vested interests in the status quo?

Its time to write about the lies we love to believe vs the bloody bitter truth.

I was stunned to see Twinkle Khanna writing an article about sexual advances at a business meeting. If it can happen to a man who beats up 20 baddies at a time, a confident woman who is also rich beyond the middle class dreams, its time we include human behavior from class 3. This might improve our men – in how they deal with men, and our over all population to understand and use facts more than use emotions and biases.



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8 Responses to “Parents and the education system”

  1. Good points raised. Reminded me of Rich Dad. Sharing some insights
    When I was young, my poor dad always told me the best path to success was to go to school. He felt that was the best way to get a good job

    Education, particularly in America, doesn’t teach students how to live or be self-sufficient. Instead, it teaches us to be employees instead of our own bosses. It makes us workers instead of innovators.

    The rich use school to train us to be good employees. We start out being told what to do, and are rewarded for compliance. It’s very easy to transition from a school to a company where you’re told what to do. And that leads us to trust and hand things off to the government and the rich bankers who handle our 401(k).

  2. How did you teach your daughter value investing at Crawford market? Would love to read about it

  3. subra, interested to know value investing at Crawford market. please publish a post on that.

  4. Good one sir!
    I try teaching my 5 year old daughter about money, what she can have or not and bit of personal finance. She should be well aware of facts when she grows up and not naive like us.

  5. Loved the post!

    Sometimes I feel schools are in race of bringing up Robots rather than human beings. I tends to laugh laud seeing parents whine on stupid stuff during parent teacher meetings. I used to ask only about teachers/ how their job is going on and how school is coping up.. rather than asking them about my kid, I don’t need teachers to tell me how my kid is doing.. or do I? Neighbors/ friends wonders why my kids aren’t looking serious while exams are approaching and still scores excellent. I don’t have any explanation honestly!

  6. Not related to finance but to kids. You might like to watch Sir Ken Robinson on Ted & you tube

  7. WOW!!! has to be one of your best blog…great one sir!

  8. Besides a Finance Guru, Subra sir is also a good father, we would like to read more about his views and experience as a parent.

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