It becomes some kind of a challenge talking to the kids of successful parents. The old ‘tricks’ – if you may allow me to call it – will not work.
Let me take a case. There is a 23 year old girl who is about to finish her MbA from a top school and take up a job in a big consultant. Her mother wanted me to talk about the virtues of saving and investing (typically the parents wanted her to have ‘middle class’ values). I burst out laughing, saying ‘she is NOT middle class’ by any stretch of imagination!
Girl is a only grandchild – ON EITHER SIDE. So for a start she inherits gold from both grandmothers, and 2 palatial houses – one in south India and one in amchi Mumbai. Father has bought a house too (near his parents house) and that will be her 3rd house assuming she buys nothing. To save Income tax her mother has also bought a house in Pune, and that will be her 4th house. WITHOUT BUYING, I repeat.
Her father has ESOP worth Rs. 20 crores and her mother has ESOP worth Rs. 7 crores – one in a bank and one in a technology firm. She inherits a nice portfolio from her grand parent and some bank fixed deposits from her maternal grand parents.
NOW I have to go to this kid and say “If you do not save/invest, you will not be able to buy a house, and you will not be able to retire”. THAT will be the biggest insult to this kid and her intelligence. I told the parent, I will talk to her, but about something else.
I made her listen to ‘You are 16….’ for those who do not know…here are the lyrics
- Marrying wrong – and losing the money to a bad / abusive marriage
- Getting too lazy and not wanting to work
- Getting into bad habits which big money MAY bring
- She could take up any profession – she was financially free with her inheritance
- More than money EARNING skills she needed money MANAGEMENT skills
- She could simplify her life by just indexing 80% of her portfolio and leaving 2 rental properties
It is not as though this girl did not have money problems – it was a different kind, that is all. So I sabotaged the bank’s plan to sell her a big ulip – she did not need life insurance for sure. I sabotaged another bank pushing a Rs. 50 lakh medical cover for this kid!
Her hobbies too were not very expensive – though she was adding mountaineering to it now and had aspirations of adding the Everest to her kitty. Yes, that was expensive – costs about 3 years preparation – and about Rs. 4 million.
Other than that she was a typical kid – used to surfing the net, voracious reader – kindle addict, …etc.
I just could not ask her to do a SIP from her first income. Thanks to the media and the home atmosphere..she called me to ask ‘where should I do my sip – should i continue what dad has started for me or should I do a new one’.
I laughed out loud, called the mom and said “the apple does not fall far from the tree’.
I remember another 33 year old tell her father in law….”dad my father is still earning money and saving it, you are earning money and investing it…let me earn money and spend it..somebody has to do that also no?”.
Once your kids have your genes, culture, education, do not worry about their finances, these kids will do the right things.
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