I recently did a stand up comedy in an IFA meet attended by 700 odd people. While preparing for this I saw a stand up comedy and that person spoke about “the Lion Whisperer” Kevin Richardson. Kevin you know (or just Googled) is a man who lives with the lions. He can put his hand into a lion’s mouth like you would put your hand into your book shelf. Kevin told this comedian “Stand up is too risky…I can’t do it”.
I get to see this with young engineers writing code for CAD and CAM saying “Investments are too complicated”. I meet doctors like neuro surgeons and gynaecs – who think “investments are too complicated”.
I meet people who fly every week (if not day) like pilots who tell me “investments are risky”.
I realize that words investments, risk, etc. are so personal that it completely depends on the person who has experienced it. For a kid brought up in a family of engineers, doctors, PhD in math – bank deposits are the only thing they know. If the same kid was brought up in Ghatkopar and grew up with stories of Harshad and Ketan share market is risky. The only day I felt scared (and angry) in the share market was when I attended the funeral of 13 acquaintances – at the 1992 Mumbai bomb blast. No, that did not change my perception of risk.
“Risk” is a mind thing. If you saw your parents fight over money, for you money is risk. It is your brain wiring which your parents changed. As a kid you were fine with money, but at your age of 5 your parents started fighting about money – that got your goat!
So what is money, what is investing, what is risk, etc. depends on what happened to you during the impressionable ages of your life.
For a kid who has seen his father or mother ran amuck with money thinks of risk differently. I have met a kid whose education was sponsored by his maternal grandfather because his father squandered the money. He never earned enough, he had bad habits and did not even have enough money to pay Engineering college fees. This kid is of course SHIT scared of losing money. He has been told by his mom “remember it is Nana’s hard earned money”. This is one family which is shit scared about risk.
I have met doctors who are slogging in their silver years – and the only thing they have done is kept money in bank fixed deposits. The income from the profession is HALF of their total income – the balance is bank interest. Try telling them about “growth” option in an UST bond fund, and they read you the riot act “MF…are subject to market risk..”. Fairly obviously they have not heard of debt mutual funds, 20 year sip in equity funds etc. Worse, they have no clue how much risk they have in their full debt portfolio!!
What is the risk in dying without writing a will?
What is the risk in giving away all your money to your children much before you die?
What is the risk of having a concentrated portfolio?
What is the risk of having high expectation?
What is the risk of having a full debt portfolio?
What is the risk of interrupting the compounding?
Well….what is the risk of NOT attending a workshop on personal finance?
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