The sky is overcast with the promise of impending rain. A large crowd is cheering, chanting and going berserk!
Brad neatly collects a long pass from the midfield and runs, dribbling the ball past three defenders, and GOAL!
His fifth in the season.
Brad runs to the stands and somersaults, just before his teammates jump on to him, screaming wildly and celebrating the decisive goal just minutes before the full-time.
Ryan is ecstatic too! He hops and skips like a ten-year-old, jubilant to see his son score.
At the same instance, the sky breaks open and a heavy downpour drenches the players and the spectators.
Later in the day, Ryan and Brad walk into their home, soaked and muddied.
“Mom, we did it again!” Brad proudly held up the trophy and showed it to her mother, Daisy, who ran to her son and hugged him.
“Let me put it with the others,” she said, taking the trophy. She cleaned it with a duster and placed it in a showcase filled with shining trophies and awards won by Brad in various football tournaments.
At 17, Brad was a soccer wonder in his district. A key forward player, he started playing for various local clubs when he was only 12 years old. The major credit for developing and honing Brad’s game went to his father, who had played a lot of football in his younger days.
“Keep working hard, sonny, and you will have your name listed in the national team,” said Ryan, ruffling his son’s hair lovingly.
“I will, Dad,” Brad flashed a bright smile.
Soon, the father-son duo got into a detailed discussion over the day’s game and areas where Brad could improve. Listening to the duo, Daisy couldn’t help but feel excited and worried at the same time.
She knew that both Ryan and Brad worked hard on Brad’s game. Putting so much energy and time in the game, Brad could hardly concentrate on his studies. Ryan, however, was unfazed by this.
“What good would it do if he ends up behind a desk, doing a routine job with all the fancy education he would get at the cost of his game?” he would argue with Daisy, “This boy is a gem of a player and will become a global football star soon, you would see.”
Daisy didn’t have a shadow of doubt in her son’s ability as a sportsperson par excellence; however, she had seen enough sporting dreams crushed, including her husband’s.
She just wanted that if the worst happened and Brad’s career didn’t take off, he must have something to fall back upon. Without good education, that wasn’t possible. Or so she thought.
Working as a manager in a starred hotel, one of Daisy’s responsibilities was to arrange for conferences and seminars conducted in the hotel. One such seminar on Financial Independence caught her attention one day.
The seminar was being conducted by a noted financial expert who had been working towards spreading financial literacy among the youth. She had heard about him, but couldn’t recall what exactly the expert did or what financial literacy meant.
Resolute to solve the mystery, Daisy stole herself to the conference room – and was soon absorbed in the presentations delivered by the expert. She decided to stay for the whole duration of the conference.
The expert spoke about attaining financial independence, about making your money work for you instead of you working for it, and, the best of all, growing your own money plant!
He displayed charts and tables that showed that people who invested in the stock market through mutual funds, earned a high double-digit growth rate over a period of ten years.
“No other asset class has given better results in the long term than the stock market. We fear the highs and lows of the Sensex, but the volatility in the market is the actual propeller of monetary growth,” he revealed. “If invested for a long time in the stock market through SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) in mutual funds, your money would work day and night to make more money for you.”
Daisy had never thought it was possible to earn money without having to work for it.
Will my money earn more money for me? Still slightly confused, Daisy was eager to know how the teachings of the expert could make a positive impact on her life. On Brad’s life…
After the conference, she found an opportunity to speak to the financial expert and sought an appointment.
“I want to know how you can help my teenage son and me,” she said. Soon, a meeting was fixed. She also convinced Brad to join her on the appointed day.
At the expert’s office, Daisy shared her story; her fears and expectations about Brad’s financial prospects in the future.
The financial expert patiently listened to Daisy, making notes in his diary now and then. Once she finished telling her story, the expert said to her that in spite of their current limited means, Daisy and Ryan could ensure a financially independent future for Brad.
Giving a notepad and a pen to Daisy, he asked her to write down her household income and expenditure.
After studying the crude income/expenses statement drawn by Daisy, the expert pointed out areas where she and her husband could save money. Daisy was incredulous to find several trivial expenses that didn’t contribute anything towards her family’s well being.
Next, he inspired Daisy to always categorise her expenses as Needs or Wants. He also urged Brad to do the same.
“Remember, before you spend, you must invest,” he explained to Brad.
The financial expert shared that by investing as low as Rs 500 each month, the family could grow a massive corpus over the next ten or fifteen years. He asserted his claim by pulling out several portfolios on his smartphone, which have grown at a compounded rate of over 15%.
Surprised to know the power of compounding in mutual funds, Daisy quickly made a decision.
“Sir, I would want to start a monthly SIP of Rs 2,500 for Brad, and a Rs 5,000 SIP for our retirement,” she said happily.
Daisy knew that it would not be easy to set aside Rs 7,500 each month, but she was resolved to invest before spending – and deep inside she knew that she could manage to invest the committed sum.
Over dinner, Daisy told Ryan about the meeting and her resolve to invest. Initially, Ryan was a bit sceptical, but soon he too saw the wisdom in building wealth for the future.
The family is happy and confident about a bright future awaiting Brad. Whether the sporting field or a small business, the ball would always keep rolling for the young soccer star!
Dr Celso Fernandes is an author, speaker and financial mentor. His initiative towards spreading financial awareness among the people of Goa is bringing a positive change in the society. He can be reached at +91-9422058741 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).