Thousands of years ago, life was simple. People traded goods and services in lieu of goods and services in, what we now call it, a barter system. The complexities of fair value of goods and services exchanged, however, were difficult to ascertain. That’s when an ingenious woman somewhere in the ancient world coined the concept of money – pun intended.
Now, money had the power to put a value on products and services. From manual labour to farm produce to furniture, everything could be bought or sold for a certain value. While the monetary system allowed for a fair distribution of resources and services, it also created an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Even today, while the poor work hard to become richer, the rich are continuing to amass wealth by making their money work hard for them. Do you see the irony here? Frankly, there isn’t any! Read Daisy and Amanda’s story to know why.
Daisy and Amanda were schoolmates. Daisy hailed from a humble background while Amanda’s parents were from a rich and prosperous family. With the same education and almost similar career prospects, Daisy ended up toiling hard for a decade. Meanwhile, she married and had two beautiful children. Although Daisy earned a decent salary, she believed in enjoying the good things in life when she could afford them. However, her extravagant lifestyle resulted in lack of adequate savings to fall back on.
Her troubles started when the downsizing in her company forced her to look for jobs elsewhere; this is when she stumbled in Amanda’s office – who was now the owner of a prosperous mid-sized company.
“Daisy, I am so glad to see you,” Amanda got up from her chair to hug Daisy, her old friend from school.
“Wow, this is amazing,” exclaimed Daisy. She was surprised, and a little embarrassed, though happy to see her friend, too. “I am glad to see you too, Amanda. I was always sure of your success!”
“Thanks, Daisy. I believe you’d like to join us as a fashion designer. I saw your resume and noticed you have a decade of experience. Then, why this job, Daisy? Of course, I’d be glad to have you on board, but don’t you think it’s time you started something of your own?”
“I wish, Amanda, but, unlike you, I was born in a middle-class family. Where would I find the money to start my own business. Isn’t that the bitter truth of life? Money attracts more money!”
“Daisy, I am sorry to hear this from you. Though, I agree with you that my family has been instrumental in my success. However, contrary to what you think, my family did not fund my dreams; they did, however, taught me how to value money and use it to earn more to finance my dreams.”
“I am sorry, Amanda, I don’t quite understand.”
“Let me share my story with you. I hope you remember that we both started working in similar positions with similar pay-outs almost a decade ago. Even at that time, I wasn’t keen to work for someone but wanted to have my own startup. So, six months into the job, I walked up to my father and asked him for money to set up my business. I had the idea, he had the capital – it was perfect.
“Yet, to my surprise, my father turned down my proposal. I was upset with him and didn’t speak to him for days. Finally, a fortnight later, he came to meet me at my workplace and asked me to join him at lunch. Then he told me the reason why he had refused to fund me…because he wanted to make me financially independent. I was furious – how could he expect me to amass a large sum of money in a short span of a few years. But he had a solution for that, too.
“Fortunately for me, my father apprised me of two financial truths that I will remember for my life. First, he asked me to differentiate between needs and wants. Because, if I spend on what I want, I may not have enough left for what I need. In short, if I reduced my frivolous expenditure on movies, coffee, eating out, etc., I could save a large amount of money.
“Second, he asked me to stop working for money!”
“What are you talking, Amanda?”
“Yes, my dad asked me to stop working for money, but instead, focus on making my money work for me. He gave me the secret to grow my own money plant – one that would pay for all my dreams and replenish on its own, year after year.”
“Amanda, are you making fun of me?”
“No, Daisy. Hear me out. Do you know about SIPs or mutual funds?”
“Yes, I have heard about it.”
“Well, so put that knowledge to use, Daisy. Did you know that investing as low as INR 500 in mutual funds through an SIP can lead to a corpus of lakhs of rupees in a few years? That’s what I did! I invested before I spent. Every month, I invested half of my salary into mutual funds through various SIPs on the advice of my father’s financial mentor. I saved before I spent so that I never had the urge to overspend! It was difficult at the beginning – but I used my free time to build my business plan, while our friends, including you, watched movies, travelled, and enjoyed their life!
“I never knew all of this…Amanda.”
“Yes, and seven years down the line, I could see my corpus growing. I withdrew 25 per cent of the amount to fund this company, and, backed by a solid business plan, soon got funding to scale my business gradually. Of course, for two years, I could not put any money in my portfolio but I was pleasantly surprised to see it grow despite no contributions from my side!”
“The simple magic of compounding and market-returns! Daisy, it isn’t too late for you, too. I would be glad to hire you, but promise me that you’d not be a slave to money! Start investing today to fund your dreams tomorrow!”
“Thanks, Amanda. I am so grateful to you! Could I please meet your financial advisor to get my finances on track?”
“Of course, I’d fix a meeting for you tomorrow! Remember Daisy, it’s not about being rich or poor – it’s about investing your money wisely to grow your wealth. Anybody can be rich!”
Today, five years down the line, Daisy continues to work with Amanda but she invests 25 per cent of her salary into mutual funds as does her husband. She has also resolved to inculcate financial discipline in her kids right from the start.
Daisy hopes to be a millionaire by the time she completes ten years of working at Amanda’s office. And, looking at her portfolio, her dream looks quite achievable.
Financial discipline, coupled with the habit of investing from a young age, can help you build significant wealth in a relatively short period.
Dr. Celso Fernandes, renowned financial mentor, speaker and author, is committed to eradicate financial illiteracy, ‘a source of most troubles in a person’s life’, in his words. He works diligently along with his team at Nave Marg to spread financial awareness among the youth of Goa. Through his unique initiative, the Super Young Achievers Club, Dr. Celso is already mentoring several young students in making small (as low as Rs 500/month) yet regular investments – most of them already on the road to become millionaires much before they turn 30 years of age.
“The Super Young Achievers Conclave, a mega-event dedicated to educating young students on the tenets of financial discipline, and a starting point for several students to commence their journey towards financial independence, is slated to be held on the 14th of November, 2018. To know more, call 9422058741.”