to download presentations, excel examples and a resource list for investing.
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word 'Investing'? Some confident go-getters might see themselves accumulating vast amounts of wealth in short periods of time. Others see the financial universe as a mysterious place that is best left alone. They believe it is too complicated to navigate safely without expertise, and the benefits aren't worth the effort.
Many, particularly in India but also globally, are ideologically repulsed by the word and its elitist aura. Investing is materialistic capitalism at its worst: a gullible public tempted by the siren song of greed into a spiral of fraud and recession that never allows peace. Even if material gains come to a savvy few, they pay the heavy psychological price of attachment to wealth. Surely, they say, life is more joyful for the person who does not seek to accumulate more but is content with what is earned.
It will be helpful to read these
presentations with an open-mind. It is precisely because this topic is weighed down by its image, positive or negative, that I wanted to provide an overview of it in my school.
I'll toss my view out into the open. Financial literacy is like any other literacy. It is merely a tool. While Mahatma Gandhi or a tyrannical ruler can put a pen either to great use or to great destruction, we do not condemn pens for the consequences. This imperfect analogy likens knowledge of writing to knowledge of investing: I argue that both are fundamental life-skills. Whether you are the master of money or money is the master of you depends on you, not on the markets. It depends on how you see money and where the 'point of enough' lies for you. Moreover, there are negative consequences of not teaching financial life-skills. Many people, though knowledgeable in their own domain, fall into vicious debt and rent traps that constrain their learning, lifestyle or relationship goals. Finally, all qualms about greed or psychological cost are subservient to the fundamental value of freedom of expression of ideas and knowledge.
But we are all entitled to our views. Therefore, the presentations respect readers of diverse ideologies by being as value-neutral as possible: they describe how the financial markets work for investors. You can put these principles to work for your materialistic goals, or your philanthropic goals, or your duty-bound goals (saving up to care for your elderly father, or for your child's college education), as you wish.
Suggestions and feedback to improve are most welcome. I specifically request India-specific resources that you have personally found to be reliable and fairly priced (or free).