As I traveled across scenic Raigad, talking to students about personal finance and investing, I am constantly reminded of my favourite quote:
I want to learn, but I don’t want to be taught
Learning and Teaching is intertwined but we need to be aware of the thin line separating them. I don’t know a person who wants to stagnate or not to learn and improve. At the same time, we all are put off my people preaching to us. “Don’t tell me what to do, I know what to do myself”, is a common refrain.
Here’s the reason why I loved interacting with the students: Research shows that we retain much more when we play the role of teacher than when we play the role of learner. Why? It forces us to become active. It forces us to take initiative and accept responsibility.
Here are a few things that were reinforced in me while I was teaching personal finance:
1. Like the iceberg, information/knowledge about personal finance is just 1% of your money management skill. Your willingness to learn, your attitude towards money, awareness of your life/financial goals and willingness to improve is what really matters.
2. Respect the students and the students will respect you. It’s foolhardy to speak from a pedestal where you think the audience doesn’t really know what you are talking about. Today’s students are smarter than what I was when I was their age. But I do have the advantage of experience. With this understanding, I felt I could connect with the students. And even though I do not possess great oratorial skills, the students gave attention and I could feel that I drove some basic concepts into their head.
3. Life is much more beautiful in the rural areas. Simple, natural and beautiful. The mad rush in the cities is so much stressful. And as I said earlier, they are capable too. Remember, majority of India’s CWG/Asian Games medals came from villages and small towns.
On another note, though on the topic of education, Deepak Shenoy and Shyam Somanadh have launched MarketVision, a financial education site with videos on Money, Markets and Investing. It is a great resource on investing, go check it out.
As you may be aware, I am also working on building an educational resource on personal finance. I am veering towards the behavioral aspects of finance and want to build games, simulations and immersive platforms. This is because as I said earlier, money management skill can be built on two components which has 1-10% information/knowledge and 90-99% behavioral aspects. And I feel that a lot of those behavioral aspects can be streamlined and automated with the things that we are building!
I’d really appreciate your feedback, thoughts on building a learning platform. Thanks.