In a Financial Conversation with Karthik Rangappa- Author- The Rupee Tales
It was a beautiful Wednesday Morning and I was just glancing through the pages of some Startup websites and there was a mention of some kind of a ‘Financial Education for Kids’ I was really caught by this term…”How can Finance and Kids go together?” I thought….someone even mentioned https://zerodha.com/varsity and I could not control myself from peeping in….some clicks later…here I was reading about….The Rupee Tales and Karthik Rangappa….The following interview is a result of some really great email conversations and you must read this interview to understand as to how can we teach our kids not to be Penny wise pound foolish.
1. So Karthik tell us something about yourself and how did you come to think of the book?
I’ve been involved in the Indian Capital markets for over 12 years. I work for Zerodha, the pioneer of Discount Broking in India. I’m also an active market participant, have been trading and investing for a long time now. Back in December 2014, my 7-year-old daughter asked me what is that I do for a living. It was hard for me to explain stock broking to her. The next day at the office, over a casual conversation, I mentioned this to my colleagues, and that’s when we realised there is absolutely no material which explains basic financial concepts to children, and we decided to fill that gap. That’s how Rupeetales was born.
2. Financial Education for kids? This is something we have never heard of…..
True, there is nothing of this sort that exists. This is because most Indians wake up to savings and financial planning really late. If I’m not wrong, serious savings for an individual starts at the age of 35 (which by the way is very very late) and this is because finance is not taught at a young age. It should probably be introduced in schools. Much like science and math, I think finance is equally important.
3. So what about having a money conversation with kids?
Most parents buy piggy banks and teach their kids on how to save money and that’s about it. I personally think parents should go beyond this and expose kids to conversations around finance and financial products. For example, whenever my wife and I I talk about Mutual Funds or investments in stocks, I make sure my daughter is around so that she is exposed to the conversations. They tend to learn a lot just by being present. Also, I do give her small amounts of money and ask her to transact at super markets, kids love such tasks. They feel responsible.
4.What should we tell them about our bank balance?
I guess it’s best to let them know that they are too young to know this detail and by doing so, you also convey the fact that bank balance is a sensitive information and should be handled with utmost care.
5. I along with peers of my age, were raised with the mindset that ‘My family is poor’ (which obviously wasn’t the reality bcoz my parents were bankers….) Do you think that parents of the latest generation of kids are imparting a different mindset? What is the correct one…if any!
I guess when our parents said ‘My family is poor’, they were essentially trying to teach us to be conservative and prudent in our general way of life. With growing lifestyle habits, this approach may no longer work. I think kids these days are smart enough to make that economic distinction. I think we should impart a more pragmatic approach, tell them how much money we can afford to spend and probably explain why.
6. Tell us something about your association with Zerodha.
Zerodha is India;s leading technology focused stock broking firm. We take great pride in the fact that we introduced the concept of discount broking in the country. We also put in great efforts in educating and spreading financial literacy. We run an online program called Zerodha Varsity, where we have put up tons of content around finance. The content is very well structured and organised. The best part is that this is available for everyone for free. I’m fortunate enough to be working on this initiative.
7. Are you a SuperDAD? Tell us more.
Certainly not, at least according to my wife 🙂
These are some of The Rupee Tales that I am sure you would want to read….
Head on to the website https://zerodha.com/varsity for all the details.