By Jayant Pai | Jun 20, 2016, 07.00 AM IST | Economic Times
Every parent fondly looks forward to the day when children will begin earning a steady income. However, for Indian parents, it is difficult to sever the metaphorical umbilical cord even after their child secures financial independence.
There are various reasons parents do not shy away from advising their children on money matters. One, they feel that their naive children will be parted from their money if left to their own devices. Hence, right from the first payday, they will tell you about the virtues of saving and warn against reckless spending. Two, they do not want their children to make the same mistakes they made, be it a failed investment or a loan to a friend which was never returned. Three, errors of commission committed by close family members also play a part in conditioning parents’ thought process.
Why such advice may be less effective today: The previous generation was brought up on the belief that the collective wisdom of elders was indispensable. Today’s generation is a bundle of contradictions. On the one hand, they are avowedly individualistic. On the other, they are swear by the opinions of peers in social media on every topic, be it fashion, electronics or money. Hence, parental influence is waning.
While every generation thinks it knows best when it comes to finance and investments, today’s youngsters have more educational and decision-making tools at their disposal. These may be in the form of blogs, apps, portals and even robo-advisers/algorithms. In fact, they face a glut, rather than a drought, of information. Hence, parents may often be behind the curve.
Today, wealth managers are increasingly viewing such youngsters as an economically viable segment. Hand-holding newbies, with the hope of growing with them as they uptrade, is a strategic choice.
Should children listen to their parents? In most cases, the advice received from parents is well-meaning. That may not necessarily be true in case of advice from outsiders. However, good intentions alone are not sufficient to render it suitable. While certain home truths like avoiding borrowing for consumption or maintaining a high savings rate are worth heeding, others are better ignored.
For instance, many parents dissuade their children from investing in stocks and suggest they opt for fixed deposits or gold. This may stem either from their own poor experience in the stock market or a belief that stocks are risky and another form of gambling. However, by blindly heeding such advice, youngsters may do themselves a great disservice since they forego the power of compounding that equities offer.
Similarly, parents may consider real estate as a great investment option even if they have to avail of a heavy mortgage. Children should follow such advice only after considering the repercussions of paying EMIs for long tenures of 25-30 years. Also, some parents are averse to their children purchasing insurance policies, fearing that this is an invitation to disaster. Such superstitions should not stand in the way of protecting life, limb and health. In a nutshell, when it comes to parental advice, trust them, but verify the advice.
(By Jayant Pai, CFP & Head, Marketing at PPFAS Mutual Fund)
Source : http://goo.gl/iECSwU