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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Letter to A Young Investor #1: The Philosophy of Wealth

I am beginning this new series of letters on the art of investing, addressed to a young investor, aiming to provide timeless wisdom and practical advice that helped me when I was starting out. My idea is to help young investors navigate the complexities of the financial world, avoid misinformation, and harness the power of compounding by starting early with the right ideas and steps.

Dear Young Investor,

I hope this letter finds you in great spirits.

I am happy to know that you have decided to become an investor and start at a young age. This is a great idea because an early start is an important step in your journey. I will talk more about the power of an early start as we move deeper into this series of letters.

You may be wondering, like all young ones do, “Why this series of letters on how to become an investor? Isn’t there enough information on the Internet already on how to invest to get rich fast?”

Well, settle down, and let me tell you my intention to write this series of letters to you, through which I intend to help you navigate the world of investing, which can often be overwhelming and filled with misinformation, like it was for me when I started more than 20 years ago.

My goal with these letters will be to ensure you start your financial journey on the right path, making informed decisions that will benefit you in the long run.

You rightly thought that in today’s world, there is no shortage of advice on how to get rich quickly. You will find countless articles, videos, and social media posts promising overnight success and instant wealth.

But the truth, something you will understand over time, is that building real wealth is a long journey that requires patience, discipline, and a sound understanding of the principles of investing, and more importantly, understanding yourself.

When you start early, which you are doing now, and take the right steps, which I will try to guide you to, I believe you can harness the power of compounding (more on that later) and set yourself up for a secure financial future.

But before that, let me share a personal story that I believe will resonate with you.

This is from the time I was your age, fresh out of college.

I found myself standing at a crossroads. I had a degree in hand, dreams in my heart, and a sense of excitement about the future. Like many youngsters, I was eager to start my career, make money, and achieve success.

But when I look back at those times, there was something deeper that I did not fully understand: the true meaning and philosophy of wealth.

One evening, while visiting my hometown, I sat with my uncle whom I looked up to, and we started discussing money and investing. He was a man of few words but immense wisdom. And I was inquisitive to hear his thoughts on these exciting yet intriguing subjects.

As we watched the sunset, he shared stories of his own financial journey. He spoke about the ups and downs, the lessons learned, and most importantly, the philosophy of wealth. His words planted a seed in my mind, one that has grown over the years.

One of the most important things he taught me was that wealth is not about accumulating money but about living a life of purpose, freedom, contentment, and fulfillment.

That conversation, and many more like that with him, changed my perspective and set me on a path of being thoughtful with my own money and investing. Of course, I have had a few other teachers on this journey over the years, but the seed was planted that day by my uncle in my hometown.

Almost 25 years from that day, as you embark on your own journey, I want to share this philosophy with you.

Imagine waking up each day with the freedom to choose how you spend your time, pursuing passions that ignite your spirit, and having the financial security to support yourself and your loved ones. This is the essence of true wealth.

You see, I can tell you purely from experience that the wealth you will create over the next few years – mostly, through your hard work – will go beyond the numbers in your bank account. It will encompass the freedom to make choices that align with your values and aspirations. And if you walk with complete steadfastness on this path, you will be able to create a balance between material success and personal fulfilment, which is what all of us aspire for.

You have an incredible opportunity ahead of you. The decisions you make today can set the foundation for a life of abundance and meaning.

And the first and the most important thing you can do to start building this foundation is to start thinking of money as a tool, not a goal. Just like a hammer is one of the tools to help you build a house, know that money is a tool that will help you build the life you want. The key is to use this tool wisely.

If you see money as the ultimate goal, you might find yourself in a never-ending chase, always wanting more. But if you view money as a means to an end, you will focus on what truly matters: your happiness, health, relationships, and personal growth.

Stop reading this letter for a moment and think about what brings you joy and fulfillment. Is it spending time with family and friends? Pursuing hobbies and passions? Traveling to new places? Helping others? Whatever it is, you will do well if you let these values guide your financial decisions in the future.

For example, if you value time with loved ones, you might prioritize saving for experiences over material possessions. If you are passionate about a hobby, you could allocate some of your resources towards developing that interest. If helping others brings you joy, consider how you can use your financial resources to make a positive impact.

This perspective will help you stay grounded and motivated, making it easier to resist the constant pressure to accumulate more money for its own sake. It will also encourage you to make mindful spending and investment choices that align with your personal values and long-term goals.

Let me also tell you that one of the best ways you can use money as a tool will be to invest in yourself. Allocate resources towards your education, skills development, and personal growth. Whether it is taking courses, attending workshops, or pursuing higher education, invest in yourself because that can pay off tremendously in the long run.

This idea, I believe, is a good place for me to leave you for now. Think of it as a seed I have planted in your mind. How it grows will depend on how you water and nourish it over the next few years.

As you begin your investing journey, remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Building wealth takes time, effort, and discipline. So, stay focused, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Embrace the philosophy of wealth that goes beyond money, and learn to use money as a tool to create the life you want.

Before I end this letter, I wish to remind you that investing is not just about accumulating wealth but about building a foundation for a meaningful and fulfilling life.

So, stay curious, be patient, and keep moving forward. Your future self will thank you for the choices you make today, about money, about work, about everything.

If you have any questions about what you read in this letter, please ask me, and I will try to help you to the best of my abilities. Also, if you believe this letter can help other young investors around you, please share it with them.

I will be back soon with my next letter to you.

Best of luck on your investing journey!

Warm regards,


Disclaimer: This article is published as part of a joint investor education initiative between Safal Niveshak and DSP Mutual Fund. All Mutual fund investors have to go through a one-time KYC (Know Your Customer) process. Investors should deal only with Registered Mutual Funds (‘RMF’). For more info on KYC, RMF & procedure to lodge/ redress any complaints, visit Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

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