Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Money Illiteracy – The Hidden Pandemic

Is it time to make investing & wealth creation education mandatory for students, university graduates & professionals?

Published: Apr 2, 2020 05:46:31 PM IST
Updated: Apr 4, 2020 05:51:28 PM IST

Money Illiteracy – The Hidden Pandemic
Ron Malhotra - The CEO of Ron Malhotra International and Managing Director of a Wealth Management firm, believes  that money education should be a mandatory field in every educational institution. After all, what is the point of attaining a professional education that leaves majority of people in a state of confusion, lacking clarity & confidence about their financial affairs?

Ron Malhotra claims that the underpinning assumptions that form the basis of traditional education worldwide are that:

  1. IQ equals total intelligence and should equip an individual to deal with varied situations and challenges in life, business and career.
  2. Academic excellence should result in an individual’s financial success somewhere down the track.
  3. Professional skills are sufficient for an individual to achieve financial security.
“Of course, these are implied not explicit assumptions. If they were not implied, why would millions of people decide to go through the traditional education system and put future generations through it as well, given that majority of people are unable to achieve sufficient wealth to last them an entire lifetime. The fact that most workers are not able to accumulate sufficient income-producing assets through their working life to create a retirement income stream that lasts an entire lifetime without some form of financial dependency on their families or the government is a consequence of generations of people not having the skills to manage money and grow wealth.”

Ron asserts - “I am not suggesting that there is no merit in academics. I am simply saying it’s not sufficient to train people to make an income, but not train them on how to use that income to create wealth that lasts them a lifetime. Even better, let’s teach people that one doesn’t need to inherit money to create inter-generational wealth by providing them with a proper understanding of planning, prudent investing, and risk management. Wealth creation doesn’t need to be complex or technical. In fact, it can be made quite intuitive once people comprehend the fundamentals, behaviors and habits that drive wealth creation.”

Ron Malhotra believes that wealth education should no longer be the exclusive domain of people who already possess investable assets.

According to him, it has become more important than before for the emerging middle class to become serious about accumulation of assets due to longevity and inflation risk. “As people live longer and face the very real prospect of running out of money at retirement due to increase in the cost of goods and services, depending on children is no longer a good plan. Most children will be under tremendous financial pressure because of balancing career pressures, mortgages and concerns around their kids education.”

Ron strongly feels it’s time to break the perpetual cycle of financial dependency that has plagued the middle class for generations. And since, investment opportunities, money tools and financial education is easily accessible to people, there is no excuse for neglecting ones financial future.

Due to Rons diverse background spanning across retail, commercial & private banking, funds management, accounting and wealth advisory, he is able to apply a unique 360 degree approach on money management.

More importantly, his companies are teaching people the psychological and behavioral aspects that most people are not conscious of, but exert tremendous impact on their ability to create wealth. He is passionate about money psychology due to his own middle-class conditioning and his own struggles with money in his younger days.

This combination of blending the strategic approach of money management, with the psychological approach, and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand and apply by ordinary people, is what makes Ron Malhotra’s frameworks so powerful.

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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.