Securing the future is on everyone’s mind today. We plan and save and invest in order to meet the rising expenses and future life events. But aren’t we stressing ourselves too much today to make our tomorrow better? Many would say, yes!
Financial stress is the major cause of unhappiness among adults in our country. Most of us find ourselves sticking to jobs we don’t love, just to pay the bills. What if you wake up tomorrow and don’t have to work for a living! You can play a musical instrument instead of punching numbers, or teach poor children instead of writing codes – whatever your heart pleases!
Remember how Kevin and Stacy found their calling in life, and Shawn geared up to building a financially independent future (stories in the previous editions)? They all committed to creating an additional, passive source of income!
MONEY MANTRA #3
Never remain dependant on a single source of income, create assets that will generate you a passive income.
Rebecca the Rebel’ her friends called her. At 17 years, Rebecca was trying to understand herself, the world around her, and nothing seemed to make sense! A perpetual rage burned inside her, and she questioned everything, challenging the traditions and customs and quashing stereotypes. Her parents loved her but were finding it increasingly difficult to calm her down.
While everyone saw Rebecca’s rebellious nature, only her family and close friends knew that her heart was in the right place. Rebecca couldn’t see the plight of the poor, especially children. After college, she often visited the slums, reading storybooks to the semi-clad, hungry poor children. She seldom ate her lunch, as she preferred feeding a hungry child at the footpath. Once, she caught a terrible case of pneumonia while helping a poor labourer family fix their roof as it rained incessantly.
Rebecca couldn’t understand why the world was so partial, so blind to see the suffering of their own race! A part of her youthful rage came from the apathy of the rich towards the poor. If only she had the money, she would have tried to nurse every malnourished child to health and help every poor family to live with more dignity. No one knew this, but she had resolved ‘I will finish my education, get a job, and spend all I can on making the lives of the poor better,’ she often told herself.
However, in her heart, Rebecca knew that even if she started working, she would only be able to make enough to meet her own living expenses and a little more to help, maybe a child or two. She had seen her parents slogging long working hours to make ends meet. And these thoughts frustrated her even more.
Little did she know that her life was about to change.
One nippy November evening, Rebecca accompanied her father to a charity award event in the city. Rebecca’s father’s childhood friend, Carlos, who ran an impactful program on enhancing the lives of poor children, was the Chief Guest at the function.
Rebecca was thrilled to meet and talk to Uncle Carlos. During their discussion, Rebecca told Carlos about her passion for social work, and also shared her predicament of not having enough money to help more and more people.
In response, the man told Rebecca his story.
“I worked in a bank, a regular 9 to 5 job for several years. My pay was decent, but not enough to pay for my family and take care of my social work. I, too, wanted to be rich so that I could help as many street children, find a brighter future as possible. Yet, riches eluded me until I had a revelation.”
Taking a sip of water, he continued, “I realized that to grow rich, you must not depend on only one source of income. You must have two or more sources of income so that with one income you take care of your living expenses and the other you invest to accumulate wealth.”
Carlos further told Rebecca that he was introduced to the concept of mutual funds, where one could invest small amounts of sum – as low as Rs 500 per month – through monthly SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans).
“I started investing small portions first, and then, as my salary increased, I increased the SIP sum. Irrespective of the market condition, I kept investing in a few good funds, without withdrawing anything. In 15 years, I couldn’t believe that I had created a portfolio, which was growing each month without having to invest anything at all!”
Carlos told Rebecca that while she was still at college, she can start building her passive income with monthly SIPs. And as she starts earning, after securing a job, she must increase her SIP amount and accelerate her wealth creation process. That chance encounter with Carlos changed Rebecca’s life. to dedicate her life in service of others. The very next day, she met Carlos again and started a SIP worth Rs 500. She studied hard and kept serving people and making poor children laugh and learn.
“I can’t believe it is the same Rebecca who was always smashing things and confronting everyone,” her father said incredulously, while her mother nudged him to stop talking and to enjoy the moment.
It was an award night in Singapore, and Rebecca was being recognized for her contribution towards uplifting the lives of underprivileged children in India. She had also become a think tank and a strategist in the area of access to education for every child. Her models and strategies had proven successful in India and other developing countries. The most remarkable thing about Rebecca’s social endeavours was that they had all been initially funded from her pocket.
After gracefully accepting the award, Rebecca gave a little speech:
“Ten years from a night like this, a wise gentleman taught me to be self-reliant and resourceful. He taught me to build more than one source of income, a piece of advice that enabled me to nurture my dream projects without seeking charity money. A little advice gave me the freedom to do what I wanted in life. I thank you, Uncle Carlos, and my patient parents, for channelizing my emotions and rage into constructive, tangible solutions to help others. Thank you!” Rebecca walked through the dazzle of camera flashes to her parents and gave them a big hug.
Over the ten years, while Rebecca studied and later worked with UNESCO and World Bank, she kept building a passive income. Her focus towards her goal of creating wealth was infectious and her parents also started investing through SIPs. Having taken voluntary retirement from their jobs, they now work with Rebecca; their combined passive income is enough to meet their living expenses and to fund new social projects during initial stages. Together, the trio happily works towards giving wings to the dreams of underprivileged children.
P.S. In the next edition, find how to make money work for you instead of you slaving for it.
Dr. Celso Fernandes can be reached at +91-9422058741.
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By Dr. Celso Fernandes