GAUTAM KAUL: I grew up in India. My dad was in the army,
and he moved around a lot. And we weren’t rich. My parents decided to send
us to boarding school. Because education was
the way to move forward. Education is a huge upfront investment
in the person for a lifetime. I’ll tell you what really shocked me. And this really stayed
with me for a long time. I one day saw the bill, or the invoice,
from my school for my brother and me. And they were spending 60% of
their income, combined income, on the two of us. That alone makes you realize one thing,
what their financial decision was, was very simple. They weren’t looking for money directly. They weren’t thinking how much we
would, the two of us, would earn. They were thinking of the value
that investment would be worth, and for many years. And that’s what finance is all about. I wish I knew finance
then because I would be able to sit down and figure it
out for myself and put some numbers. That has stayed within
me for a long time. Maybe perhaps that’s why I
got interested in finances because it’s about choices–
tough choices that [INAUDIBLE] On a more emotional note, I wish
more people invested in education. And that’s one of the reasons
why I’m teaching this class too, is, through finance you want to
value of the worth of education. And so it’s serving many purposes. To me that’s a very powerful
example, to be honest. It was not like it didn’t happen. It was not like buying a shirt. My father didn’t have
a car until he was 55. But he was often asked, how come
you are a colonel in the army and you don’t have a car. And he said this, he
said, I have two cars. They are parked in the boarding school. And they’re growing very well. I thought that was so sweet. He wasn’t saying he’s
making a sacrifice. He was actually saying
he doesn’t need a car. And he would rather
spend on the two of us. So finance is the study of time. It makes you evaluate costs and
benefits spread out over time. And that’s why it’s very
useful later on in life because what life is is about
making smart decisions that become more, and more, complicated. That, in essence, is
what it’s all about. The beauty in that example is
both about a tough decision, and how you can understand
it using finance. Because it’s a trade-off over time. It’s a trade-off about values. It’s not about money. So it reflects a lot of interesting
things, including two cars.