Here are three reasons why I believe education should continue after school.
1. Ignorance is more expensive than knowledge
Different people study for various reasons. Some study because they are still exploring their passion. Some study because they are afraid of stepping into the workforce. Some study because they knew what they want from the onset and pursue their passion in the field of their studies.
I pursue beyond my conventional education studies because I want to become rich and be able to provide for your family financially (and because I want to live a more comfortable life without worrying of not having enough).
Here is how I view spending on education. At the time of my university education, because I studied in a local university of Singapore, the school fee per semester is about SGD $3,000++. For simplicity in calculation, allow me to use $3,000 as the reference. For a typical three years course, that would amount to $18,000.
Note: There are two semesters in one year.
Calculation: 3 years x 2 semesters x $3,000 = $18,000
In the course of my exploration to become rich financially, I attended a number of talks and seminars, free and paid. And this is what I observed:
$3,000 per semester, i.e. 6 months, allowed me negligible direct growth of my money. I studied about money in the business faculty, but I never got to practice growing money. I learnt to work for money by being a good manager of others’ company policies and accounting statements, but I never learnt to manage my own financial statements. I learnt to work for money instead of making money work for me. In my university, I found out that the module related to “Personal Finance” is a level 4 subject. In other words, I have to complete the pre-requisite of level 1, 2 and 3 before I may even bid to study that module. In order to achieve that, I need to study about 4 years if I were to take up to 5 modules per semester, or if I go into the honors’ scheme (which would allow me to study level 4 modules and stay for about 2 more semesters).
The conventional school system I know of is good. It has blessed me with some of the best skills ever, such as presentation and leadership skills, and the skills to read and write. However, I was not taught in-depth about CPF Â (a system similar to 401K of United States) and I was never taught how to manage my personal finance.
I feel that this lack of financial education has contributed to the lack of financial literacy in the society I live in. Therefore, I sought out ways to educate myself on financial literacy.
With the same $3,000, I could have allocated a portion to attend seminars of my interest and then apply what I learn immediately to gain the experience (both from my failures and successes). And that is just what I did.
In the last year of my university year, I decided to use my savings to attend seminars. I continued to purchase books and listen to audios of successful investors. Lo and behold, when I apply what I learnt, I started to see my monthly income increase and the next thing I knew, when I bought my first undervalued stock, it grew by 16% in capital appreciation and I received my first dividend that is 6.5% of my initial investment in the stock in the same year. I wish I had more capital to invest more. Nonetheless, that experience gave me an insight.
It is more important to spend money on what you want to learn than to study just to “go through the motion”.
I thought about it this way: even if I lost the entire $3,000, I would still have gained a priceless real-life experience on investing. That $3,000 lost through learning would be so much more worthwhile than the $3,000 spent on schooling without learning.
I know of various people who try to invest when they started working full-time and have a stable income. However, for some reason of another, they rarely gain money. In my interactions with them, I believe it is because they lack the financial literacy and the emotional capacity to invest. Their being is still of a poor person. Because learning is a process, I commit myself to keep learning and improving. I want to minimize my risk. Ignorance is not bliss; credulity is sin.