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An Open Letter to My Daughter

My dearest Kavya,

These past seven-and-a-half years seem to have gone by like the blink of an eye.

You’ve gone from a newborn princess cradled in my arms to a small princess experiencing the joy and independence that life can bring.

I can still recall the moment I got the news of your birth. I was not by your side then, but I felt like the happiest father on earth. Your mother and I marveled at your red cheeks, wrinkled fingers, and your intense eyes.

Your birth gave me the experience of my lifetime…an experience that holds the most precious place in my heart.

Now after these seven-and-a-half years, let me tell you that you have greatly affected who I am today. Without any hesitation, I can claim that you stand at the top of the list of people who have influenced my life.

Being a father helped me discover my own potential, and that was important because there was no other way I could have showed you by example how I want you to live your life.

Now here is something I want you to read very carefully in this letter. I believe what follows might be the most important words that will define your future. If you choose to ignore them, know that they would be the most important words you ignored.

You see, when I was a boy, my father – your grandpa – often pulled me aside to convey lessons intended to build within me what we generally refer to as “character”.

Most often his advice was very simple – work hard, be patient, think for yourself, do no harm – but I believe those lessons provided the foundation for everything that has followed in my life.

In fact, I believed every father would provide such lessons to his child so that he or she grows up to become a man or a woman with strong character.

When you were born, even I believed that I would pass on all those life-building lessons to you, especially given the immense responsibility accompanied by fear that came to me from knowing that there’s someone who, if not guided by me carefully, can end up losing her way in this big-big world.

And that’s exactly what I have been doing in bits and pieces over these years.

But there’s something that got me a bit frightened yesterday (though not surprised) when I read a blog on The New York Times that criticized India’s young graduates – terming them as irresponsible, non-thinking, unimaginative, uninspired, uninventive, unprofessional…and thus unemployable.

I was frightened because these allegations were against India’s future leaders, and you will be one of them soon.

But I was not surprised…because I see these accusations as true.

Yes, wherever I look around, I see a great part of the future of India as irresponsible, non-thinking, unimaginative, and uninspired…but still full of aspirations…a well-paying job, a big car, a big house, and the next expensive gadget.

I won’t cast doubts on the entire Indian youth, but I see no hesitation to do so for a majority of them. The past few years of good times that India has seen has made our youth careless and arrogant.

They believe that a job is their birthright, and that’s why they see no qualms in changing 5-6 jobs in as many years…all for the sake of making a few extra bucks to fulfill their aspirations as soon as possible.

I won’t say that the youth is at fault here. The real fault lies with parents and India’s education system that has never taught children the art of living a responsible, hard-working life. Instead, we are all basking in being a consumerist society, rich in money but poor in our choices.

This makes me fearful…extremely fearful of your future.

I am fearful because I am selfish (but a father is meant to be selfish for his child!). I care for you more than I’ve cared for anything else in my life.

And that’s why I’ve written this letter to you, which contains all ideas that I can ever share with you on building a good character…on being creative, independent, fiercely honest, forward-looking, and on treating money well.

Ultimately you may choose to tread your own path instead of working on a job – and it will be a great feeling for me – but these life lessons will stand you in good stead whatever you do, and howsoever you may choose to do it.

So here are some lessons from a father to his little daughter, who he think has the maturity to appreciate these and make them her guiding principles (but only after thinking independently whether these will really take her in the right direction in life).

A father’s 10 lessons for his daughter

1. Run your own race…always
Here is a story I heard from my father about a small girl. Let’s call her Kavya.

“Colour the duck yellow, and her umbrella green,” instructed the kindergarten teacher to her students. But when seven-year old Kavya handed her drawing sheet, the teacher asked, “Dear, didn’t you understand my instructions? You have coloured the duck purple and her umbrella red! Have you ever seen a purple duck?”

Kavya didn’t miss a beat, and replied, “But ma’am, I’ve also never seen a duck carrying an umbrella.”

So, is Kavya a little rebel? She might not be the model student. But she definitely is a brilliant, and an independent thinker…not chained by others doing the thinking for her.

You see, my dear, following some rules is absolutely necessary for us – like while driving, crossing the street, or paying our taxes. But remember this – always being consistent will not provide a creative solution to all your problems. You need to train your brain to look around at all possibilities…and to think independently.

You don’t need to always follow the leader. You sometimes need to ‘be’ the leader.

So I would love to see you have independent thought. It is absolutely, and pricelessly, rare. Also know that if you believe that you can’t think and act independently, you will be right! You will never be able to think and act independently.

Always know that the freedom to choose independence of thought and action, or bondage of others doing the thinking for you, lies with you.

2. Ask questions…then search for answers
Yes, yes I know that you have been doing this all through the past 4-5 years. “Why can’t I get this doll?” “Why should I eat an apple and not a pizza?” “Why only grown-ups can go out alone?”

I must also confess that there have been times where I have given you dishonest answers to your inquisitiveness. But that is exactly how life is going to treat you. At first, you will rarely get the right answers to your questions. But then you have to persist – keep asking questions, and then search for the answers on your own.

I, your mom, brother, teacher, or best friends, may or may not be there to help you out with the answers. So you must know deep within that this world is open for you to search for your answers on your own. And you must do that.

If you desire to be spoon-fed with answers, or led straight on to each step clearly laid out, your mind and its powers of independent thought may face extinction.

Always know that your life and career will start and end with you. Life will provide you with the right tools, resources and opportunities you need to be successful. Then it will be entirely up to you to choose the easy path, or the one less travelled.

Believe me…the latter will be difficult, but much more enriching.

3. Recognize change and embrace it
I have told your this fact before but let me repeat lest you forget.

If you throw a frog into very hot water, the frog will jump out, but if you put the frog in room temperature water and just slowly heat the water up, the frog will die there.

How does this matter to you? What life lesson can you take from this?

You see, all the big twists and turns that you will face in your life will be made up of small, tiny decisions that you will most often fail to realize. But therein lies the trick. You must be alert to all the small changes that happen in your life, and understand how they might have a meaningful impact on your future. This would be better than facing a big change that appears suddenly, and stumps you.

There is a great beauty in taking small steps in the pursuit of big things. But also know that these very small steps will guide you to the bigger things in your life.

I would thus not like to see you as the frog enjoying its time in the heating water, only to burn later. The better way for you will be to recognize the small changes in your life, and embrace them.

When you learn to embrace changes, you will begin to recognize that life is in constant motion. When you see boundaries as opportunities, the world will become a limitless place and your life will become a journey of challenge in which you will always find yourself capable.

So embrace the changes and challenges life throws at you with courage. Walk your path with an unshakeable spirit, and you will uncover immense strength in yourself that will allow you to not only survive, but to thrive with passion, compassion and beauty.

4. Work hard, and be lucky
It took me consistent hard work, patience, and determination for eight years before I could even think of living life on my own terms…doing what I love to do while at the same time staying by your side.

I worked hard to become a better investor and writer for each of these eight years. I won’t say that I have reached where I set out myself to go, but that is what I am working towards day after day.

At the same time, I know many people who love to fantasize about what life will be like when they ‘make it’, but they like to skip over the part that reads – hard work.

Like a young man I met a few days back, and who has spent the past ten years of his life destroying his body with alcohol, excessive food, and a sedentary lifestyle…but wanted to know a quick way to get fit, lean and healthy in just the next six months! He, probably, expects to get ‘lucky’ in his life by getting whatever he wants without the hard work to accompany it.

But life, you see, doesn’t work that way. If you look back to the lives of great people, and you must always look back to the lives of great people, the reason they became great could be found in one thing.

It wasn’t ‘luck’. It was ‘practice’…hard work.

Luck, like love, is a verb that runs on hard work. The practice is the reward. When you practice, and when you do the work, you get lucky.

A duck sliding like glass across a pond isn’t lucky to not drown in it. Instead, it’s working really hard – paddling furiously under the water to stay afloat and in motion.

So the idea for you must be to ‘do the work’. Because when you practice, and when you do the work, you will get lucky.

5. Never fear failure
We all have hopes and dreams. Success and happiness are our top two priorities to strive for.

However, a big wall always seems to be in the way. That big wall is ‘fear’, and it is because of fear we don’t take chances that could be rewarding.

But like I told you when you failed to win the first prize in the dance competition last year, you must know that failure is part of life. Without failures, no one has achieved success. Embrace failure as a way to learn how to succeed.

Always remember that failure is not the outcome. Instead, it is the relentless effort that matters most in life. Failures in life must always teach you that it’s always in your power to work harder and succeed in the future.

I or your mom will not be there for you always in your times of fear, but don’t ever let fear – especially the fear of failure – hold you back. After all, if you can learn something from your failure, then you did not fail. In fact, the only way you can fail in life is by failing to try.

So, just break free and never give up.

6. Money doesn’t grow on trees
Your mom thinks that you are too small to learn lessons on money. But I believe if you don’t learn them now, you will never learn them any other time in your life. Or even if you learn, you must take a long, harsh route to get there…like I did.

So before you start treating money as a master, like I see so many kids around me doing, know that money is not something that must drive you in your life and actions.

If you were stranded in an African desert with no water, and you had a choice between a bottle of water or few rupees, I’m guessing my daughter would be sensible enough to not choose the money.

Know that money is just a medium of exchange for us humans. It is worth as much (or as little, in case you are stuck in an African desert) as the people doing the exchanging agree it has. So don’t place too much faith in money.

At the same time, however, know that money does not grow on trees. I already showed you last month that money doesn’t fall off freely from the ATM.

Know that it is earned by sheer hard work and honesty. Of course, you will meet many people who will shirk the hard work and honesty part and still try to earn money (or may have already earned money), but know that that must not be the road you take in your quest to earn money.

7. Learn to earn, and then earn to learn
You might feel hurt to know this but I have to be very frank with you here. Just three years back, when you entered school, I had started saving for your higher education. I have always wanted to provide you with a great education so that you are able to become learned and independent in your life.

But I have realized two critical truths over these past three years.

One, you must not rely only on your education to learn in life. There’s a much wider world to explore outside of text books and I know you are now smart enough to understand that.

Two, saving for your higher education might ruin my, and your mom’s, retirement!

Since you love pictures, here’s something you must see…

This picture shows that (roughly) the amount of money I’ll be spending on your “school education” will be around 3 times what your grandfather spent for my entire education (including college and MBA).

And that’s not all! My head shakes and my heart quivers when I see this…

This picture shows the amount of money I must save for you if you were to just do schooling, plus if you were to opt for an MBA, or study engineering or medicine.

Simply said, I will be ruined saving this kind of money for your higher education. Forget the amount of donation that the colleges might be asking to take you in however bright a student you may be!

Okay, don’t lose heart as I would be fine with funding your school education. But let me tell you honestly that you must be ready to fend for yourself after that!

Don’t see this as any kind of punishment because you know how much your dad and mom love you. We also know how wonderful and capable you are. But we see this as the best way to foster self-reliance within you that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

So know this from now that if you are interested in higher education (which you must be), it would be your responsibility to pay for it.

I will of course help you learn the skills to learn to earn and save and grow your own money for your higher education, but I will do just that – help you learn.

It’s your life, and you must take full control of your financial destiny. You might realize later that you may be one of the very few kids who worked to fund their own education, but that would make you so special! Isn’t it?

To earn your education, you can work, receive scholarships, or take out a small education loan, but be prepared to do it all by yourself. Your father won’t write you a cheque after your schooling gets over.

8. Never spend more than you earn
This comes from the previous lesson that you must learn to earn your own living when you grow up. The other and equally important side of earning money is ‘saving’ money.

This is the paramount of all money lessons you will ever need to learn in your life.

If you simply learn — to be frugal with your money — then you will less likely be among one of those students graduating with big debts – money that they have borrowed from banks, friends, or relatives.

Any debt takes away your freedom to think and choose work that you love to do. You will worry about your bills and may end up working for extended hours just to make payments with interest. Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

So learn to save money, or in other words, never spend more than you earn.

Be mindful of what you absolutely need without allowing emotions to creep in — to spend only when you have money in the bank.

Your savings will be the best friend for you when you need help indeed. It will help you cut those things that you don’t need in the first place – like your fifteenth doll or twentieth set of bangles.

Instead, learn to save money for bigger and better things in life – like your education.

9. Live your life with a map in hand
Now this is something I am advising you based on my childhood experience.

Never live life without knowing where you are headed. Like your dad never drives the car without knowing the destination, it is important for you to know where you are heading on this journey of life.

Think who you want to be and set written goals to achieve your dream. Of course, don’t expect all your dreams to come true…but a map will lead you to work every day to get closer to your dreams.

You may have to change the course depending on the circumstances, but always have a map of your life, and be vigilant.

Learn not to dwell too much on the failures of the past in the rear view mirror of your life. Instead, learn to look forward to meet another day of excitement and boundless opportunities that await you with open arms.

10. Have gratitude
I was frustrated to see you getting bogged down when your favourite doll broke down last night.

You have heard it hundred times from me, but let me tell you again that you are one of the very few lucky children to be born on this Earth. There are millions of unfortunate others who don’t get one meal a day, forget having any princess dresses to wear or toys to play with.

Keep this number close to your heart whenever you are sad about not getting things you like – Every year, around 15 million children die of hunger. And nearly one in four people around the world live on less than Rs 50 per day, which is what it takes me to get you a small tub of popcorn.

So you should be grateful for all you have, and for this lovely life.

Gratitude is after all having a ‘great attitude’. Let the sense of humbleness for having life and an opportunity to make difference as the founding pillar of your life ahead.

That’s all, my child!
I’ll repeat the 10 lessons I just shared with you…

  1. Run your own race…always
  2. Ask questions…then search for answers
  3. Recognize change and embrace it
  4. Work hard, and be lucky
  5. Never fear failure
  6. Money doesn’t grow on trees
  7. Learn to earn, and then earn to learn
  8. Never spend more than you earn
  9. Live your life with a map in hand
  10. Have gratitude

You have been an obedient child all these years, and I am sure you will take some lessons from what I wrote above. But still remember – the future has the potential to drastically alter our priorities.

It often happens that the things we consider as ‘very important’ become insignificant when reality hits, and we face a challenge that we never really thought of.

If for some reason I and your mom cannot be with you in those challenging moments of your life, know this. We will always be with you in the form of a guiding light. Whenever you want us to be listening to you, we’ll be in your heart.

Most importantly, know how proud your parents are for you. Over the small number of years you have been with us, you have already amazed us with your honesty, liveliness, intelligence, determination, and talent.

Even when you grow up to become a responsible, creative, imaginative, and inspired woman, you’ll always be my beautiful little baby girl.

Take care. I love you!

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. Dear Vishal,

    Wonderful is the word. It is a beautiful letter, and I am sure many a parents over years have penned similar thoughts.

    Gratitude is a wonderful thing. Since our thoughts manifest themselves in reality, gratitude ensures good thoughts pervade always and similar good things keep repeating themselves.

    • Thanks Sudhir! Indeed, having and showing gratitude is one of the biggest lessons a child can learn. But at the same time, we parents need to teach by first having and showing gratitude ourselves, instead of just expecting it from our children. And you rightly said, it is gratitude that keeps good things from repeating themselves.

  2. Sanjeev Bhatia says:

    Simply Wonderful.

    Extremely beautiful thoughts and penned down in most wonderful and touching way. Didn’t know this side of yours but sincerely pleasantly surprised by the articulate thoughts. I am also of the opinion that many of our youth today has been taken in by the material comforts of life sans the responsibilities. It is our duty as parents to guide our children to have proper approach towards, work, studies, money and above all, the journey called LIFE.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Saurabh Aggarwal says:

    Hi , lovely letter , i agree with all your points ,except one , in which u mentioned that one should pay for higher education herself/ himself.Our parents also provided the cost of higher education , the amount which we find small must have been big for them because of inflation , secondly , if one has to take loan for higher studies , then his early income years will ho towards paying the loan , which fp suggest are golden years for saving for retirement.I have one year daughter & i have decided that i will pay for higher studies.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Saurabh! Well, it’s entirely a personal choice of a parent…and it’s indeed a great thing when a parent continues to support the child through life’s think and thins.

      My personal view, and as I mentioned in the post as well, the reason to not make my child dependent on me for funding her higher education is not to punish her and lead her to struggle in her early development years, but to foster self-reliance within her that I believe will pay dividends for the rest of her life.

      And then, I may still save money for her higher education, but she won’t know it and will instead learn how to do it on her own. Education loan is just one way…the better way would be through working and earning during college, and scholarship.

  4. What an wonderful article and indeed its an eye opener for many of the parents who just don’t care how their child grows up. No doubt, you are an amazingly wonderful father. I very much appreciate the time and effort you are putting up to mold the kiddoos, just Wow!

  5. Balasaheb Kale says:

    This is beautiful. Appreciate it.

  6. vikrant says:

    Vishal, i dont have words in my mouth at this point of time… i am in some sort of shock, its a good one, More to come from me.

  7. vishal
    no words will ever suffice to appreciate this wonderful letter…concern for the future generation is very rare quality these days… sure your daughter will make you proud…
    god bless you

  8. Excellent piece of writing. What an innovative thought. I must say you are a gifted writer. I cant remember last when I have seen any blog with such a topic in a finance site. You are raising our expectation with every new blog you post.

  9. Venkateshwaran says:

    Dear Vishal,
    Thank you for the thoughtful Article. You are a wonderful Father. have two questions, If they see no qualms in changing 5-6 jobs in as many years…all for the sake of making a few extra bucks and remain in the same company trying to prove their point then they will surely be left behind, now a days unlike in the good old days no one is asking why we quit a job so soon they are asking why we stuck on for so long.
    Also My Grand Father earned a Few Hundreds per month My Father a Few Thousands (He never saw a Thousand Rupee Note) Now a days my milk man carries a wad of thousand Rupee notes so your comparison of education costs in the same proportion may not give the correct picture. I am sorry I did not read the entire letter to your Daughter but I hope you have mentioned that ATTITUDE and ability to learn are the deciding factors for success in Life. Cheers

    • Thanks for your feedback Mr. Venkateshwaran! Indeed I have factored in the inflation part when I worry about people changing jobs for a few quick bucks (and not worrying at all about the job profile), and when I draw the comparison of education costs. It’s only that self-reliance is not what I learnt till later part of my life, which I don’t want to be the case with my daughter (or my son). It’s entirely about their attitude towards life and why it’s important for them to be confident in being self-reliant.

      As for the last point, my lessons to my daughter include the ability and inclination to learn and having a great attitude (gratitude), for nothing stands strong without these two attributes.

      Thanks again for your view and observation!

  10. Mansoor says:

    Brilliant letter Vishal. I hope your daughter read this, more importantly understood this, I feel some of the things are difficult for her to understand at her age.
    Since you love pictures… lol
    Looks like you have written too much of world’s bitter choices that is to follow right now. Anyway, it’s better to be prepared and be tough than to curse later on. Great job, write one for your son when he starts to understand stuff.

    • Thanks Mansoor. Well I have been trying to make my daughter understand and appreciate these lessons (and some more) in a way she does best (through games, stories…and evening walks)…but as you said, all these lessons would be difficult for her to understand at this age…so I am keeping time on my hand.

      As for distilling these lessons on to my son, I would rely more on my daughter to do that job on my behalf 🙂

  11. Padma Viswanathan says:

    Dear Mr Vishal, I read with great interest your wonderful letter/advice to your daughter. Any one who has read this page of yours would have complimented you abundantly. So here goes one more. I deeply appreciate your perfect advice and the connect between father and daughter. All that i can say is SUPERB. Looking forward to more such writings.

  12. Vishal, Superb Article. I agree with your view about gratitude, we should walk the talk then children will pick it up by looking at us…I am happy to say that, I am going to regular visitor of your blog…


  13. Very well written ,sir
    This will inspire us all too for leading a better life.

  14. So very true and crisp advise !

  15. Isnt this why I always believed that real education is not what we learn in school!

  16. pranjal joshi says:

    sir you have wriiten some wonderful thoughts in such simple words !!!!!!
    hats off to you 🙂 🙂

  17. Beautifully written. I am sure your cute daughter has got a very good father, and will do very good in future. Lots of best wishes!

  18. Parul Shahi says:

    Mr. Vishal, its an excellent article,excellent point of view, you convey your message to your daughter in a very impressive way.Hope so that it will help many youngsters in order to build their future on their own behalf.Once again i appreciate your thoughts.

  19. Upendra says:

    An excellent article. Being a father of two, I am really touched with this piece of article and I shall teach my kids on these words… Thank you,Vishal..!

  20. Ravi Mahendru says:

    Awsome….good read, thanks for sharing:)

  21. M s s murthy says:

    I am 64 and all my children are well settled in life.I appreciate your letter to your daughter and can tell you that this can be made much simpler.How?
    Simply set an example.that is what we did.It worked perfectly.

  22. Sreekanth Rao says:

    Great words. Would say that what you wrote was in my mind tinkering somewhere, but was unable to put into words. Thanks for doing that for me and lots of dads like me.
    Hope you wouldn’t mind me sharing the link and the wisdom of these words with my colleagues and friends who are also dads.


  23. I just stated reading…caught some mistake….

    A father’s 10 lessons for her daughter should be A father’s 10 lessons for his daughter …. ( HIS Daughter)

  24. Amit Lodha says:

    Brilliant stuff!!

  25. Great website that I found after long years. Really good.

    • Thanks Gururaja!

      • Hello Vishal,

        Sincerest Thanks!!!

        Incidentally, the December 25th that happened to be my daughter’s 10th birthday, I shared your such a special letter and tried explaining some of the thoughts emanating for the same.

        With modernization, globalization, media cyclones blowing all over – paradoxically though, wisdom and gut is becoming increasingly relevant than ever for our generation next.

        However, relentless pressure on India’s socio-economic textures, corruption, materialism, security and sentiments hitting thresholds manifested by diverse ugly incidences.

        Nevertheless I’m very hopeful, that generation next would climb steep learning curves rather quickly, after their share of lessons of course.

        Ultimately, some of them may even embark their philosophical and spiritual journeys early on in their lives vis-a-vis the earlier generations.

        Warm Regards,

  26. Ginto Mathew says:

    Dear Vishal,

    A very touching beautiful post. You have so wonderfully covered everything that I would want to tell my son (who is now 4 years) in a few years time.

    Who you are as an individual comes through your words. And I like what I see. May your tribe grow.

    I found your blog only recently and I am covering lost ground fast by reading all your posts. I also admire the will and tenacity with which you pursue your calling.

    Ginto Mathew

  27. Premal B Thakkar says:

    Superbly written blog. I am going to treasure it to share with my children.
    It’s one of your best blogs.

  28. Saurav Jalan says:

    Dear Vishal,
    Very well-written letter and I appreciate your teachings to your daughter. Gratitude and character building are indeed very important. Lack of spiritual education in life is the root cause of why humanity is suffering so much in one way or the other.Otherwise, happiness is the birth right of every soul !

  29. Ritesh agrawal says:

    Very well written, indeed….a good blend of logic and emotions …indeed a good advice for any child

  30. bharat shah says:

    i wonder, can read only half letter , how would your 7 yr daughter grasp ! then i read in your reply it’s more for her brother via him. thanks for thoughts.

  31. Saurabh Mehrotra says:

    Excellent letter.. As Expats I have been thinking about penning down something for my 10 year old daughter to explain to her how we grew up and what are the basics of laying a good foundation of character and what to do & what not to do.. Your note does everything .. Thanks for taking the time to put this together



  32. Sharad says:

    Simply Amazing.
    Articulation of your thoughts in the best possible way. Loved reading it and would definitely fund my higher education by my own.
    Every parent has these things to say to their child but adopts different ways, I found your way to be more frank and open. Anyways if your kid is still very young, it might not matter for him/her right now but he/she can reflect it later too as an added advantage.
    Hoping to read all you articles within this month and start my own investing journey (following my expense pattern and saving as much as possible is already on the way).
    Keep writing and inspiring me & your other readers….God Bless You.!!!

  33. K.Navin kumar says:

    Excellent words, i think these lessons are not only for children but applicable even to grown ups, words are good about our system of education its pulling us away from the rationality. Really good article must read for everyone.

  34. This is coming from a daughter who has a father just like you- brilliant article. I could almost read it like my dad was talking to me. Your daughter is definitely lucky to have a father like you, I’m sure she’s as proud of you as you are of her 🙂

  35. Vishal, a friend referred me to your blog, and I am thankful that he did. You are doing some wonderful work to help folks educate themselves on the subject of investing. And that’s a superb post on sharing your own learnings with the younger generation. I wish you the best!

  36. Dear Vishal,
    Great and brilliant letter,what every parent must share with their child the truth of life if it has to be lively. I just saved it to show my son ( 14 years).
    But could not understand how these children will do there higher studies without the help of their parents.

  37. beautiful post indeed.

    I might dither a bit on knowing beforehand where one is headed to. I have changed from ‘know where you are headed’ to Steve Job’s inspired ‘keep looking till your heart knows where you should be headed’. But, I guess that focus is important for young people. The earlier years are important in life and should not be wasted due to indecision.
    Wishing a very happy future to Kavya.

    • Hello Vishal,

      I am following your blog, but this one is very touching and truly awesome. It covers almost all the aspect of living life happily. It was really good one, continue with such wonderful work.


  38. Anuradha says:

    A very nicely written article. I feel it is a good read for every age group, its never late to imbibe values and learn at any age. It can also help to get a reality check of our lives.

  39. Manish Sharma says:

    Nice article. Very well articulated.

  40. Lovely letter, Vishal. Thanks for sharing.

    I also wrote one for my children, focused on what they need to know about Money. I’ve admired your writings for a long time, and would love to hear your thoughts on my post.

  41. Krishnaswamy Ramarathnam says:

    Nice Article.
    Applicable to most of the daughters.I do not think it has geographical boundaries.
    I am forwarding to my granddaughter ten years old.

  42. I thought Vishal is very rich.

  43. What a lovely and excellent letter Vishal…I have started following your website recently and have been fascinated by your writings, simplicity, intelligence and the willingness to share your knowledge and wisdom to the world. The way you left your job to follow what you love and what you wish to achieve is commendable. You are an inspiration for many people like me. I also want to travel the path like yours and its very refreshing to know about great people like you. This letter to your daughter is so well written and it shows your sensitive, responsible nature as well as your amazing writing skills. I would love to attend your workshop sometimes whenever I am able to attend, as I live abroad. Keep up the great work !

  44. Hi, Vishal!

    What a lovely letter!

    I would like to share some of my quotes:

    I remember Pat Flynn’s favorite quote “The harder I work, The luckier I become”.

    Also, I have read somewhere on failure that said: “Failing is not falling down, but staying down”.

    I liked point no. 7 “Learn to earn, then earn to learn” the most. The idea of learning while earning (teaching) is really fascinating.

  45. Very thoughtful and beautiful article! Thanks for taking the time to write it here. Greetings from Hungary 🙂

  46. Hi Sir,
    That was an amazing letter highlighting some tips to survive in this “big bad world” as we often regard it. It was an eye opener for students and teenagers who tend to miss out on so much fun after being pulled on to the hectic lifestyle. I truly agree with everything that you mentioned but would like to add just a small insights I have gained in the last two years. I am an MBA Finance and a value investor myself and I have always dreamt of entering the Equity Research Profile. I had luck joining a KPO after my MBA and the work was somewhat satisfying but then I wanted to try entering the Civil Services and gave more than 6 months preparing for the same(though I could not clear it, I grew more independent as an individual and much more endearing in my thought process). Now back to the rat race I have landed a job in one of the “Big four” as a Consultant but not really happy since I crave for the role of an investor working in the Equity Market (and precisely in India). I am trying my luck at some interviews but so far have not been successful, maybe because of the gap in my CV. Its not always about money that we shift our choices but we sometimes acquire a Goal and set our workings on it. I guess it is good to be passionate for an eventful career. I am not looking at anything sensational but markets are the only thing that keep my heart racing and intrigues me to the core. Even when I am away tracking it for a month or so, I get back with the same thrill and enthusiasm. I hope I land up in the domain I am so passionate about and don’t really care about the money (as such).
    P.S: Don’t know if someone would reply, but I am grateful to you for starting this blog. Thanks a lot for the time and patience.



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