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The Most Important Portfolio of My Life…and Yours

I met a long-time Safal Niveshak tribesman and a great friend Sanjeev Bhatia and his family yesterday. Sanjeev took out time from work to visit me in Chandigarh (where I am holidaying), travelling almost 100 km from his hometown, Ludhiana.

While Sanjeev looks pretty lean and young (as you can see above :-)), he has a couple of grown-up boys, one studying engineering and the other also looking to go that way.

Being from a family that has several engineers – including Sanjeev and his wife – it’s obvious for the kids to head in that direction.

So that’s not the interesting part as far as Sanjeev’s kids’ education is concerned.

What is interesting is how Sanjeev and his wife are leading these boys to manhood – helping them develop into honest and hard-working men…and ones that are going to be responsible with money.

How do I know that?

One, by meeting one of the kids and getting the positive vibes, and two by knowing that Sanjeev started early inculcating in them the values of compassion and ethical behaviour, and that of thinking and acting sensibly…especially when it comes to money – by teaching them from very early the key lessons like power of compounding, dangers of debt, and the responsibility that is required to keep one’s money.

Now, why am I feeling so nice about how Sanjeev is leading his kids towards a great life?

That’s the way you build a person
As Sanjeev and his family bade us goodbye, and I looked at my daughter, I considered what a massive responsibility it is to help such a small, totally dependent child evolve into a not-so-small, independent adult.

Being a parent, it’s something I’ve always considered seriously…but in that moment it dawned on me that over the next few years (and beyond), my little Kavya will be ‘educated’ about how the world works and how she should ‘work’ to co-exist peacefully with that world.

“Wow, what a great responsibility it is to ‘program’ kids,” I told my wife. “With her incredibly powerful and receptive hard drive, she is ready for the years when beliefs, values, perceptions, worldviews, fears, rules, expectations, and habits will get installed into her brain.”

“What a scary thought!” my wife told me as we looked at each other like colleagues about to get started on a tough project.

“Let’s focus on the process, not the outcome,” I said while looking at Kavya who was sleeping at my side, and maybe dreaming of a bright future.

Right now, she is at the “once upon a time” part of her story – page one, chapter one, paragraph one, line one.

But not for long!

In a moment, she will grow up. Before I know it, she will be fifteen, and then twenty.

It’s a good thing I’m always around to guide her (and I pray to God to keep me around for a long while).

It’s moments like these that make me realize that more than working on how to build my investment portfolio, I must work on building my children (my most important portfolio with just two stocks in it) into compassionate, honest, responsible, sensible, independent-thinking, and simple persons.

“And the only way we can do this is – by being such persons ourselves, throughout!” I told my wife.

“Yes, let’s always set the precedent,” she replied, “Like Sanjeev and his wife are doing.”

“It seems an uphill task, but thankfully we can always find inspiration in friends like Sanjeev and others who have passed this way of building a person, day by day.” I said.

Yes, that’s the way to do it. Day by day!

Whatsay, dear parent?

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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. Another great post, Vishal! And great to know how Sanjeev is bringing up his kids. I am myself a parent of a 7-year old boy, and can see the immense responsibility ahead of me in taking care of this “most important investment” in my portfolio. 🙂

    Kudos to you Vishal for putting across this thought so succinctly. I have forwarded your post to my wife. 🙂 Cheers!

  2. Hi Vishal, I have been a silent reader of your posts. I am a working-mother of a 5 year old girl child and can understand where you are coming from. Thanks for writing this post and making me re-realize the hard work that lies ahead. Have a nice day!

  3. Great post, Vishal…:) And good to see Bhatia ji…:) You guys look so Healthy and so Fit…
    I feel this post should also be included in, “A Letter to My Child.”

    • Sanjeev Bhatia says:

      Thank you, Shankar, for your kind words.

      I strongly believe if you are calm and peacefulness inside, it kind of reflects on your external self too.

      Of course, little bit of exercise never hurt anyone… 🙂

  4. Vishal, you are doing the best a parent can, already. You have enormous love and affection for your daughter and that’s what she needs from you.

    However I have seen parents become over protective and somehow overbearing with their love. This puts the children under pressure sometimes. I am sure you must have heard of Khalil Gibran’s quote on children, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

    Children are independent souls and have to struggle with their own journey. I remember going to the Doctor at the slightest cry when my son was a toddler. The Doctor told me ( especially my wife) that the struggles (the cry) would make him stronger.

    • Yours is a very mature and sensible post.
      I truly appreciate and hopefully understand what you are saying.
      This thought is indeed spiritual “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

    • Sanjeev Bhatia says:

      Wonderful words, Ranjan.

  5. What a simple post but with such deep messages.
    Indeed that is a portfolio which if not well nurtured can be an Achilles heel and there is no option to sell. It is for keeps !
    To me children (not just our own) are Life’s gift to us and a very very precious gift.
    Children will become what they see around them and therefore parenthood is a great responsibility.
    If we yell they will yell, if we love they will love.
    On another note, over the years I time to time encountered some of the morons I had met during my school days and college days and trust me most of them continue to be the same.
    So upbringing is a key to a healthy and happy individual and such an individual is the starting point of peace and love.

  6. Very nice article! I wish my parents have done it!

  7. Very nice article! I wish my parents would have done it!

  8. Vishal ji:

    Yes children are the future of human civilization..

    I think its most important to give children the ability to perceive “right from wrong” and to be fearless..

    The problem is right now you are in a position to mentor them .. and you will give them the right values..

    In the future as they grow they will have many mentor student relationships and not all mentors are going to have the right set of values..

    Just mentoring wont do.. the ability to choose the right from wrong “the ability to think” and be fearless.. cause it is when we are weak(most fearful) that our judgement fails…

    =happy investing

  9. Excellent article. I agree completely. What irks me sometimes about others and myself included, is that we often forget that the most important thing in life is not getting your name into the forbes rich list, but building deep and lasting relationships with family, friends and the larger society as a whole (more important that this is personal health, of course).

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