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Teach Your Child to Become an Idiot

Guiding readers, especially the younger ones, to the importance of saving and investing money is at the heart of what I do at Safal Niveshak.

I’ve always wished if our institutions also took a lead in imparting financial literacy to people, especially the new generation, instead of backing all education affairs by selling their products.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see this short movie – One Idiot – from IDFC Foundation (directed by Amole Gupte of the Taare Zameen Par fame) to impart financial literacy to college students across India.

This is an amazing movie, and I suggest you watch it and also share it with the younger lot.

My eight-year old daughter is already in love with the movie and has shown it to all her friends, while explaining them in her way why “Dads are not ATMs and why children must learn early to become financially independent!”

The magic seems to be working as just last night she brought her piggy bank to me and asked me to “invest” the money sooner than later. 🙂

Anyways, here’s the movie. Watch it, and please share it with those who “must” watch it.

By the way, IDFC Foundation has also launched, a website directed to educate the youth of India to be financially independent. I’m contributing in a small way with my articles.

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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. Thanks Vishal for sharing this.
    Really good…

  2. Thanks for sharing.
    A very good thought and kudos to your contribution towards this.
    Sense and sensibility are precious and more so in the financial space.
    I too will get my kids to watch the movie and visit the site.
    Financial literacy and planning should be taught in schools or atleastthe concept introduced preferably through new media like internet.

    • Indeed Sudhir! Our education system does a big disservice to learners by ignoring the importance of teaching them financial values. But we have to live with it. So the idea is for parents to lead by example (instead of toggling 5 credit cards or owning 6 wrist watches, for instance), and hope that the education system also follows suit. Regards.

      • that’s the reason, why banks are profitable business now a days. As we grown up without financial literacy, so that we can easily be get trapped in EMIs for Home, Auto, Personal Loans etc.

  3. I watched it. Very very well made and so well presented.
    Indeed a good investment to learn about investment.

  4. I don’t wish to be a party pooper but if i try to think like a child then what have i learned here? that my money must not rest in a bank but must be in shares/stocks and then when i grow up i can buy myself a Rolls Royce? Is that an appropriate lesson for the young ones? The film is sweet but the lessons are fragmented and not clear enough.

    • Thanks for your view, Arvind! But if I were to go by the minutiae, I also see that the two “idiots” – Bugs uncle and the small kid (when he grows up) are overweight, which can imply that people who are busy compounding their wealth lose sight of their health (bad lessons for students!). 🙂

      But then, I think the idea is to focus on the big picture – not the Rolls Royce or Rs 100 crore, but the benefits of starting early, letting the power of compounding work for you, and then enjoying your financial freedom.

      That’s the message of the video. Of course, the video is not the end in itself, but just a means of getting the message across. Regards.

      • It seems in the visual medium a film which is likely to be viewed once or twice or a few times, if you need to get a message across, the message needs to be exaggerated. Look at all the advertisements. The ones you remember are most likely those where the visual or the story or the sound or combination thereof would be overly bright and bold. So here too the idea is to get the message across.

  5. I am not able to watch it.

  6. I can’t able to open the video it is showing as private. Morning i can able to open but not now

  7. Due to technical issues, IDFC Foundation has removed the video from YouTube for some time. They will make it public soon.

  8. In morning i watched this video, it’s really good. I tried to show this to my wife now and found it’s not working showing as private.

  9. One needs to view this as advertising. There have been such productions by different firms in India and elsewhere before. The message is generally subtle, targetted towards women (who then tend to pester their husbands) – and the imagery deeply influencing. Has anyone seen the old Amex card ads – as they progressed from silver to gold to platinum and whatever to designate status? From a more academic and very “realistic” standpoint I would refer you to Prof. Sendhil Mullainadhan’s work on financial advertising and persuasion … One more would be Cronquist (2005). To quote “People accept the evidence catering to their current beliefs without sufficient skepticism. … successful persuasion delivers messages that will be favourably interpreted.”

    “Financial literacy” productions in most cases in my humble view is like wine drinking sessions. Drink the wine, feel a high and then be “persuaded” to scratch the back and buy it. Or what companies like Amway do – distribute free kits, no questions asked – and then you end up buying.

    I am cynical …

    Stay safe

  10. Hi Vishal,

    I jumped to your earlier post on “The girl from Alwar and her new iPhone”. It’s great to find that my thoughts on minimalism are shared by the “Head tribesman” himself.

    I think being frugal and minimalist is against the public opinion. Keep spreading the contrarian and inspiring thoughts in this sea of madness.

  11. Manish Sharma says:

    It’s interesting to see differing viewpoints related to this movie.

    While, I agree that the last bit of Rolls Roye was a bit of exageration, but overall the movie send across the message quite clearly to its target audience – 18-25 years. I think everybody who has watched the movie will end up with two thoughts – First save then spend and think about how to make your money work for you.

    The fact that virtues of savings is virtually unknown to this genration is well evident. Also, the kind of consumerism seeped into the society it has build a kind of peer pressure and rat race to spend. The credit card culture is harping on living tomorrow’s life today and most people have thrown caution to the wind. The story of the parents is not any exageration. I myself has seen people in far worse situation in real life. In my office alone people have got 5-6 credit cards and EMI running into several thousands.

    Thus, the movie is very timely, and although it is a PR attempt by IDFC but we take the good things out of it.

  12. Discovered this – 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People.

    Fellow tribes members do read.

  13. Sanjeev Bhatia says:

    Excellent movie. Downloaded it and showed it to my family this sunday. Both the sons especially liked it :P. (I have already made them read Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad twice, you see :D).

    The message comes across very well and minor things apart,as mentioned in some posts above, the main thrust on compounding, starting early, keeping insurance separate from investments, excessive consumerism, “buying things you don’t need will make you sell things you really need”, Credit card/EMI culture etc all have been put up beautifully. The major source of financial stress these days is due to this credit card culture, or living tomorrows life today, under the fond assumption that things will keep on working as it is.

    Brilliant. and a big heart felt thanks to you. This is so close to my heart since I have always wanted to teach kids about financial literacy.

    Another source I highly recommend is the book “The richest man in babylon”. This will sweep you off your feet, guaranteed. 😀


  14. Sri lanka realestate says:

    Amazing video and thoughts you just describe was good. I agree that children must learn how to become independent. All must learn from this video and i share this video ..thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  15. Awesome blog!
    Thanks a ton Vishal for the effort.

  16. Simply superb initiative. We need to educate youth and even ourselves.



  1. […] is true when it comes to passing on money skills to children. You can’t teach them stuff. You must show them how to do […]

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