scorecardresearchIt is not fair that science students are not taught about investments,

It is not fair that science students are not taught about investments, says Deepika Yadav from University of Edinburgh

Updated: 01 Oct 2022, 12:30 PM IST

Despite having admitted to a world-renowned university at the highest level of learning; she rues being clueless about making money through mutual funds, cryptocurrencies and investments in general. Still, she is navigating her way to learn the ropes of bulls and bears. Read further to know more about the challenges she faces

Yadav says that scholarship money she gets enables her to focus single-minded on her academic research without having to worry about bringing food on the table

Yadav says that scholarship money she gets enables her to focus single-minded on her academic research without having to worry about bringing food on the table

Deepika Yadav is a pro in her area of physics and is scaling up the ladder of academia as she recently got admitted to a doctorate at University of Edinburgh on a full-funded scholarship. Strangely though, she has a hidden desire to make handsome gains in the financial markets. The bump in the road is that she does not know “how”.

She strongly feels that everyone — regardless of the specialisation – should be made familiar with the fundamentals of stock market investment at the school or college level. But like a persistent researcher, she does not like to give up easily and is, therefore, striving to learn it on her own.

Some social media videos come handy to her at time, while on the other occasions — she does not refrain from asking around.

Edited Excerpts

What does money mean to you? Is this among the key factors that help you take your life decisions such as your career?

Yes, I can’t choose a career which will not give me a stable income. Of course, money is important. This is quite glaring in the PhD because you don’t know after how many months you will land a job, if at all. For me, money is a form of getting independence to do what you want.

What do you spend your money on every month? Can you share a rough breakup?

Just as any other scholarship, the money is barely enough to survive. So, out of the total sum, nearly one-third goes in rent, the other one-third is spent on food and beverages because I like to eat; and the food kind of makes me happy. I don’t travel a lot but I love to shop, and spend some money on skin care, clothes, perfumes, etc on which I spend nearly 100 pounds a month. After all this, not any significant amount is left anyway.

What are the things you love to spend money on?

Given a chance, I would like to buy a lot of plants, clothes, shoes, colours and canvas for my passion of painting.

What percentage of your income goes into saving? What do you do with this money?

I do not save a lot. If I have money, I like to spend on gadgets and on my parents. Last year, I had some savings but I bought an iPhone with that, and also bought some jewellery, and the rest I gave to my parents.

What does the PhD mean to you in terms of providing you with a stable source of income?

I consider this as a job and not as purely studies. Since all candidates are already master’s degree holders, the studies at the doctorate level, should be — and often are — funded by the university. In my case, the fellowship amount makes sure that I do not have to think about paying rent.

But I still think about money because the money I receive is not huge. But at least it gives me freedom to focus on my work and research. At least, I don’t need to look for a part-time job to survive in Edinburgh, Scotland.

What do you think about investing your money? If you have a certain amount of money set aside, will you want to invest it in the stock market, mutual funds, or do you just keep it in your bank savings account?

I have invested some of my money and bought some securities with it. Now I am planning to invest some more money. I have earned as well as lost some of my money in cryptos in the past.

I have been told that investing is a good way to beat inflation. I believe that if I buy 30 stocks, at least the two should do well.

Do you think you have an understanding of how to save and invest? If not, are you trying to learn?

Frankly speaking, I do not have much understanding. Although I have invested a bit here and there, I do not know much about savings and investing. But I have seen some YouTube videos these topics and I often hear that now is the good time to invest in India’s growth. It’s an emerging market, etc, and what not. Some of it I can understand, while some not.

Do you follow social media influencers and follow their investment advice?

Not really, because having been a science student all my life, it is difficult to keep pace with these things. It’s sad that they don’t teach investment and income tax-related topics to the science students at the school or college level.

Without an elementary knowledge of economics or financial markets, it is difficult to make much sense of what these experts talk about. Also, I find it amusing that they often give a long lecture on an industry or a company, and at the end, they would also tell investors that they should do their own research as well. Why would I listen to anyone if I have to do the research myself.

Do you discuss money-related matters with your father, mom or sister?

I ask my father when I have to file the income tax return. When I started my first job in India, I discussed the tax-related stuff with my him. But not much afterwards.

These are some of the tips given by ace investor Benjamin Graham.  
First Published: 01 Oct 2022, 12:30 PM IST