3 Reasons Why Education Should Continue After School

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.

If you find education expensive, try ignorance!

2. If you stop learning, you stop thinking and start dying

It is as plain as my sub-heading says. Our brains work in marvelously mysterious manner. The way I imagine my brains to be is akin to the muscles on my flesh. The more I work on them, the stronger they become. True, they will eventually age and die, but while they are functional, I believe I ought to maintain it.

Warren Buffett has a parable on the genie in each and everyone of us. Quoting from “Snowball”, he shared the parable like this:

“When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls, so I thought about cars.I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.

Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, “Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. It’s all yours.”

Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, “What’s the catch?” And the genie would answer, “There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’ll ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.”

If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what would I do with it?

I would read the manual five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.

That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only have got one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.

It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”

“It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.” – Warren Buffett

3. Good education is enjoyable

Good education makes you want to continue learning; bad education makes you want to stop learning.

Learn something that you enjoy.

Have you ever sat in a lecture where the lecturer or speaker seem to possess some magical hypnosis prowess that made your head go nodding and your eyes seeing Zzzzzzzzz? What about the experience of sitting in a lecture or a talk of someone engaging to your interest, one which makes you sit up straight, laugh out loud and raise your hands for participation?

Because I enjoy playing guitar, I keep learning and teaching guitar. I don’t feel tired of it. I enjoy imparting my knowledge and improving myself. I keep learning, unlearning and relearning. Time always seem to pass so fast when I put my heart and soul to work on something I am passionate about. Such an obsession is what I deemed as healthy obsession.

If you’re serious of your education, you will find ways and means to do it. You will, and I say again, you will find a way to learn because you enjoy learning it!

One of the saddest matters in life is to do something which you dread and have no interest in. I’m not saying it’s bad and I don’t expect everything to feel like paradise all the time. Still, if you do enjoy what you learn, I am sure you won’t stop learning. Try it out, I dare you.

What would you like to learn? Learn it. Just start and do it you will probably find yourself doing it for a long long time.

Let me know how you feel about this article, okay?

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