August 13, 2011


Family looking and learning - Dec 2010
There’s a belief that life is divided into quarters, each lasting 25 years. Our role changes in each segment. Here are the quarters
1. for your studies
2. for your family
3. to help society
4. for yourself (e.g. meditation)

It's my Dad's 75th birthday. I still have trouble believing that. Change occurs gradually. Dad doesn’t seem old. Maybe that's because he's committed his life to helping others. He was the head of the math and physics department at Regina Mundi College, a private boy's high school in London Ontario. He also taught at Catholic Central high school, also in London. He touched many lives.

Students liked him. We'd be out somewhere and former students would come up to him and say Hi. They especially remembered his jokes.

Warren Buffett looks at expenditures in an unusual way. When his wife Susie wanted to do $50,000 of home renovations, he agreed. Yet he saw the expenditure as $1,000,000, because he understood compound interest and future values. Dad is similar. He sees spending a dollar on himself as depriving others of 40-50 rupees. You'd spend $10 differently than $500 with this mindset, or the one Warren has.


Dad took early retirement to help poor people in India. My mother shares this passion. They have various projects there. Unfortunately, they don't take photos to show us. Already this year, they've:
  • given a hand water pump for clean drinking water in a remote village
  • built a library
  • built a clock tower
  • donated musical instruments
  • created a music scholarship
I’m sure they’ve done other things. I lose track. Their biggest initiative is a school to teach
  • living skills to the handicapped
  • beautician skills to help young women become financially self-sufficient
When we visited India, I saw what they'd done with my own eyes. They were changing lives.


My parents are leaving a wonderful legacy by helping others. Warren wanted to defer his gifts until his death. My parents want to help now. Warren has since taken this approach too, donating through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Ever since I was a child, my parents said we're here to make the world better. I saw them helping many people throughout my life. I wasn't sure what to do. Until recent years, I wasn't comfortable dealing with people. It's been a struggle to overcome my self-limiting beliefs. I still prefer to help from a distance as blogging allows.

In grade 8, I saw a friend’s family devastated because the father died without life insurance. He didn't trust the salespeople or insurers. That stayed in my mind. In first year university, I decided to devote my life to insurance. I became an actuary to design flexible and accountable products. Later I helped advisors sell insurance. That's when I saw you're poorly served because a salesperson is not a fiduciary who's required to put your interests first. There's very little information to help you make informed decisions.

I'm not a fan of rules and regulations. In a buyer beware world, your best weapon is information. Thanks to social media, we can reach the world instantly and without any censorship. In that spirit, I started this insider blog in 2007. I was also working on overcoming my fear of dealing with the public.

In 2009, I bypassed the salespeople to serve you directly. Like my parents, my life work is helping make the world better by giving whatever we have.

The Special Day

Guess how dad's celebrating his 75th birthday?

This weekend, my parents are volunteering to help run a one day retreat. Yesterday from 5 PM to 9 PM they helped set things up. Today, they'll work from 6 AM to 9 PM. The event itself runs from 7 AM to 6 PM. That's arduous regardless of age. This year, we're here to to help them. I hope we can keep up.


Podcast 130 (5:30)

direct download | Internet Archive page | iTunes

PS Happy Birthday Dad!

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