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Financial Wizards Have Parents

May 14, 2012
Plain English Version

By Max Whittaker for The New York Times

Ramit Sethi is the author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” He was raised by his Indian parents, Neelam and Pramb Sethi in Fair Oaks, California, who came to the United States in 1982. Ramit graduated from Stanford University.

Ramit says he watched his parents buy things “the Indian way.” His mother, a teacher, said “You never purchased anything without bargaining, whether it was milk or eggs or fruit.” His father, a mechanical engineer, said  “When we were growing up in India, big purchases were very rare. You saved up for it and talked about it for years. You took your family along.”

He remembers going with his father to buy a car and to learn how to bargain. They went to the dealer many times. They had almost closed the deal when the dealer said he had to charge them for the floor mats. Ramit’s father said, “Every car he showed me had mats. The dealer said I could go to Walmart, but I said if I was getting a name-brand car, I was not going to buy Walmart floor mats.” He got his mats.

As part of his program on how to get rich, Ramit Santhi says “If you bargain like an Indian, what you are saying is that I am willing to ask for what I want.”

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