Investment Advisory Service

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Anonymous- Difference of Opinion

I received the following comment on my value investing internship program :

"I've heard of unpaid internships, but being charged for an internship is just ridiculous. "- Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Usually, I ignore such comments but your comment is not usual, it's unusual. Hence, I thought I should reply. Let me explain my point of view on why I decided to charge for the internship:
  1. Firstly, I think; requesting the participants to pay a fee will keep a check on me. I shouldn't get casual about the internship. I would like to give my best shot and nothing works better if you are motivated and held accountable for it. And money has its own way of motivating people. I believe I would be more motivated if I charge a fee.
  2. Secondly, the same logic may work for the participants as well. By paying a fee, they may be charged to give their best and not be casual about it. They may be motivated without the fee also but I thought why take chances ?
  3. Thirdly, I was inspired by Buffett where he auctions his annual lunch and directs that money towards a noble cause. I copied that idea by directing the fee towards a cause which is close to my heart.
You may have good reasons of your own why somebody shouldn't charge and I am okay with that. I feel that it's an individual's prerogative.

Had you published your comment under your name and not as anonymous, I would have applauded you publicly for raising a point which might be in other people's minds as well.

Best wishes,
Ankur Jain


Vijay said...

There are key differences Sir.
1. You are hiring a student/ a young guy who has a family or monthly expenses
2. Warrant Buffett or celebrities charge for dinners to ultra high rich people. Is your intern a rich guy. Then that excludes an average guy from applying to your internship
3. Will you not feel commitment if you need to pay the guy
4. By your logic, all good employers including Modi Ji should start charging their employees for Privelige to work with them
5. At the end of the day, everyone learns on the job including Infosys Freshers, this doesn't means infosys should start charging employees.

Ankur Jain said...

Thanks, Vijay.

Anonymous said...

Ankur the spirit of your idea and your further points are well taken. But I tend to agree with Vijay. Perhaps the title internship is misleading, as it could easily attracted an MBA finance who is willing to toil, but would like to get paid, instead of being asked to pay.

I think the idea would appeal to mid-career people who are hungry to learn value investing from you and they'd be willing to pay, but the title could be something different.

Ankur Jain said...

I agree. In hindsight, I feel the title might confuse people. I will surely change the title for next year's training program.

Thanks for your feedback.