Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 2 of 6

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 2 of 6

Hi. For new readers who may not know me, please note that my father, Daniel Alagaretnam Devadason, died at 1 am on Friday April 4th 2008. I've decided to celebrate his life by sharing six enrichment lessons I learnt from him. The first was 'Pay for High Quality', which you can read more about at:
The second lesson is what I want to share with you today...

As I write this, it has been 20 days since my father died. I still wake up each morning with a sense of loss. I find it hard to believe that I now live in a world that no longer contains him. While I derive great comfort in knowing that I will meet him again, on the 'other side of the veil', as it were, the grief is still palpable.

I find writing about him, though, helpful in focusing my thoughts on the legacy he left. And so the second of six lessons I want to leave with you is:

Focus on Professionalism.

My father believed in the importance of professionalism. There are many ways to define what it is to be a true professional. In my mind a true professional is marked by two key characteristics:

1. Adherence to a strong code of ethics; and
2. The ability to make money from activities associated with the profession.

My father met both criteria, in spades! He was born on November 20th 1922. He was a teenager when the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941. He survived that horrific time and became a teacher. He later embarked upon the then iconoclastic journey to the UK to study law. He worked hard and studied even harder. His time in Lincoln's Inn was especially cherished. His firstborn, my older brother Rabin Devadason, later followed in our father's footsteps and also entered Lincoln's Inn.

I really have lost count of the number of times my father recounted his experiences in the UK. He returned to Malaya and began his law career in 1960.

I was born in 1964, and all my life it has been crystal clear that my father's identity and sense of self was inextricably linked to his chosen profession. He was a lawyer, through and through. His respect for the life of a professional was extreme. For instance, we used to argue, with startling regularity, because he wanted me to become a doctor and I categorically refused to even contemplate such a career - feeling absolutely no calling for this admittedly important profession!

At this juncture of my life, as I look forward to turning 44 years of age next month, I realise that despite the disagreements my father and I had concerning the choice of specific profession, I too have gone down the path of forging a strong allegiance to a specific profession. In my case, it is financial planning.

The role of financial plannner was never one that my father fully understood. But I would like to believe that from his vantage point now, in the hereafter, he will have reason to be proud of me in the way I carry out the duties associated with my chosen profession, in the decades to come.

My financial planning and investment principal company, MAAKL MUTUAL, holds to 7 principles of ethics that encapsulate our perspective on the issue. They are Competence, Fairness, Confidentiality, Integrity, Professionalism, Objectivity and Diligence. My father would have approved of each of those principles.

Regardless of your chosen field of endeavour, be it brain surgery or plumbing, architecture or cooking, I hope that you will choose to follow D.A. Devadason's Principle Number 2: Focus on Professionalism, and thus grow into the very best professional you can be.

I'll write on the third lesson soon, so if you wish to read about it, please do check back here at The Cool Time and Money Blog by making a note of this URL, few days.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, should you wish to learn more about my life planning, financial planning or retirement planning consulting services, here's my bio. Thank you and all the best.

Warmest regards,


PS. I am keeping myself even busier than usual, as it is the most effective way I know to deal with my current grief. So, please use the comment facility, via the 'COMMENTS' link below, should you wish to leave a message for me or even a thought to share with others about what I've written today. Thank you again for dropping by.

Rajen Devadason is CEO of RD Book Projects and its sister company RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd. He lives in sunny, peaceful Malaysia with his gorgeous wife Rachel. He's a Malaysian Securities Commission-licensed financial planner, a life planning consultant, a professional speaker and a serial author... which probably explains why he's so exhausted! Some of his books are available here, and, if you're interested, here are some quotations he reckons are accurate, bold or cool.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss Rajen. Am however delighted to hear & read about your life as a financial planner, a life planning consultant, a professional speaker and a serial author. You have always been a teacher at heart. One of the very best too. My heartfelt deepest condolences to you and your family.


Friday, May 30, 2008 7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry for your loss. I stumbled upon your site by chance. Your site made me realize; to a certain extent; the importance of financial planning and the benefits it will reap.

And again, sorry for your loss. Time will never heal this loss, only the hope of meeting that person one day will give us strength to carry on with each step forward. I know it since i am walking down that path everyday.

Take care bro.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:23:00 PM  

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