A Salute to a Woman who won two Nobels

A Salute to a Woman who won two Nobels

The world celebrated yet another International Women’s day on March 8th 2017, a day on which the fairer sex was lauded and put on a pedestal as wives, mothers and even colleagues. There are several examples of women achievers we can talk about today but a woman born 150 years ago and winning not one but two Nobel prizes is certainly worth knowing and remembering.

Madame Marie Curie, who is best known for introducing the world to the concept of radioactivity, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to have won the Nobel in multiple sciences (she won a Nobel twice). But if you thought that all these achievements came to her on a platter, think again.

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Born as Maria Sklodowski in Warsaw, Poland in 1867, Marie was the youngest of five siblings. She knew the importance of education from an early age thanks to her parents who were teachers. She even showed a penchant for science, but could not complete her higher education owing to lack of funds. Determined not to give up, she took up a job to support her family and also continued to educate herself at every given opportunity. This way she completed her masters’ degree in Physics and Mathematics.

A passion for the sciences and research led her to Pierre Curie (her future spouse) when they worked in the same lab. Their ardent research led to the discovery of radioactive elements – ‘radium’ and ‘polonium’ for which the couple won a Nobel in Physics in 1903.

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The death of her husband in a freak road accident in 1906 shook her, but she did not bow down to fate. She continued her research while bringing up her young daughters singlehandedly. She broke all glass ceilings, ignored the ire of male scientists and continued her research with relentless persistence and perseverance. In 1910, she succeeded in isolating ‘radium’ and defining an international standard in radioactive emissions. For this, she won her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry in 1911. Till as long as she lived Curie dedicated herself to research and advancement of science which makes her immortal till date.

Her dedication (to research) and her perseverance provides useful lessons for investors. All of us want to create wealth in our investment journey to meet our life goals but many of us fall short at times mainly because we take lesser investment risk, we are not consistent with our investments and more importantly we fail to stay invested for longer periods of 10, 20, 30 years. Most of us stick to traditional modes of investing (via assured returns products) and expect to create wealth even when interest rates are declining. Wouldn’t that be difficult? There is a need to adapt to newer instruments like equity mutual funds which may not offer assured returns but have the potential to create wealth in the long run.

While history has seen wealth creation from equities, very few have tasted the benefits mainly because they were not invested long enough. Madame Marie Curie, who was born 150 years ago, has certainly taught us that consistency and longevity in efforts can even win a Nobel prize despite tough family conditions. Then why not use these lessons with our investments. Today, equity investing has been simplified by professionally managed mutual funds. One can invest regularly via Systematic Investment Plans or SIPs and aim to create wealth in the long run. They are also easy on the wallet and start with as low as Rs.500 per month. So, think of SIPs like your Good EMI – an investment and not an instalment. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step, in this case your SIP!

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An investor education and awareness initiative by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund.


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Information contained in this article is not a complete representation of every material fact and is for informational purposes only. The recipient is advised to consult its advisor/ tax consultant prior to arriving at any investment decision.