Three Reasons Why Teaching Is Better Than Learning

Learning something is good, but teaching it is great!
By Amr Hussein Elalfy, MBA, CFA

10/27/18 5:36 PM

For eight consecutive years, CFA Society Egypt has been holding a university-wide competition, called Research Challenge, where students compete amongst themselves for the best equity research report award across Egypt. And as one of the volunteers making this competition a reality, I participated as a competition judge, as a university mentor, and more recently and even more importantly as an instructor. I believe teaching is even more important than learning. I love to teach for three main reasons.

First and foremost, teaching is considered a zakah of knowledge, spreading it with the love for bringing benefit to those who need assistance. Throughout the journey of life, we learn and will continue to learn new things day in, day out. If we stop learning, we will have no incentive to live. Thus, the journey of learning does not stop until we die. Between birth and death, we will spend our lives learning new facts and theories. This leaves no room for us to pass on our knowledge, as little as it is, to someone else who is just starting his or her journey of learning. Teaching ensures that you make time for this knowledge transfer, so to speak. This also reminds us all the time how little the knowledge we have is indeed. The All-Knowing is above those with knowledge.

Second, by teaching, I also give back to society by nourishing a new generation of equity research analysts. Ironically, despite the sheer size of college students graduating each year in Egypt with commerce majors, we tend to have a really hard time hiring the right caliber for the “equity research analyst” career. When I was in college, I did not have a guide to give me direction as I was stepping into this capital markets field. As a matter of fact, I entered the field by chance, only to find out that this is really what I wanted from the beginning, lucky me! For many college students, they have no clue what they want to become after graduating. Teaching those students allows me to be their guide so that they decide whether or not this is the career they want to lead.

Third, when teaching a topic, teachers should study and investigate that topic as deep as they could to be ready for those silly questions that we as students never asked our teachers! I remember when I was at school, I used to take the study material and those formulas for granted, not thinking where they came from or how they were derived. However, as a teacher, I am now obliged to learn how these formulas came about and the history behind them. I now need to be ready for students’ questions, and I am also intrigued to understand the rationale behind such concepts as I think of developing my own.

For university students participating in the Research Challenge competition, it is also becoming clearer whether equity research is for them. They now have a better understanding of what it all entails. As a teacher myself, I feel I have a duty to provide them with guidance. For those who want to become professional equity research analysts, there are many characteristics and practices they need to acquire to be effective in their career. This is what I will be discussing in my upcoming articles.

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