Given the fact how important money is to navigate life, Why Don’t Schools Teach Kids About Money?
It’s not surprising that our nation tries to “keep it in the middle” – somewhere between economic crisis and financial meltdown. The Fed (our nations monetary policy authority) tampers with the availability and cost of money and credit to promote a “healthy” economy. This is nothing more than an illusion to create public perception of what they (the fed) want us to see. Nearly $4 Million Foreclosures, $1.1 Trillion in Student-Loan Debt, $845 Billion in Credit Card Debt — my simple mind can’t comprehend trillions and billions, but it seems clear to me that us adults don’t know that much about money
SIMPLIFY ~ This is a long-term problem that has become a major issue for my generation (X) and future generations to come. I have never understood the simple fact that financial education is not a part of our kids curriculum. I remember learning about dinosaurs and cave men at a very young age, but I was never taught that money represents purchasing power. Schools do a terrible job (in my opinion) teaching children about sex, no one wants to talk about it with the kids, yet sex dominates teen conversations. Sex learned from peers and magazines is usually bassackwards. It’s trial and error from there. Some serious embarrassing moments and mistakes are costly, even life changing. It’s the same with money, we get timely information at the coffee shop, learn from the media and magazines that are selling drama. A costly mistake with our finances can also be costly and life changing.
Let’s help future generations avoid the financial mistakes of their elders. They need taught the essentials about money. In the past decade, I have personally reached out to decision makers at the elementary, middle-school, high-school and university level to offer this service … not one has taken me up on my offer. The President’s Council created Money-As-You-Grow, a wonderful guide on how to continuously educate yourself and kids about money…but how many of us even aware the website exist.
3 Year-Old kids can learn the concept of saving and spending. The University of Cambridge published report revealing that kids’ money habits are formed by age 7. It’s time to look further than the root of the problem. It’s time to focus on the seeds of the solution – educating our kids and helping them Let’s make it priority to focus on the seeds – the children are the solution
~ Create something Bigger than Yourself ~
The artist and the engineer usually live in different worlds, but when they work together, well that’s when you can get something really new, something special, because when great thinkers work with great doers, one plus one can equal three. ~Sony Entertainment
Diversity has created cultural ghettos. Today, diversity is a given, but communication between the artist and the engineer (religious, political and cultural) differences is not; it is an achievement. Mere diversity without real relationship will only increase tensions and decrease ingenuity.
What does it take for people living in different worlds to work together? How do we make the world a better place to live? Acceptance, Appreciation, Communication, Respect and Empathy is a good starting place. Keep your hands in your pockets if you can’t help but point fingers. It’s the way things are, but that doesn’t mean it’s the way of the future.
“Good Old Boys” do business with and support businesses of people they know well in social settings.
Historically, especially in the south, this is how business gets done. The first dozen years of managing my financial advisory business, I learned, “If they like you and they trust you, they will do business with you.” And it worked. Unfortunately you can hear the echo of “YTB” (yield to broker) echoing off the walls of clients paying way too much for a product they never understood.
There is a fundamental problem with “The Good Old Boy” system. Conversations with colleagues of this nature tend to scratch the surface and gravitate towards hobbies they have in common and then turn into a brief overview of product and historical performance. There is no depth, nothing in this type of conversation is beneficial, helping your wealth work towards what matters most to you.
The underlying issue with “The Good Old Boy” system is the most important questions are taken for granted. Who are you? What matters most to you? What are your dreams and fears? These things are “a given”, knowing someone for over 20 years, right?
More times than not, advisors conducting business in this way are selling products omitting some of the most relevant information, because they take for granted that you like them and you trust them and they know what’s best for you.
The days of trusting someone with your future because they are golfing buddies (or your dads or husbands golfing buddy) is not over. Here are three questions you should ask your “Good Old Boy” the next time he calls to pitch you a product.
- How is this aligned with my overall goals and how does it fit into my financial plan?
- Being transparent about all the fees involved, what am I actually paying in dollars, not percentage.
- What is my risk of loss and why do I need to take the risk?
Ethics, Empathy and Communication, the primary features of a great advisor, seem to all but disappear in the “Good Old Boy” way of doing business. It’s time for all advisors to check their ego at the door and do the work of asking the hard questions. Know your client, not their handicap.