As a financial advisor, I learned that most people are never taught the fundamentals of financial management. Some only learn from television or the Internet, which can be both good and bad. Sometimes applying a broadcast approach to something which needs to be personalized isn’t helpful.
I know I learned basics from my parents, but the advanced topics like creating wealth through investing or really understanding life insurance, health insurance, and legal protection were concepts I learned along the way or through my college education because I majored in business and minored in economics. Really, until I became a registered representative and learned how to teach others about financial management, I didn’t grasp the big picture. When you teach others and market/sell products to them that help them meet their goals, you have to learn a lot first. Of course the number of people in this country who chose to be advisors or brokers is just a small part of the overall population. So who is teaching the rest of the population, particularly young people?
Recently I read a post about how we have lots of room to improve our education of youth about financial management. Please click here to read the article.
Over the years , my friend Emily and I were asked to provide financial education to teens who attended our church. Emily and I are more skilled in working with business leaders and executives, so we reached out to find materials appropriate for youth. The materials we found at the National Endowment for Financial Education were absolutely the best. They start with basics like where does my money go…or why is my first pay check so much smaller than what I expected…to insurance investing, goals, etc. Everything we all need to know and understand, no matter our age. To learn more please click here. Currently I am using selected parts of these materials in a life skills mentoring program in a local high school. Sometimes we need to teach young people in the manner they have been comfortable with in day-to-day living, sound bites. Doing the whole book isn’t an option, but short sessions on topics works great.
The reason I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women and the corresponding book, and co-authored (with my friend Emily), First You Dream, A Financial Management Workbook, was to encourage learning and empower consumers. As an advisor it was much easier to work with a potential client who understood the basics and felt more confident in her or his decisions.
As the saying goes, “you can be part of the problem or part of the solution”. Getting to the solution requires us to acknowledge that it is a shared responsibility when it comes to financial management education for young people.
Until Next Time