We need to learn how to build wealth, before we start spending as though we are already wealthy…
School is out forever, gone are the days where our sole responsibility in life was studying for exams and ensuring we passed our courses. Many of us entered the workforce forgetting the majority of the information we were forced to absorb over our academic careers. With information now provided at the push of a button, one could argue that our time in school could’ve best been utilized learning practical life skills that are dire to our everyday life.
Social Studies could be taught on the History Network and/or Netflix documentaries, learning a new language(s) can be accomplished with an app or traveling the world, reading and writing can be mastered with a healthy habit of reading books often, and mathematic & scientific lessons are everywhere on any given day. Unfortunately, education is not a priority in government spending; therefore, it is unlikely that schools will ever be equipped to give their students the necessary tools to teach financial literacy and/or any other crucial life skills.
Individuals growing up in households with financially responsible parents and/or role models benefit substantially from getting a head start. For everyone else, they can either mimic the tried and true paths to wealth accumulation; or they can take several expensive lessons to survive financially. With the convenience of consumer credit being available everywhere, most individuals are not grasping the fundamentals of wealth management before they erode their net worth. Our society, as a whole, is more concerned with improving their credit score than increasing their ongoing savings contributions.
The problem that most aren’t discussing is that there isn’t a true resource to master financial literacy. Schools can’t provide the resources, as many teachers may not be the best representatives of money management. Banks have resources; however, their material has a bias for you to buy their financial products. The same can be said for the majority of financial reps in investing, real estate, and debt management as the majority have a financial gain from assisting you. Finally, bloggers and authors who want you to subscribe to their website, podcast, newsletter, Facebook page, and/or purchase their book(s).
Unfortunately, the overall lack of knowledge in wealth management, as a whole, has prevented us from accurately detecting financial scams before they have ruined the lives of millions (i.e. Ponzi schemes. MLM scams, overprice financial products, etc.). There aren’t many laws that protect the consumer in the financial world. It may appear to some that the system is rigged that only the rich get richer; however, there is a way to protect the misinformed while giving them the tools to better their financial situation.
The immediate solution is being accountable to one another.
Have you ever been to a forced sales presentation and something didn’t seem right? Ever purchase a financial product that is confusing and you aren’t sure if it is a right fit for you? Are you constantly being harassed by a salesperson that is being too abrasive? Tell everyone you know. Get feedback and see if anyone else had similar experiences. Keeping matters private could be harmful; especially if you have purchased a bad product and don’t know it.
The same can be applied for positive experiences. The less taboo money becomes the better the chances of exchanging valuable information that may not be as easily accessible. By discussing wealth accumulation/preservation/management often, the greater the chances that scammers, as well as inferior financial products/services are exposed. If you aren’t 100% informed on the product and/or solution you are about to purchase, you are better off gathering more information before risking your entire livelihood.