Intelligence – Learn to Choose Between
Plainly written, my team and I want to raise your financial intelligence. We are concerned with the financial IQ of the general population. We looked into our own educational background and literally aside from some examples of making change with coins from our early arithmetic drills in grade school, none of us could recall any academic effort to teach us even the basics of finance. Here and there we had a teacher mention balancing a checkbook, but none taught us how to do that. They mentioned their pension plan for retirement, but no one taught us what that meant or how it worked. Some of our parents made an attempt to teach us a little, but truthfully, we are probably like you … self-taught by trial and error. Lots of error.
Is your experience similar to ours? Who taught you about banking? How to set up a bank savings/checking account? What a check register is? How to balance your checking account monthly? or why that is important? or what that even means? Who taught you about credit and what it is and how it works and why it is important to know and understand? Who taught you about simple and compound interest? Mortgages? Insurance? What is your IQ regarding investments? Honestly, as we talked about our financial education or lack of it, I am not surprised that Americans are trillions of dollars in debt.
I saw two advertisements back to back on television recently that illustrated our financial ignorance. The first was promoting the freedom and power a young woman discovered when she got her first credit card. It showed her paying for restaurant bills for her parents, then another with her friends with her picking up the bill for all of them, then on to vacations at resorts and travelling. Ahhh, the freedom and fun of living on credit. The next ad that came on started with a man asking the somber questions, “Are you more than $10,000 dollars in debt to credit cards? Are you struggling to make your monthly payments?” Wow! I thought that young woman should study the second ad before she gets that credit card.
What’s wrong with this country that we put millions of Americans in financial slavery to revolving credit with little or no education on financial factors or responsibility? The credit card companies and retail stores spend billions on advertising to trap us in their revolving credit hell and then we need an entire industry established to help us out of the trap. Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture? We spend ourselves into debt, then are told we need to spend more to get out of that trap.
I certainly appreciate those like Robert Kiyosaki and Anthony Robbins and Dave Ramsey and a whole bunch of others who are doing what they know to help fix this mess; and yet, too few citizens on this planet are learning what should have been taught them throughout their childhood schooling. We have a financially illiterate world. And I’m talking not only about those of us so-called common, ordinary citizens; I am also talking about those in offices of power who make rules and laws about financing who know very little about economics or financial wealth principles. Perhaps that is one reason the USA is 21 TRILLION dollars in debt!
Unfortunately we typically have our first life-lesson about finance by stumbling blindly into student loan debts in college or trying to purchase our first car or getting our first credit card and being shocked at the balance due plus interest in our first monthly statement. Or perhaps we begin learning when we write checks from our checking account, not knowing the balance until we receive the overdraft notices along with the breath-taking penalty fees. We screw up our credit score before we understand what a credit score is or why it may be important to us.
And this is the simple stuff. Usually a couple of these experiences are like a slap in our face and we make adjustments, ask some questions, get a little advice and learn to function. But, that is as far as it goes for a very high percent of humans. Is there really any surprise that fewer than 8% of US citizens are financially independent by retirement age? This means that for 90% of those retiring, their chief source of income is their social security check along with any part time jobs they happen to pick up. Scary. What happened to their 401(k’s)? their 403(b’s)? How about their Roth IRA? or their Health Saving Account or their Coverdell savings program? What about their business investments? any rental income? any stocks or bonds?
Well, these and much much more are what we’re focused on. We want to greatly increase the money IQ of millions and give them the tools to build a financially secure future, gain personal financial freedom and independence, as well as helping them design a system of wealth-building.
We want you to dream more than simply of getting out of debt; we want you to dream of what you WILL DO when you reach your financial aspirations.
The word “intelligence” comes from two Latin words that mean to “choose between.” We want you to have the skills and abilities to choose between debt and freedom; between making a living and living your dream; between having a job and having a system of wealth-building; between getting by and reaching for the stars.
I believe the greatest power we humans have is the power TO CHOOSE. And I want to give you the tools so you can choose intelligently and be happy with the choices you make.