Tuesday, June 5

Financial Illiterates

During a recent interview, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad , was asked, "What's the most challenging issue in your industry?" He said "Financial illiteracy. Schools don't teach us about money."

What's the one thing that people mis­understand about you? "That I sincerely care -- and worry -- about the financial future of millions of Americans (especially the baby boomers) who are not prepared for retirement. And the need, worldwide, for financial education."

Not a huge revelation, but noteworthy when a self-made millionaire and two time high school failure talks about his own generation this way. Who is teaching our kids? The baby boomer crowd? Is that a good or not so good thought? How are our kids supposed to prosper if they aren't taught? Where are they learning financial managements skills?

Here's a selfish thought; these kids are OUR future! Without financial literacy, what's in store for us?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Implore your schools, churches and community groups to embark upon a financial literacy program for your kids (and perhaps you too!). Contact your teachers, school superintendents, school board directors and ask them what they are doing to add to your kids financial education.

It's a whole lot more than balancing a checkbook. Who does that now anyway? Today its all about controlled borrowing, cash management, retirement investment vehicles, and making money work for you (read Rich Dad, Poor Dad for more on this) instead of the other way around.

By teaching our kids how to be wealthy, we are protecting them, and us!

Have you heard of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy? This is a federal program that endeavors to improve financial education for all Americans.

Taking Ownership of the Future: The National Strategy for Financial Literacy

(Strategy) is the game plan for improving financial education in

America. The Strategy was called for by the Fair and Accurate Credit

Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003, which also directed the Treasury

Department to lead a group of 19 other federal agencies, officially

called the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (Commission),

in an effort to help Americans learn more about their money. In

addition, the Treasury Department is issuing this

Quick Reference


, which offers readers a brief summary of the Strategy's tactics

and calls to action, as well as a list of financial education resources.

Let's do our part today and invite our bankers and financial planners to our schools to talk about money and credit with our kids.
Be sure to visit Getting Green who is hosting the next Carnival of Personal Finance on June 11th for more great posts!


Olaf Offick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PF101 said...


I'd not heard of mymoney.gov. Thanks. One site that I've found useful was the National Endowment for Financial Education. http://www.nefe.org/ They have some good resources on their sites.

The program that I hope to work for is called Financial Beginnings. http://www.financialbeginnings.org/


Colonel Cash said...

Thanks pf101. Financial Beginnings sure look like they're on to something good!

Lee B said...

A real issue for most high schoolers is realizing there is a difference between saving (long or short term) and checking. Most of my students think that any money they put in a bank is money they are saving - even if they plan on spending it next week. Another useful site is http://www.ny.frb.org/education/finlitaction.html
Its run by the Federal Reserve bank of NY and has some good educational resources.