What I Wish I Knew in High School!

What I Wish I Knew in High School

I was privileged to teach a grade 12 class all about MONEY this week! I had a blast!

I think I talked for 70 minutes straight without air (and could have gone on for hours), and although many blank stares at times, the class was engaged and the teacher even said that it was the most she’s seen her students engage – awesome! It probably helped that I was all jacked up on Starbucks.

‘What I wish I knew in high school about money’ was not taught when I went to high school in Alberta.  Probably not for you either.

I told these kids the truth – that if there is ONE class on ONE day in all of high school – THIS was the class they can’t miss (or sleep through)!

It’s our fault, as society, that we make things like trigonometry and molecular formulas FEEL more important than what’s really gonna happen when we move out of our parent’s basement and get thrown to the wolves.

Real life is actually harder than Call of Duty! 

But we know this – we are the parents now, the older people in society (I can’t believe how old I felt talking to 17 year olds – sigh……)

When I was talking about credit ratings and how to file taxes I had one student that said to me, “I don’t want to do that!”  Sorry kid, you have no choice and you have to play by the rules we, as society, have created for ourselves.  That’s LIFE!  These kids haven’t had the school of hard knocks yet! And honestly, why should they?  Teaching financial education would mitigate the unnecessary school of hard knocks for most kids.  I mean really teaching it.  Making it important.

Here’s the thing: even though my presentation was created for 17-year-olds about to enter the “REAL” world, I realized, most of my clients, most of my friends and most adult people in general don’t know most of what I talked about.  I couldn’t get most of my girlfriends to explain how the stock market worked – even after a bottle of wine….

Unless you had amazing parents to teach you this stuff or a brilliant mentor like Warren Buffet, then no one taught you about money in a real and meaningful way.  Sure your parents interjected here and there tid-bits of advice (bad or good), and miraculously poured their money “issues” and “beliefs” into your brain, which if you were lucky left you financially unscathed.  For most of us, let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree – chances are you are the same with your money as your parents are – good, bad or ugly.

I talk to people from all walks of life on a daily basis and most people don’t know this stuff and get swept into bank marketing campaigns and take them for the truth, the holy grail – because banks are smart, they know what to do with our money and will never harm us financially. Right……..

I told these kids that they are so lucky because they have the google gods at their fingertips and can at least look up information – I mean honestly, If I had google back in high school I’d probably be a neurosurgeon by now.

Here’s where I had a huge AHA moment this week! I think I assume most people know as much as I do. (This probably comes from feelings of unworthiness and not giving myself enough credit – I know most women struggle with this at some point in their lives – and I’m sure we can psychoanalyze that to death another day!)

I will no longer assume on my part. I will ask questions.  I will share what I have learned. I can’t help clients reach their ultimate financial goals with out the education in place behind what they are doing in order to understand the plan and stick with it.  I will never succeed as a financial professional if the basic financial knowledge is not there because why would we follow advice we don’t understand.

This is my passion and today, my post is more of a PROMISE – that I will do my best to get basic financial education in the hands of students and adults alike.

My message is creating financial clarity. Financial clarity can come once you have solid financial education.