Thursday, September 21, 2017

America and you... Are you healthy enough?

Let's consider the same problem not only in America but all over the world... Why do most people tend to ignore the importance of personal finance in terms of making poor decisions as to how to save, spend and invest their money?

May I have your leniency if I share with you the following modest yet critical idea? Are you knowledgeable enough (even slightly) not only to save, spend and invest but to manage your money to make your personal finance grow over the years in order to plan for future spending in education for your kids and (crude reality) your retirement and... take care of your own health when the time comes?

Would you consider a little reminder as to how critical this subject is?

Let's consider at least for a moment the following: Would you like to think (just a little bit) about your life expectancy considering your health care resources?

So... How do you feel financially in 2017?

Now... talking about your financial health... May I invite you to find out how healthy you are?

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Financial Literacy... Still a "key" subject today? (2)

From the Cartoon Series "Fairly Odd Parents": Mr. Crocker and Timmy Turner
After a crisis that shook the entire financial system 10 years ago, here we are again with some additional arguments as to how critical Financial Literacy is.

Even though I believe that the Obama administration did something more concrete in terms of spreading information and knowledge about how to manage efficiently your money, how to spend your money wisely, how to save your money wisely, how not to get indebted, how to remain protected from bankruptcy, etc, considering that Financial Literacy can not be exactly good in America according to references I've shared with you in the previous publication, it looks like we should continue making emphasis in the nature of the problem that people in America and particularly teenagers and college students continue facing.
Considering this frame of reference, I have no doubt that there are indeed many really good online resources about how to become financially educated, however, it is also necessary to continue pointing out how young people across America have been doing in recent years in order to continue keeping in mind how serious the problem still is despite efforts that universities have been doing in providing a minimally adequate financial knowledge to students; in this regard, there's always an exception to the rule... a good example of these efforts: the University of California San Diego hosts a series of good online educational resources on its website.

So... How about if this is the bottom line here?

What do you want to do in order to get (urgently) familiar with money management? Would you pay a financial counselor a fee to learn about how to manage your money? Would you rely on relatives (assuming that they won't charge you...) wishing that they could be "familiar" with money matters that mind *only* to you and your wife - husband? Would you like to learn about money management on your own (which requires considerable commitment and discipline keeping in mind -an obvious priority- your family well being) based on many really good online informational - educational resources?
Considering that some serious efforts have been done in order to deal with the problem and continue spreading Financial Literacy as a much needed educational asset throughout the educational system, although on this blog you can find a series of online resources about various subjects, in order to offer you current resources, I'll be working on reviewing every link I've posted to confirm its availability and post some future comments about its content.

Finally, let's consider something else... Do you still think that you earn an F because of your poor financial knowledge? Don't worry; just consider how important Financial Literacy still is and be ready to take (immediate) action:

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Financial Literacy... Still a "key" subject today? (1)

Why choosing Mr. Crocker the teacher giving an F (as usual) to Timmy Turner his pupil in the cartoon series Fairly OddParents?

I could try to establish a sort of analogy between a consistently bad student and how the US population (particularly teenagers and college students) have been acting in the process of realizing and learning how important Financial Literacy is in the post global financial crisis era (an event that many of them didn't experience)... This could lead us to formulate the following question:

Is Financial Literacy still important after the global financial crisis of 2007 - 2008?
Let's see... What has happened 9 - 10 years after a cascade of corporate mistakes, greed and fraud causing that "too big to fail" giants like Lehman Brothers declared its bankruptcy? What is going on when many Americans also went into bankruptcy because of ignorance and greed causing them to lose their homes, jobs and ending up (in many cases) living in the streets? Do you remember that both events were key hallmarks of the global financial crisis in America?

Do you remember those events? No? It's OK if you don't, therefore, it is convenient to share with you a little reminder via first-hand testimonies from Anton R. Valukas (as a Examiner of Lehman´s bankruptcy, he offered an impressive testimony about what he found), average Americans who lost their homes as well as what the subprime crisis meant for many of them:


From a current global perspective, the outlook does not seem very optimistic: last May, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a report addressing the case of teenagers in member countries struggling to understand money matters; in addition, also last May, Professor Annamaria Lusardi published her views as to how young people in America, as they grow older, are struggling to gain financial knowledge. Even though I wouldn't like to continue nagging you with recent events -also according to Professor Lusardi- involving the same difficulties that teenagers in America are facing to understand Financial Literacy, also last April, according to an online survey from Morning Consulting on behalf of the American Bankers Association, a significant percentage of people, assumed that "their own financial literacy skills are good" but in the meantime, a lower proportion of those surveyed perceived that the average American possess "good or excellent" financial literacy.

What does this mean? Well... Maybe you could disagree with my modest perspective but, anyway, here I go: when only few American citizens are "convinced" they are "financially educated", What do they know about their financial "safety"? Do they know what is the meaning of financial safety? How do they know the average American is not? Whether the average American is in fact financially safe or not, I think there's a serious educational problem that deserves an "F" for many Americans particularly, teenagers and college students (in the end, Mr. Crocker is still right about Timmy Turner).

As a consequence, if the average American doesn't care about his financial safety, then the following report makes emphasis about a serious problem: America lack financial awareness... 

You may wish to consider the following final idea... Do you deserve an F? No problem if you say yes or no; it's just for your information, consideration and (immediate) action:

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Financial Education, Wealth and... Race. A silent yet sensitive issue in America

There is no doubt in my mind that America possess a brilliant history where many events have shaped how a citizen feels and perceives himself as an active and productive element of his society, however, it's been also an unpleasant part of his existence even though he probably has nothing to deal with it but doesn't know how to deal with it: how he feels about being part of his community according to his race.

Despite I must clarify that an historically complex social subject involving how races interact in America given its own nature is beyond the scope of this blog, it is difficult to ignore the fact that African Americans and Latinos as ethnic minorities in the country, still experience a social - financial gap in their community welfare versus the White community that becomes more notorious if we talk about their access to jobs and the income they need for health care, their families, savings and (key subject) the possibility to become more financially educated and create lasting savings.

This new comment aims to share some efforts that members of the African American community have been doing in recent years in order to ask for our attention towards those issues involving their welfare as well as a recent and very interesting diagnosis about the racial wealth gap between communities:

The Political Economy of Education Financial Literacy and the Racial Wealth Gap by CP Mario Pérez López on Scribd

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