I have been concerned about the messages being delivered to the youth of the rising generations. Many young people live in a “virtual” world, a world of fake reality. It is a world where there are no losers because everyone gets a trophy, and where self-worth is determined by social media “likes” and “shares.” It is a protective world that in many ways does not require enough of its youth and sadly, a world that has very little resemblance to the adult one that awaits them.
I grew up in a much different world. I ran my first lemonade stand with my brother at age six and have had a job ever since. I learned lessons of life by living life, and those lessons were sometimes painful. In High School I was very small (only 5’1” and 85 lbs. on my first driver’s license) which meant gym day held the time honored tradition of shoving the little guy in the locker. Bullying back then was common and in P.E., almost encouraged. (I still harbor negative feelings towards anyone whose name starts with “Coach.”) Though I support anti-bulling efforts today, I still learned a great deal from those trials. I learned that I wanted to go to college and be very successful so bullies couldn’t push me around anymore. It’s seems a bit odd that the older generation credits the “hard knocks” of life with teaching them many valuable lessons, yet sometimes goes to great lengths to protect their kids from the same.
When my Little League team lost the championship game in a heart-breaker, we cried a bit while watching the winners get the only trophy, then went back to the ball field the next day and practiced all the harder. Yes, failure was painful, but it was often our best teacher. I didn’t receive nearly as many trophies as my kids, but mine sure meant a lot to me.
I recently released my first children’s book (under my pen name Ule B. Wise) and a client asked why I was writing books for children. I responded that in my years of teaching thousands of individuals about investing I have come to a stark reality. The people best prepared for retirement, the ones who live the most financially sound lives, are usually the ones who have done so all along. For the most part being financially wise is a lifelong habit formed in the early years. So I decided I needed to start the education, not with 50 year olds, but with five and ten year olds. I also decided to begin, not with financial concepts, but with teaching some of the basic values of life such as discipline, determination, courage, patience and other qualities that if learned, have the potential to benefit all areas of their lives. If they can learn these principles, then showing them how to save and invest and manage money will be so much easier. Then, if they like, they can go out and buy their own trophies.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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