Angels and Assholes #16


OK, I hope by now, if you’re reading this, that you’re well aware I think it’s a great big a-hole thing to do to use your knowledge, not to help people, but to take advantage of them. The Dalai Lama, who is pretty tough to argue with, said: “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.” Sounds like he’s referring to an angel. Cool. It would be nice if all the people in the world believed and practiced this. Imagine: world peace. Well, It depresses me to say, I guess we’re not all angels. If we were there would be world peace. Not going to happen. Too bad.

All the people in the financial world are not a-holes. A nod to financial planners and the Mn. Financial Planning Assoc. (FPA). When I retired from financial planning, it was difficult because I really enjoyed my clients, as I had my students. I considered how I might “pay back” to my first two careers. Planning on trying to be a writer for the rest of my life, I figured it made sense to write a book and teach again on my new topic. So, I wrote “If I Had a Million Dollars: How to Achieve Financial Independence Before Your Parents Do.” (I’d love to tell you to buy the book, but, sorry: sold out. Not going to print any more as I’m on to fiction.) College students seven years ago, when I retired, were going to graduate into the aftermath of the Great Depression (caused by some royal a –holes, may I remind you). They needed financial education more than any other demographic, and many hadn’t had the greatest role models. So, I joined and helped develop a group called “Pro Bono.” We soon changed it to “Financial Literacy” but kept the pro bono aspect. We in the Mn. FPA and others around the USA shared our knowledge with grade school children, high school students, and I, among others, took the college crowd.

Statistics say the Millennials (age 18 to 38) are saving and investing at a much better rate than their predecessors. A good percentage on are the track to independence. Or we could say: happiness. Too many boomers unhappy. Having to work much later than they liked. Not enough money. Stressed. Maybe even a little hopeless. The couple generations behind them not doing much better…at least they have the benefit, yet, of time. If they are educated, know what to do, and, of course, “do, it.” The Millennials are the luckiest: they are getting education and have the most time (not only, I’d suggest, our most precious commodity but the most important factor in investing as well i.e., compounding).

“Independence” to me means you’re doing what you want to be doing with your life. Ask yourself: are you more likely to be happy doing what you want to do, or what somebody tells you to do? Hat’s off to the angels in the financial planning arena who are sharing their knowledge to help those who need it the most. Informing them so they know, at least, what they need to do to become independent…happy. That is immortality. Those angels will live on through the lives of those they enlighten…helping us all, actually, by being educated consumers.