I’m dumbfounded. No I’m amazed. Maybe it is dazed and confused. Never in the history of the United States have we had more college graduates nor M.B.A’s. Yet, it seems our level of street smarts on decision making around personal financial decisions continues to worsen by the day. We have more credit card debt than ever before. We have more foreclosures than ever before. Only recently have personal savings levels risen, where just a short while ago they were the lowest since the Great Depression when unemployment was more than 25%. (USA Today) Why is this happening?
I have a theory, and it boils down to the fact that people in the X and Y generation just don’t read anymore. Remember when you were a kid and had to take those tests where you read a short story, and then had to answer a bunch of multiple choice questions around the story? I didn’t fare so well on those tests, but if people had to take them today based upon what they think they learned on the internet . . . surely we would be a failing class.
I’m humored when someone I know tells me they learned something they got off the internet, and then I ask them what website. Sometimes they can recall the website. What makes it worse is when I ask them the source, which they never know who wrote the article. Only recently, someone congratulated me for having one of the fastest growing companies in Atlanta. I was puzzled, because I didn’t know that we had won that award so I asked them where they read the story. It turns out, they had clicked on something they scanned in Google, and we had sponsored an event for the fastest growing companies in Atlanta. We were not a winner.
In less than 3 seconds you can Google financial advice, investments, and retirement and get over 5 million different links to view. Since we don’t read anymore, you may scan and click a few pages and then come to some conclusions about how to reach your goals. You might scan a few more and find a mutual fund to put your money into not knowing exactly what it invests in or whether it is right for your situation. This isn’t the way to get street smart, and isn’t the way to prudently go about reaching your retirement through investments and savings.
The people who become best at what they do always have a coach by their side who has a level of expertise to help them get to the top of their game. Tiger Woods has a golf coach. Michael Jordan had a basketball coach. You should think about getting a coach to help you sort through the maze of everything you scan from credit cards to mortgages to investments, so you can make the best decisions for your financial future.
Remember the main character in this story is you, and you can control how you write the ending!
oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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