America's financial illiteracy

Dan Wyson

Dan Wyson

Research by a major financial firm revealed that teenagers today are much less prepared than their parents were to make good financial decisions. The study showed that parents are not teaching their children about money, nor is there much effort in public schools to do so. The research is discouraging because poor financial skills can lead to serious personal and family problems.

In considering the implications for America’s future, I began thinking about the three major generations I have worked with during my career. I began with the Greatest Generation, those raised during World War 2 and the great depression. As a group, they developed good financial skills which were learned in the trenches of shortages and sacrifice. They didn’t need to be taught “The value of a nickel,” as they called it, because they had so few of them. The trials of their lives made them cautious money managers and, even though many only had financially average careers, they became some of my wealthiest clients by implementing sound principles and strict discipline.

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