Like any challenge, it helps to talk about it. Think about trying to learn a new sport and not being able to talk to your coach; that would be difficult.
If you’re interested in becoming an investor, and before that, financially knowledgeable – there is a strange force working against you. A lot of people aren’t comfortable talking about finances. Here’s an astounding point I found in a great article in the Atlantic: only 17 percent of parents with an income above $100,000 a year have told (or plan to tell) their children how much they earn or their net worth. Believe it or not, people are “more comfortable” talking with friends about marital discord, mental health, addiction, race, sex, and politics than money (theatlantic.com).
I read up on this more and think it’s important for every rising investor to understand why. Here is what I learned.
Money can cause judgment. Money can cause stress. Money is personal. So people don’t talk about it. That doesn’t exactly make for the best learning environment. But there are a lot of different reasons this happens.
At the root of this, people don’t want to be judged or insulted for their financial choices and investments because it can be very complicated and overwhelming. People don’t talk about money because it’s personal and private (mablekwong.com). So, let’s get to it.
Consider this example, before people become financially strong, specifically young adults, they start by living paycheck to paycheck. Adding even a small amount of debt adds to this struggle. Poor investments and purchase decisions can pile up – and that’s just not a good situation. Usually, when this happens, a person is criticized rather than advised (usatoday.com).
Adults are expected to make high IQ financial decisions. But, talking about money is stressful ( (theatlantic.com). And not only that, money can be confusing and even overwhelming. In fact, according to a survey issued by Charles Schwab, 70% of Americans had admitted to having high-stress rates when discussing money (schwab.com).
Even success creates silence. When a person is financially successful, they still don’t talk about money because then they’d be viewed as a bragger. And that wouldn’t be a good look. Therefore, they decide to keep it to themselves and ignore the topic (theatlantic.com).
Big problem. So, let’s find the solutions.
First off, let’s talk about family. Parents, you can visit websites like (myra.com), (forbes.com), and (money.usnews.com). These websites give practical advice on teaching preschoolers, pre-teens, and teenagers the value of money. They are quick but helpful reads. Furthermore, I would recommend greenlight debit card to teach kids more about money (greenlight.com). The goal is to help kids become finically literate. And for young adults, there are lots of age-appropriate articles such as (businessinsider.com), (cnbc.com), and (investopedia.com). These articles provide useful tips about investing and finances. They’re straightforward and easy to read.
Discussing finances with friends can also be helpful. These articles give solid advice on how to discuss money with your friends. I highly recommend you take a minute and read these articles (cnbc.com), (thebalance.com), and (nytimes.com).
Finally, the internet is a valuable resource but be careful. Look for legitimate sites like CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and Forbes. This article from cnbc.com showcases five financial communities where people discuss money and financial knowledge online (cnbc.com). The article goes on to provide a few detailed sentences about each site to help you out. As I mentioned earlier, just like in sports, to become a successful investor and financial literate, it’s helpful to have an experienced coach. As I continue on my journey as a rising investor, I can tell you firsthand that these articles have helped me immensely.