The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.
– Alan Greenspan
If there was a concept that is pivotal to our lives and ambition, a concept that determines our financial status, and in effect, deciding whether we are rich or poor, but a concept we have nonetheless managed to completely ignore, it must be ‘Financial literacy’.
This term is alien to most Ghanaians, educated and other wise, and this is having grim of repercussions to not just individual but to societies and the country as a whole.
This episode then is not about entrepreneur or entrepreneurship, business or corporate entities, it is about anyone who wants a future better than his past, and above all, about anyone who really cares that he is willing to take the difficult step.
So, what is financial intelligence? How could one develop his or her financial intelligence? And, why one needs to develop his or her financial intelligence.
What then is financial intelligence?
‘Financial literacy is the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informal and effective decisions with all of their financial resources’, according to Wikipedia.org. Now you may think such a concept should be championed and promoted in every state, yet, the fact is we have neglected it and instead left our financial future to chance and luck.
We find on many occasions, when we discuss about financial literacy, the people we normally mention are the rich. As you find when you discuss this area, there are number of prominent personalities who have been inspired by the concept of financial literacy. On many occasions, we have kept into ourselves instead of making this an important aspect into our lives, who every single human can benefit from.
How could one develop his or her financial intelligence?
Financial literacy is normally not acquired through formal education, it is normally attained through reading financial educational books. I knew nothing concerning financial literacy until my elderly brother told me about it.
‘So what do you want to be in future?’ My brother asked. Although I was reading mechanical engineering at that time, I told him I will change my course to read electrical engineering at the University. ‘So what are you going to do if you don’t get employment after your graduation?’ He asked. ‘I will set up my own business, I will be self-employed.’ I answered. Well, then you will only get money when you work.’ He said. ‘So who gets money when he does not work?’ I asked with cautious curiosity. ‘Does Bill Gates work or he has people working for him?’ He asked with smile. ‘He has people working for him.’ I answered. ‘What will also make me get money without working?’ I asked. ‘Either build a brand or have money working for you.’ He answered’.
Through this conversation with my brother, I got to realize working hard does not guarantee one’s riches but financial literacy. He recommended me to read financial educational books.
We see many workers who are degree holders going on strikes simply because they think they are getting paid unfair wages, or feel like their places of employment are treating them poorly. Robert Kiyosaki said, ’if you are still doing what mommy and daddy said for you to do(go to school, get a job, and save money), you are losing.’ They follow what their schools tell them which I am going to explain in my next episode. Ghanaian students are able to read a variety of academic books but have no interest in financial educational books. Is it not ironic to say that, Ghanaians hate being financially free?
Why does one need to develop his or her financial intelligence?
Acquiring financial literacy is one of the great bargains in life. It costs little and returns great rewards. It is a one-time investment that pays profit for the rest of one’s life. The sooner you seek financial education, the sooner you begin gaining the rewards. The longer you enjoy financial literacy, the more value you will get from it. The world is scattered with people who build gigantic treasures and lose it all because of their financial ignorance.
In order for you to be financially intelligent, you need to learn how to make decisions on your own, not other peoples’ advise. Almost all students graduate from schools with what their schools teach them, i.e. get good grades and have a good job doing. They take others’ decisions instead of making their own, to allow them to independently sort all the divergent opinions and decide what is uniquely true for them.
What should we do now? It is simple: Start working on your financial literacy with a continual improvement by making decision today. I am a big believer in financial education because I know the good it does to people. I hope you will join me do the same.