Monday, January 5, 2015

Educated in the right "subject"?

I saw this on my Facebook feed today, and I was really intrigued by it.

Of course, I was skeptical of this information at first, so I searched around and went to verify the facts. Eventually I found the source from an interview back in January 2013. Some of his holdings might have changed, as well as his income, but that's not the point of the article.

Now this, this quote is what so strongly resonated with me.

I believe that everyone needs to have good education in 2 areas, which is on top of foundational education, like math, science, general knowledge.

The first area is regarding their job or career. Whatever it is that you are going to earn your income and livelihood from, you should be educated in that area. Doctor, lawyer, engineer, technician, cab driver, it really doesn't matter. To me, educated means that you have learnt how to do everything and anything that might be required of you from your job. Of course, many things are on-the-job learning as well, but that should be the goal. To be a master at what you do, so you will have a job and earn an income from it.

The second area is personal finance. You can get a million dollars today right now, which is more than what most people in the world will earn from their jobs in their entire lifetime, and you might just blow it all away within a year. This lack of personal finance knowledge is not just a problem confined to the perceived "lower educated". There are plenty of stories of top executives delaying their retirement and yuppies going deep into debt because of poor finance planning. You can also be a top income earner, like a doctor or pro athlete and blow away all your money. No matter who you are, what you work as, what was your academic background, being educated in personal finance is fundamental to keep your wealth.

So with the first area of your knowledge, you can make your money. However, the second area of knowledge determines whether you will get to keep it. Far too many people focus only on the "In" and don't care about the "Out". This is exactly the same as people who only care how much they earn, and don't watch how much they spend.

I believe that personal finance should be a basic and compulsory subject that is taught at the secondary school level, and there should be a nation-wide standardized exam on it. The results and outcome of the exam can be inconsequential, but I think that exposing children to these ideas early on in their education can help them at least recognize warning signs and dangers and seek help if they are unable to navigate these dangerous waters themselves.

What do you think? Shall we send a petition to MOE? Haha!


  1. you know the former bassist of Guns N' Roses, Duff McKagan? He actually set up a small consultancy type business/school to educate rock stars on how to preserve their wealth and not spend it all away.

    1. Thanks for the tidbit of into ladykiller, I went to go read up on Duff McKagan, very impressive! Not too many people like Duff and Shaq around!

  2. Many athletes blew up their account, at least they have fun. Many people dont even have the money to blow up in the first place.

    The middle ground is always the best :)

    1. True true, most people will never earn a millionaire dollars, let alone spend a million! I should start a fee-based firm to help people with their finances :P


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