The Unsavory Alternative
There is real resistance to changing the status quo around financial education, or rather the lack of it. A lack of funds, resources and time, are the causes most commonly cited.
None of these stand the test of reason. One just has to consider the alternative to realize that that the cost of providing this education to teenagers and young adults, is massively outweighed by the potential benefits.
More so than past generations, teens today are exposed to myriad earning and investing opportunities. Few legitimate, most highly dubious.
From Multi Level Marketing schemes, stock and forex trading platforms to highly sophisticated investment instruments and financial scams; navigating young adulthood without being ensnared in one or the other requires a keen sense of financial awareness and a BS detector par excellence.
It takes time and learning to develop both. It’s what we need to intentionally foster in teenagers and young adults.
We cannot wildly hope or reasonably expect any self-regulation from the industries proffering these products to naive and gullible youngsters.
What should be considered outrageous and indefensible, is sadly business as usual. And to make a bad situation even more appalling, social media influencers are now getting in on the game and weighing in on what they consider to be ‘a good investment’.
Never mind that their recommendations are plainly paid advertising. Never mind that they have little to no actual knowledge about what they are so glibly endorsing. Never mind that most times their recommendations are clearly antithetical to sound investing and long term wealth building.
The grownups in the room are either oblivious to these dangers, or are vehemently defending the ‘lack of funds, time and resources’ rationalization.
In the meanwhile these youngsters are following the entrancing music of the pied piper leading them off the cliff.