Creating Wealth – The Education You’re Not Getting Is Costing You The Most Money

In your pursuit of creating wealth, it’s important to realize the importance of education.There are 3 important types of education: The first type of education is a very important and basic education necessary for survival today called Scholastic Education. Scholastic education which is taught in elementary, middle and high schools teaches students how to read, write, do arithmetic, etc.
The second type of education is a professional or specialized education. This education is necessary for professional success to learn the skills taught at a University, Business school, trade school, medical school, law school, etc to become a doctor, engineer, lawyer, professor, etc.
But it’s the 3rd type of education that most people are not getting which is costing them the most money and that’s Financial Education (money managing skills like how to balance a checkbook; understanding basic accounting principles, to distinguish – and be able to define – assets from liabilities, good debt from bad debt, linear income from passive income, etc). This education unfortunately is not really taught in schools (they don’t even teach simple personal finance skills like how to balance a checkbook); most people learn their financial skills either by trial and error (an expensive and often painful way to learn) or from what money skills they picked up from their parents, most of whom have bad money habits themselves (because they never learned, and so the cycle perpetuates). In fact to make matters worse, many college students learn their (bad) money habits from all the credit card offers and incentives they receive on campus, enticing them to sign up for and use credit cards for bad debt – I should know, I’m speaking from personal experience on this one!(Side note: this is another difference that distinguishes the wealthy from everyone else – they do pass down these critical skills and lessons about money and finance to their kids. Is it any wonder why the rich get richer?)Too many people are never taught this when they leave school and have no idea what a financial statement even is and usually only come to realize it’s importance when it’s too late in life, when they want to stop working but can’t afford to, once they’ve lost their job, lost their retirement, etc. And unfortunately, they have to learn the hard way usually because their financial statement is in bad shape!

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Educational Trends – Heavily Negative, Sprinkled Positive

The past two decades have brought many changes to the world of education, some of it positive, much of it negative. Regarding the latter, perhaps the most telling is that the United States continues to fall behind other countries in science, reading, and math. There are many factors that are contributing to this downfall. For example, there continues to be a wide socioeconomic gap with an increasing number of students in poverty. Impoverished students cannot be expected to learn if their basic needs are not met. Just as a gap in socioeconomic status is widening, so is the achievement gap. Minority students tend to lag behind their peers in academics.Politicians have not made the U.S. education system any better. For example, politicians and supporters of the No Child Left Behind Act heavily promote standardized tests. Standardized tests perpetuate grouping, such that lower socioeconomic students are tracked in lower-achieving clusters. Standardized tests encourage rote learning rather than deeply learning concepts.Many politicians are insistent upon taking away teachers’ rights. For example, many politicians want merit pay for teachers. Merit pay does not take into consideration the natural composition of classes. In other words, some classes inherently have lower achieving students. Therefore, test scores would be lower and hence lower pay. A further example of being against teacher rights is what happened recently in Wisconsin. Its governor struck down collective bargaining, effectively eliminating better working conditions and tenure. If the U.S. follows in this trend, the U.S. cannot be expected to retain and hire phenomenal teachers.The weakening economy has been detrimental to education. Many programs have been cut or reduced, such as foreign languages. Cutting foreign language education is foolish as languages help us compete in a global marketplace. Other countries mandate that students learn a second language from the youngest of ages, the U.S. lags behind. Furthermore, class size has increased. Student to teacher ratio has gotten worse, creating havoc for teachers and less personal time with students.Another factor greatly affecting education is that of technology. Technology has been both a blessing and a curse. Regarding the curse, technology may play a role in widening the achievement gap. Those who are lower socioeconomically have less access to the technology. Technology is an enormous expense for districts. Thanks to technology such as cameras on phones and texting, student cheating has become more sophisticated and harder to catch.Regarding the benefits of technology, students can research topics at the push of a button. Never before has learning about any topic been as readily accessible. Computer programs help students learn new skills. Computer programs for teachers allow educators diverse lesson plans and help to accurately keep grades.A beneficial educational movement, character education, is in response to a negative trend, societal incivility. Character education is school-wide efforts to teach students about being part of a community by encouraging positive character traits, e.g. honesty, trustworthiness, perseverance, hard work, etc.Education will never be short of trends. Education is a reflection of society and vice versa. As mentioned above, incivility created character education. Technology creates diverse learning experiences. The positives are mixed with the negatives. It may seem that the negatives vastly outnumber the positives. This may be the case, but over time trends can change. Let’s hope trends will once again favor the U.S. so we can once again be the leader in education.