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Why Financial Wisdom Prep Was Founded September 20, 2009

Posted by FWPrep in Why Financial Wisdom Prep Was Founded.
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          I thought it appropriate in Financial Wisdom Prep’s first blog posting to tell you why I decided to found the Institute. There were three reasons that seemed to come together at the same time. The first came from my teaching introductory finance at Pepperdine. At various points during the course I was fond of making a short speech about something I felt was truly important. One of those speeches was my “teach your children well” speech, which I would give after showing my students techniques for financial planning. I would start by summarizing all of the things that caring parents do for their children, such as sending them to a good school, watching who they spend time with, feeding them nutritious food, and so forth, and so on. And yet, it is surprising how little time the typical parent spends teaching their kids how to handle their money. What an important skill to have! I would then ask my students — who don’t have to answer — how many had made a big financial mistake that caused them serious harm. Hands would shoot up. So many people would be so much better off had they received financial training before they set out in life. I then advised my students to put in the time to train their kids. Some day later in life, their kids would come back to them and thank them will deep gratitude.

          My second reason is the financial crisis that we have all been enduring. I have watched events unfold with deep dismay. There were so many abusive practices that occurred in mortgage lending. Compounding the problem was the lack of understanding that people had about taking out a mortgage, and what was in their own, plain, best interest. The results were tragic. How much devastation could have been avoided if people had solid training in how to handle their finances, and understood the risks that they were taking?

          The third reason is my son. He has been an absolute joy in my life. And some of the best moments of all revolved around our many projects, whether it was creating elaborate Halloween costumes, building a chess board, binding a handmade book in leather, or writing a script together. These projects were truly enjoyable and had an educational element as well. In addition, I followed my own advice and taught my son financial skills. His leaving for college was an exciting moment, but it was also a time to reflect. I realized that I found working with bright teens very rewarding, and something that I wanted to continue.

          These then are the reasons that I founded Financial Wisdom Preparatory Institute. My hope is that I can improve the lives of my students, and through the dissemination of financial knowledge, help in my small way to prevent future financial crises.

Dr. Joetta Forsyth