Ryan Mack is what I would call a "financial evangelist" -- spreading the word about financial literacy that can make a difference in the lives of his audience that is as dramatic as life or death. The challenge to raise the financial literacy of our community is more important in the 21st century than the civil rights movement was in the 20th century. John Hope Bryant of Operation Hope calls it the "Silver Rights Movement." There is a need for many more evangelists like Ryan Mack.
Given the information and tools available, the question I am asking everyone I know who is employed is this: "Do you have a NON-RETIREMENT INVESTMENT ACCOUNT?" Anyone smart enough to keep a job can learn about how to invest wisely. This is money that YOU MANAGE FOR YOURSELF. Not money that your employer puts away for you -- in a retirement account or 401K. This is money you are saving to buy a home, go on vacation, or fund your children's college education.
The first financial advice I received when I started working as a young man was this: "Pay yourself first." The way to do this is to learn how to invest where the wealthy invest. Very much like the old story about why to rob banks, "That is where the money is." It is the foundation of the economic growth in our country. Get in the game or be left at the short end of a widening wealth gap.
Very different than the piggy bank that my parents taught me to put money into, a "non-retirement investment account" returns gains that exceed every alternative for saving money. Of course, the very nature of the financial market involves the risk of loss, but at the end of the day investors are winners. Otherwise the markets would collapse and cease to exist. That is where insurance companies, pension funds, retirement funds, foundations, unions, university endowment funds, and smart generational wealthy people put their money. If they can invest wisely, so can you.
As investors prepare to close the books of 2013, the biggest story on Wall Street were stocks themselves, with major averages breaking dozens of record highs over the last 12 months.
The Dow is expected to rise more than 20 percent for the year, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 will be up roughly 30 and 25 percent respectively. That’s the best year for the S&P 500, the broadest measure of stocks, since 2007.
You don't have to be a millionaire to invest. A 30% return on $1,000.00 is still better than anything else you could have done with that money. Learn how to invest and you can participate in these kinds of returns. Of course, what goes up can come down. However, the Dow Jones average was at 3,000 when I started investing in the 1980's. It closed at 16,357.55 on Tuesday. That is a five fold increase through several recessions.
Financial literacy is the best investment that you can make as a first step. Then take financial actions in your self-interests. The difference between the alternatives can be like life and death.