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October 19, 2016


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It's a tough problem to solve. How to educate the people that are not educated? Their parents probably aren't very educated either.

Perhaps the Federal Government could get involved to institute a "required" personal finance curriculum that everyone would have to take prior to graduating high-school.

I'm not necessarily a fan of increasing government, but I think if you leave it to the states, there will still be many people left behind.

I don't buy into BR's argument that it's the prepper mentality that drives the appeal of gold. While I think they have good reason not to be optimistic about their prospects, I think very few poor Americans are actively predicting or hoping for a doomsday scenario. Of course the coming election may prove me wrong.

Instead I think many of the poor see the financial system as rigged against them, and this whole concept of financial literacy only serves to confirm their suspicion. The rich can make their punts with confidence because they wrote the rules of this (their?) game and can afford the risks to much if not most of their capital. The enormous transfer of wealth over this past decade, between the housing crash and the subsequent interest rate regime, was in effect a reverse Robin Hood.

Instead of blaming the poor for failing to navigate today's hopelessly complex investment landscape, maybe it's the financial system that needs to be reformed to level the playing field. In other words perhaps gold's allure is that it's an off the grid investment where the owner feels there's no chance of being taken by the powers that be.

BTW I have family history of a doomsday scenario, as my grandparents lost literally everything of their real estate and paper assets to a revolution, and it was my grandmother's gold jewellery that put food on the table during their early years as refugees. Not my world, but not something I would scoff at either.

I don't have any data other than my own experience and anecdotes but I would also bet that the poor are more likely to consider money markets and CDs as long-term investments. The big gap in earnings compounding widens the gap.

Interesting post FMF. I think the observations are true from my own anecdotal experience.

The poor unfortunately won't read this:
And they are likely to be enamored with this instead:

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