Author Topic: How to educate people?  (Read 1316 times)

hydra

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How to educate people?
« on: May 12, 2021, 05:22:30 PM »
I was getting a haircut today when the stylist received a text from her partner. She was surprised because he never texts her when she's working. She stepped away from my hair and read the text out loud: "The Dow Jones is taking a dive and I should get my retirement out now!"

I said, "Really, how bad is it?" I picked up my phone to check. It was down ~$600. I said, "Don't worry..don't panic...this is nothing...just hang on it will come back..if anything, use this as an opportunity to buy more."

She insisted she wasn't panicked, but she clearly was distracted and upset. She said, "I'm still ahead" as if she were at a blackjack table and not investing long term for her retirement.

It kills me that we don't teach young people about investing. It should be required learning. Do you try to educate the people in your life? If so, what works best?

And for people who are already past 50, is it too late to recommend "The Simple Path to Wealth"?
 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 05:30:37 PM by hydra »

geekette

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 05:48:07 PM »
Change the view to the last 5 years instead of just the last couple days.

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 06:22:47 PM »
First, know your place and when it's actually appropriate to educate people.

The information is readily available, and it's very easy to refer people to JL Collins, MMM, etc, if they're actually at all interested in learning.

Many people have paid me large sums of money to give them advice, and even then I tend to piss them off by telling them what they have *paid me* to tell them, and they often don't follow the advice, even after paying for it.

So know that trying to educate people generally makes them want to strangle you, and doesn't change their behavior, but if you're like me and super cool with pissing people off and not generally getting results, then go ahead, educate away.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 10:11:27 PM »
First, know your place and when it's actually appropriate to educate people.

The information is readily available, and it's very easy to refer people to JL Collins, MMM, etc, if they're actually at all interested in learning.

Many people have paid me large sums of money to give them advice, and even then I tend to piss them off by telling them what they have *paid me* to tell them, and they often don't follow the advice, even after paying for it.

So know that trying to educate people generally makes them want to strangle you, and doesn't change their behavior, but if you're like me and super cool with pissing people off and not generally getting results, then go ahead, educate away.

Ditto.  It's amazing.  Human nature, I suppose.

Education only works if the person wants to learn.  Amazing students are great, but they are rare.  This lady probably didn't want to learn, especially in that moment.  But you took a good approach with encouraging. 

Reminds me of a message I had a while back from an old client.  "I'm so, so, so sorry.  You were right."  It's a shame that didn't do me any good at all back when the advice was given, or for years afterwards...

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 07:26:10 AM »
Another person on this forum (can't remember ATM) reported they had an epiphany a few days ago when they read the stock series and realized that buying stock was a form of hands-off business ownership, not a form of gambling where you hope a greater fool comes along and pays you more or you hope your timing is just right.

Maybe this is the key, especially when dealing with personalities who don't like reading long tracts full of details. If you can illustrate the difference between being a business owner and being a speculator, that one shift in perspective might break through for some folks.

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 07:47:56 AM »
Another person on this forum (can't remember ATM) reported they had an epiphany a few days ago when they read the stock series and realized that buying stock was a form of hands-off business ownership, not a form of gambling where you hope a greater fool comes along and pays you more or you hope your timing is just right.

Maybe this is the key, especially when dealing with personalities who don't like reading long tracts full of details. If you can illustrate the difference between being a business owner and being a speculator, that one shift in perspective might break through for some folks.

Lol, I love how you think that just explaining things to people is all it takes to get them to understand.

People have epiphanies because they are ready to change their perspective, not because they met information that was transformative.

I've spent many years conveying the same, simple, common sense information to patients. It's always the same message, it's always the same content, but I only get traction when I'm able to assess and connect with the person's state of readiness to receive the message and alter their behaviour.

If you don't know how to assess people's readiness, AND know how to foster a state of readiness, then what you say simply won't matter the vast majority of the time.

I've had clients where I've said literally the *exact same thing*, every week for a year. My messaging never substantially changed, but every few months the person would click with part of the messaging and say "oh my god, mind blown" and I would even point out that I had said the exact same thing dozens of times before. It wouldn't matter, they can only hear it when they can hear it.

People hear what they hear, not what you say to them.

Loren Ver

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 08:33:51 AM »
Yeah, it is hard.  People knew I was retiring, or that I did retire early and they wanted to know how they could do the same thing. 

The receptive people are rocking it!  They will be done on their terms (scaled to kids college dates not to an ability to hit a stache number, or something else they picked).  Love meeting with them and seeing their dreams come true, even if they are completely different than my dreams.

The ones that aren't rocking it have chosen not to.  My message isn't what is changing, what they are hearing is.  Sure these groups have different lives and values, but everyone is making enough money that they could be on any path they chose (not necessarily the path I would pick) but some just chose to wallow is poor financial choices and not understanding the consequences when they keep happening over and over. 

You can only help them as much as they are willing to help themselves (something I learned here on the forum).

Of course, when anyone asks, I still offer my advice personalize to them, they can choose to take it or not.  I just make sure I don't take anything personally.  It is their life, they have to live with all decisions made, not me. 

ender

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 09:14:04 AM »
Another person on this forum (can't remember ATM) reported they had an epiphany a few days ago when they read the stock series and realized that buying stock was a form of hands-off business ownership, not a form of gambling where you hope a greater fool comes along and pays you more or you hope your timing is just right.

Maybe this is the key, especially when dealing with personalities who don't like reading long tracts full of details. If you can illustrate the difference between being a business owner and being a speculator, that one shift in perspective might break through for some folks.

This really isn't true though in the sense the average person can understand, anyways.

I'm not even sure I'd say it's true at all using these words.

hydra

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2021, 09:04:56 PM »
If you get to people when they're young, about to start their first job or paid internship, tell them about the concept of "FU money" and help them open their first brokerage account--it would be such a huge gift.

It just makes me sad that so few get the message at the right time.

Morning Glory

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2021, 10:21:17 PM »
I saw this thread title and immediately thought "not in three hour blocks on zoom" lol.

 I actually did talk a couple people down last year. I had colleagues talking about cashing out their retirement funds right when the market was at it's lowest, because of that Covid withdrawal loophole thing. When someone is in that much of a panic, a simple message is best. Something like "leave it alone, it will go back up" will suffice.

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2021, 06:27:32 AM »
If you get to people when they're young, about to start their first job or paid internship, tell them about the concept of "FU money" and help them open their first brokerage account--it would be such a huge gift.

It just makes me sad that so few get the message at the right time.

Hilariously, many do, and it still doesn't make a difference if they aren't ready to absorb it.

People absorb whatever their parents believe because they are constantly given the message over years, so it's being received at all stages of readiness.

If a message isn't consistent, a young person will typically reject it, unless the person delivering the message knows how to maneuver a young person into readiness, which most people have no fucking clue how to do.

The importance of saving is like the importance of flossing. It's just not a lesson most young people want to onboard.

draco44

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 02:26:03 PM »
The importance of saving is like the importance of flossing. It's just not a lesson most young people want to onboard.

Malcat's right that, in so many words, you can lead a horse/person to water but you can't make them drink. Especially when the lesson is about how to do the "boring" things in life rather than how to grow up to be an space exploring, opera singing, firefighter princess. Realizing the importance and dignity of doing the mundane tasks of living can take a while.

Per the earlier thread discussion I definitely had to be ready to absorb the message, but for me one formative experience when I was young was to find the FI classic The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn in the library. My big takeaway wasn't so much all the individual strategies to make do and happily live with less (though that was all great) but the realization of just how big an accomplishment it was for adults to have their shit together and afford what seemed like baseline things to me as a kid, like having a home and food on the table. I was very fortunate that I grew up with enough life stability to not be worrying where my next meal would come from, but for some people finding housing and affording kids is an achievement as big as landing on the moon. And even if you come from a relatively wealthy and loving home, it's on you to have the life-long discipline to not blow everything up. There's a section of thank you letters to Amy at the end of her book and the one that most stuck with me said simply (I later bought the book, so here's the exact quote): "It is no small thing to empower people to realize decent and good dreams." To me, that's the heart of personal finance.

socaso

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2021, 10:01:36 AM »
A company I worked for started a 401k, they came in and gave a presentation about it to encourage sign up. Most of my coworkers were in their 20s and still didn't understand about the program so I talked to many of them individually and explained how they worked and talked about previous experiences I had with them at other companies. I felt pretty proud that a few people I talked to decided to sign up for the 401K.

A couple of years later one of the people I talked to was complaining on social media about "not being able to get money out of my 401k" and "that's my money." I wanted to scream into a pillow because I tried so hard to explain to that person that this was a good feature of 401k's.

Jouer

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2021, 10:16:05 AM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

dougules

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2021, 10:44:41 AM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

It might get ignored for the most part, but at least they've heard it.  It's still rattling around up in there somewhere.  When the time comes that they might be receptive to it and understand where it fits in the world then they'll have something to go on even if it's just remembering the right questions to ask. 

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2021, 11:44:17 AM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

It might get ignored for the most part, but at least they've heard it.  It's still rattling around up in there somewhere.  When the time comes that they might be receptive to it and understand where it fits in the world then they'll have something to go on even if it's just remembering the right questions to ask.

Exactly, my point about people not being ready to hear things doesn't mean they shouldn't hear them.

My point was that individuals should be cautious about deciding that their own personal role should be that of the one responsible for "educating" people, because chances are people have no interest in listening to them.

That doesn't mean that people shouldn't try to educate others, just that they need to be realistic about their role in doing so.

If you aren't in a position of authority to others, then don't ever bother trying to educate them unless you are entirely comfortable with your advice being ignored.

If you don't give a fuck if people listen to you, then go ahead and educate away. Most people can't handle that though, and they just end up creating a situation that causes them unnecessary stress.

Me? I don't give a fuck if anyone listens to me, I'm no one's mother. So I give my my advice freely because I have absolutely nothing invested in whether or not people take it.

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2021, 12:08:07 PM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

When I was young, I certainly hoped I would be prosperous within the next several years, but I had little concept of how some people ended up prosperous and others ended up paycheck-to-paycheck. I figured it was 100% due to paycheck size. I had heard doctors and lawyers made a lot of money, but was otherwise in the dark about the differences in pay across different fields. Also, I was not as greedy as I am now. I figured if I could someday own a house and a car, what else is there? In hindsight, this was a lackadaisical start to decades of struggle.

I'm still not completely clear on how some people end up prosperous and others paycheck-to-paycheck, but I might ask my younger self to not stress so much about investment risk, to take some personality tests and talk to some people who work in the field before choosing a career path, and to buy a duplex instead of a SFH as a first RE purchase. Then I would pat my younger self on the back for being a lifelong cheap bastard, avoiding college debt, exercising, and failing at romance often enough to avoid getting at least one STD, statistically speaking (who knew asking one's date to go Dutch at McDonalds is frowned upon?).

dougules

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2021, 12:48:03 PM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

It might get ignored for the most part, but at least they've heard it.  It's still rattling around up in there somewhere.  When the time comes that they might be receptive to it and understand where it fits in the world then they'll have something to go on even if it's just remembering the right questions to ask.

Exactly, my point about people not being ready to hear things doesn't mean they shouldn't hear them.

My point was that individuals should be cautious about deciding that their own personal role should be that of the one responsible for "educating" people, because chances are people have no interest in listening to them.

That doesn't mean that people shouldn't try to educate others, just that they need to be realistic about their role in doing so.

If you aren't in a position of authority to others, then don't ever bother trying to educate them unless you are entirely comfortable with your advice being ignored.

If you don't give a fuck if people listen to you, then go ahead and educate away. Most people can't handle that though, and they just end up creating a situation that causes them unnecessary stress.

Me? I don't give a fuck if anyone listens to me, I'm no one's mother. So I give my my advice freely because I have absolutely nothing invested in whether or not people take it.

What generally determines if somebody is going to accept or reject advice?

I don't know that sitting there quietly would be easy to handle either, although maybe less difficult than getting your two cents rejected. 

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2021, 01:00:19 PM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?

It might get ignored for the most part, but at least they've heard it.  It's still rattling around up in there somewhere.  When the time comes that they might be receptive to it and understand where it fits in the world then they'll have something to go on even if it's just remembering the right questions to ask.

Exactly, my point about people not being ready to hear things doesn't mean they shouldn't hear them.

My point was that individuals should be cautious about deciding that their own personal role should be that of the one responsible for "educating" people, because chances are people have no interest in listening to them.

That doesn't mean that people shouldn't try to educate others, just that they need to be realistic about their role in doing so.

If you aren't in a position of authority to others, then don't ever bother trying to educate them unless you are entirely comfortable with your advice being ignored.

If you don't give a fuck if people listen to you, then go ahead and educate away. Most people can't handle that though, and they just end up creating a situation that causes them unnecessary stress.

Me? I don't give a fuck if anyone listens to me, I'm no one's mother. So I give my my advice freely because I have absolutely nothing invested in whether or not people take it.

What generally determines if somebody is going to accept or reject advice?

I don't know that sitting there quietly would be easy to handle either, although maybe less difficult than getting your two cents rejected.

If you want you can read about "Readiness to Change" models if you're really interested.

If someone has a lot of skill, they can actually maneuver people into readiness. This is what I did in my job. I was trying to convince people to adopt certain health behaviours that are notoriously hard to motivate, and given 20-45 minutes, I could usually move most people into a state of readiness to receive and process information.

I'm very good at getting people to the "contemplation" stage.

Chaplin

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2021, 02:27:05 PM »
If a message isn't consistent, a young person will typically reject it, unless the person delivering the message knows how to maneuver a young person into readiness, which most people have no fucking clue how to do.

If you want you can read about "Readiness to Change" models if you're really interested. 

Malcat, I'm assuming the second quote above relates to the first. If you have any good starting points for that reading I'm sure I'm not the only person who would appreciate a curated list. A quick search shows so many results that finding good ones would require lot of trial and error.

slappy

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2021, 02:37:51 PM »
If a message isn't consistent, a young person will typically reject it, unless the person delivering the message knows how to maneuver a young person into readiness, which most people have no fucking clue how to do.

If you want you can read about "Readiness to Change" models if you're really interested. 

Malcat, I'm assuming the second quote above relates to the first. If you have any good starting points for that reading I'm sure I'm not the only person who would appreciate a curated list. A quick search shows so many results that finding good ones would require lot of trial and error.

Yes, I would be interested as well!

Chaplin

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2021, 02:43:20 PM »
Sorry, "curated list" sounds very demanding. Good intro book, perhaps?

Cannot Wait!

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2021, 04:01:05 PM »
We often hear that personal finance should be taught in high-school. Things like making a budget, how to do taxes, how interest works (positive and negative), etc.

I feel like it would be ignored that early in life because they don't have the proper context / life experience yet. What do you all think?
I remember in grade 5 math class learning about "the magic of compound interest". I remember raising my hand and asking, "So why doesn't everybody just do this?"
The teacher just shook his head, chuckled and said, "Good question."

Malcat

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Re: How to educate people?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2021, 04:33:58 PM »
If a message isn't consistent, a young person will typically reject it, unless the person delivering the message knows how to maneuver a young person into readiness, which most people have no fucking clue how to do.

If you want you can read about "Readiness to Change" models if you're really interested. 

Malcat, I'm assuming the second quote above relates to the first. If you have any good starting points for that reading I'm sure I'm not the only person who would appreciate a curated list. A quick search shows so many results that finding good ones would require lot of trial and error.

No clue, I know a lot of this stuff from courses in clinical psychology. So any reputable educational resource would probably be good.