At Redwing Financial, our view of financial literacy does not center on basic financial functionality tasks such as paying bills, crafting a simple budget or knowing to file taxes annually. We feel that financial literacy does not come in knowing what money is and how it is used, but rather the short-, intermediate- and long-term ramifications of each financial decision an individual makes, as well as how non-financial decisions often create subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle changes to the originally-anticipated outcomes of those financial decisions. True financial literacy, in our opinion, can only exist when an individual either knows how to deftly navigate those outcomes - expected or not - or knows how to legitimately recognize someone who is capable of guiding them through the process of doing so, with honesty and integrity.
We feel strongly that, despite the existence of an overwhelming amount of technological innovation and access to various tools, individuals are now less likely than ever to receive reliable and meaningful information, and may in fact have a false sense of security in knowing that the internet exists and assuming it can provide them with whatever information they need to succeed in life.
Navigating the internet, from a technological perspective, is not difficult; however, in the absence of robust financial education, in combination with a focus on critical thinking in a forward-looking approach, few understand that much of the information to be found online is inaccurate, unfounded and in many cases simply wrong entirely. Ensuring that those individuals who will ultimately be responsible for the next phase of economic development in the world have the tools and knowledge they need to head successfully and confidently forward should indeed be our priority - as a nation, an industry, and indeed as parents and peers.
We at Redwing Financial feel that much of what is to be found and classified as financial education these days creates an inaccurate idea of financial literacy. Homogenized, unfocused, and generalized education is how we got where we are today - with much of our nation's youth buried under greater than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt (source: https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/) and many individuals maxed out on personal debt - and we feel that to further depersonalize the educational process by presenting it online will only result in a greater reductions in understanding of these important life topics.
It is our opinion that financial advice and financial literacy should be delivered by those who have navigated financial hardships and have a clear understanding of how to survive and even thrive through difficult times. As while not everyone will experience those same difficulties, understanding how to either avoid them altogether or face them confidently is the true measure of financial literacy.
Please refer to our events page for upcoming opportunities to learn, in person, about a wide range of meaningful financial topics.