Are High School Kids Getting Bad Advice???

Posted by James Egan on March 02, 2017 . 0 Comments


  Mike Rowe was recently on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News.  Mr. Rowe gained national fame when his show entitled Dirty Jobs ran on Discovery Channel.   On Dirty Jobs, Mr. Rowe put the spotlight on dirty, nasty jobs that people do every day.  To many of the viewing audience, it would be unimaginable to do the jobs that were featured and profiled on the show each week, yet many of them were fairly high paying, secure, and vitally necessary.  Sounds like lifestyle and job security to me.

On the Carlson show Mr. Rowe lamented the huge amount of debt college grads are entering the workforce with, many of them with degrees, but not any marketable skills that employers are looking for, or even worse, skills that may get them a job, but one where the compensation is so minimal that they have no shot at paying back their debt and maintain an adult life style at the same time.  Hello couch in Mom & Dads’ basement!

He made the point that high school kids are no longer taught any tech skills like the kind that many of us learned in Industrial Arts shop class when we grew up.  According to Mr. Rowe, there are 5.6 million good paying jobs currently going unfilled, with 75% of them not requiring a 4 year college degree.  Until very recently, high school kids were told their only hope for prosperity and a decent lifestyle was to go to college for additional education.  With the costs of a 4 year (or 5 or 6 year) college being what they are today, for many kids, this is the worst advice they could ever receive.

A better approach would be to educate kids on how capital and finances work, and introduce a concept to them that could make all the difference in the world.  If kids were given the reasons why they should be knowledgeable in this area, many would see the light and set themselves up for a lifetime of success.  Providing them with this knowledge and perspective would open up many great opportunities to them that are currently not accessible due to the mental block they have from the guidance they are currently receiving.

There is a book by author Bob Buford entitled Half Time, Moving from Success to Significance that every young person should readTo oversimplify it, the basic premise of the book is that the 1st half of our working life should be spent accumulating assets & net worth so that by the time we are in our 40’s, we are financially independent, and can spend the balance of our life doing things we are passionate about, things that matter, or things that benefit others.  The only way to do this is to put your money to work for you as soon as you can in life, rather you working for your money for the rest of your financial life.

If a young person was made aware of this concept and was given some help in basic financial fundamentals, they would have a Big Picture perspective as they begin their financial life.  Today, a young person can reach the target of success and significance with or without earning a college degree.  However, having this awareness before taking on a level of debt that could take a decade or more to get out from under could have a big impact in the decision process.   

They would also be much more likely to consider some of the good paying jobs that are available, and which one can usually be trained on with a two year stint at an inexpensive technical college.  It’s much easier to put up with tough work conditions when you are young, than when you are in your 40’s or 50’s with no way out. 

In this scenario, contrast having to move back in with your parents after getting out of college buried in dept, to maybe staying at home for an extra year or two after high school while you acquire actual job skills and begin to make $40 to $50,000/year or more.  You save up the majority of what you earn so that you can purchase your 1st Duplex before you are out of your mid 20’s.  You now have a cool place to live that will also become an income producing asset.  You money has begun to work for you, and you are on your way to significance.

You also have time on your side, so you will need to get schooled on investing so that you can take advantage of other investments that will work for you over time and greatly increase in value if you take a consistent and methodical approach to investing!  If you get the Big Picture, the money you are not spending on rent each month should be redirected to paying yourself first, and setting yourself up for financial independence by the time you are in your 40’s, if not sooner.  Then the fun will really begin for you!


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