By Scott Ford, CEO & Wealth Advisor of GAAM Wealth Advisors
Financial Literacy Month and the deadline to pay your taxes occupy the same place on the calendar. This irony begs the question: if you are receiving a tax refund, how will you spend it? Are you going to put it into a retirement account, save for your child’s education, or spend it on some new toys? Oftentimes, our decisions are influenced by our level of financial literacy. The more we understand foundational financial principles, the more our perspective and choices change. This is why it is essential to take the steps to become financially literate.
What Is Financial Literacy Month?
Financial Literacy Month was initiated by President Bush in April 2004 with the purpose of raising awareness of the need for financial literacy. The hope is that Americans would be proactive, making decisions about their financial future and taking practical actions toward accomplishing those goals.
Why is Financial Literacy So Important?
Not only does money make the world go round, but it also impacts every aspect of our personal lives. We deal with money every day and our finances affect everything from our mental state to our opportunities to our quality of life. But financial education isn’t taught in most schools. This leaves a slew of adults with no financial foundation to build their life around. In fact, only 25% of Americans have a written financial plan and most people put off retirement planning for far too long.
Finances are the top cause of stress in America, with 72% of adults saying that they feel stressed about money some of the time. Stress from financial issues is also the number one cause of arguments between spouses and can impact job performance and physical health. If you want less stress in your life, financial literacy may be the answer.
How SOFA Can Help
The Society For Financial Awareness (SOFA) promotes financial education year-round, offering free education in schools, workplaces, and communities. The organization wants to ensure that all individuals have access to financial education and can benefit from the financial confidence that financial awareness provides.
On top of being a wealth advisor, I am also a member of this incredible non-profit. As part of my pro bono services with SOFA, I conduct free-of-charge workshops in our community at companies, churches, and other organizations. Americans stand to benefit greatly from the accumulated knowledge that makes up SOFA’s membership base, full of licensed professionals such as financial advisors, CPAs, estate planning attorneys, realtors, mortgage brokers, credit repair or specialist, health & wellness professionals. These individuals are on a daily quest to end financial illiteracy in their communities across the nation and willingly donate their time and talents to ensure America knows just how crucial it is to be equipped with the tools to achieve financial health.
Scott is a Wealth Advisor and Registered Financial Consultant (RFC). He was recognized as one of the 20 Rising Stars of Wealth Management by Private Asset Management Magazine in 2008 based upon assets managed of $1 million or more per client. Since 2005, Scott has been an active financial technical analyst.
Clients often choose to work with Scott because of his experience with the challenges business owners and executives face as well as his firm’s disciplined process. His personal and proactive approach is designed to bring clarity and simplicity to the complex issues of financial management. For over 20 years, he has been helping his clients define and pursue their own unique version of “True Wealth.”
Scott is the author of three books: Financial Jiu-Jitsu: A Fighter’s Guide to Conquering Your Finances, The Widow’s Wealth Map: Six Steps to Beginning Again, and the New York Times Bestseller, The Sustainable Edge: Fifteen Minutes a Week to a Richer Entrepreneurial Life.
He and his wife, Angie, reside in Hedgesville, WV and have two wonderful children as well as a dog and a cat. In addition to spending time with his family, Scott is a voracious reader and enjoys woodworking, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, golf, hunting, permaculture and beekeeping; basically anything outdoors.