The Secret Financial Weapon Nobody Uses (but we should everyday)

secret financial weaponThere’s a secret financial weapon that we all have in our arsenal but very few of us use (alright, none of us use) – but we should be using it daily!  It’s the most powerful weapon in the world.  And since you’re reading this right now, I know you have it.

What is it made of?  Financial Knowledge

Weapon (noun) – A means of gaining an advantage or defending one’s self

Knowledge (noun) – Information and skills acquired through experience or education

Knowledge is Only Part the Secret Financial Weapon

However, while knowledge itself can be a very powerful weapon, it’s not a secret. Everyone knows the phrase knowledge is power.  And knowledge is power – you need it to become powerful and change your circumstance.  You need it to make a difference – to yourself and for others.

And knowledge is what the secret financial weapon is made of.  

And I know you have it.  How do I know?

I know you have financial knowledge because you’re reading The College Investor today.  And chances are, you probably stopped at several other personal finance sites on the Internet today.  You also probably have a subscription to a financial magazine, and maybe you even signed-up for a financial newsletter.

This is all means that you have financial knowledge.

You don’t need to be an expert, but you know something.  You probably love personal finance as much as I do (or at least don’t hate it).  You probably understand Investing 101 and Personal Finance Basics.

So, I know you’re weapon is loaded…

The Real Secret is Sharing

But the real secret part of this weapon is sharing.  When was the last time you shared your financial knowledge – maybe with a friend, coworker, or family member?  Chances are that you do it few and far between.

But it is essential that we use our knowledge and share it with others.  This is what makes knowledge even more powerful!

Imagine a scenario in which you have a coworker who continually comes into the office and complains that they are struggling to make ends meet.  However, everyday they pull up to work in a current model year Lexus, and they want to go to expensive restaurants for lunch each day.  On Monday mornings, when you ask him how his weekend was, he would tell you about his shopping excursions all over town.  You also notice the off-comments when you mention your house or vacation, especially the ones about “How can you afford that on our salary…”.

In these situations, you really have two choices:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Share Your Financial Knowledge
Doing Nothing

If you do nothing, there is one guaranteed outcome – nothing. Nothing will change.  There is no hope for your coworker because they are ignorant to the financial knowledge you have.  The benefit of this choice is that you avoid talking to this coworker who you probably don’t like to talk to anyway.  But this choice will also not benefit you in the long run.

People without financial knowledge are the same people who struggle in the financial system.  They are the same ones who will declare bankruptcy, make the companies we all use write off debt and in turn raise costs, which impacts your personal checkbook.  While the problem is systemic, the solution is individual.

Sharing Your Financial Knowledge

That’s why I urge you to go with option two and share your financial knowledge.  It only takes a few simple sentences to share your knowledge – the knowledge I know you have.

Just think – instead of just listening, maybe mention something free that you’re doing to manage your finances.  Maybe you mention the awesome deal you found on a credit card using Mint or some other free online money management tool.  You don’t need to sell or insist.  You just need to share.

If, deep down inside, this coworker thinks you have financial knowledge (which the off-comments usually mean), he will listen to you (or at least act without telling you).  This is the secret financial weapon nobody talks about or uses.  The power of knowledge and influence.

By sharing this knowledge, you can give your coworker tools to help them get out of their financial situation.  In the big scheme of things, this will benefit you in the long run and help them in the short run.

Take Action Today

Sharing Chain Reaction

So I urge you to take action today.  Share some financial tidbit with two people today.  Once you do it, encourage them to share it with two other people.   Start the chain reaction of financial knowledge today!

It doesn’t have to be an investing tip or even a personal story.  Maybe you just discuss a recent news event or encourage someone to enroll in benefits.  Even these basic financial discussions can really help improve the system.

Leverage this secret financial weapon today so we can all enjoy a more financially secure tomorrow.

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  1. says

    Okay, here goes: the economy moves in cycles. After a recession comes good times, but these, too, will be followed by another recession (which in turn will be followed by more good times). If you look at this chart:
    you’ll see our next recession will probably happen between 2016 and 2019 if past history is any guide.

    So… be careful with your big purchases (houses, cars, investments). Buy as close the bottom of the cycle as possible and not when money is easy and “everyone” is buying. That happened in 2006-07 and look what that did to those folks.

    You’re welcome :)

  2. says

    Love to post Robert but sharing usually gets me looked at funny. When I speak to friends and family about 401k, savings, not spending too much on homes and cars they pretty much don’t want to talk to me about it. Mostly I just feel like it depends on who you are sharing the knowledge with. Not everyone is willing and/or ready to listen. Mention to someone about maxing out their 401k the look at you funny if that is not whats important to them.

    • says

      That’s the key notion – sharing some solid financial advice shouldn’t get you looked at funny. It does depend on who you’re sharing with, the timing, and what advice you’re sharing – but the bottom line is you (and we all) should be sharing our financial knowledge to better the world!

  3. says

    I generally look to provide advice whenever its requested. I don’t like to volunteer it too much less it doesn’t go over the right way. Of course my blog is chock full of my view on anything finance related and the great thing is people can pick and choose from what works for them. Think that’s why I enjoy blogging so much. it gives me the opportunity to sound out my views without the worry that I may be being too intrusive to some one!

    • says

      Very true – if someone comes to your blog, they expect to hear your thoughts on a subject, so it’s not intrusive. The trouble is that people on your site probably want the knowledge, but sometimes people need knowledge and don’t even know it (sorry, that sounds kind of cocky).

  4. says

    Sometimes it’s hard to let someone know when their doing something wrong, especially when they don’t think they are. I like the fact that you mention how to let them know about examples of something free you’re doing. The biggest fear of sharing anything with anyone is that they could get offended. I would just hate to try to help someone out and give them advice if they’re going to be a poor sport about it.

  5. says

    I can attest to this secret weapon. From my experience in teaching and tutoring, I find that the more I share what I know, not only do I help others but the more I learn about what I am teaching. I force myself to dig deeper into my focus and constantly challenge myself to double-check and learn more about what another person needs.

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