Thursday, July 30, 2015

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

It’s difficult to admit we don’t know something.  In fact, it’s probably been ingrained in us to, “Fake it until we make it.” Eventually, we may have skirted around the things we didn’t know until suddenly we learned that faking isn’t always the best practice.

This past week, I started reading the book, The Shack. When I stumbled across unfamiliar words like reverie, ubiquitous, and ethereal, it was easy to look up the definitions with the e-reader and carry on reading with minimal interruptions.   The only thing which is bothersome to me is the e-reader doesn’t provide an audio play to hear the pronunciation.   Sure there’s a pronunciation key with symbols to sound out the vowels and consonants.  That works great for sounding them in isolation but when it comes to pulling the sounds together to ensure you accent the correct syllable that presents a whole different level of difficulty.   That’s why I find it so much easier to simply ask someone who knows or use an app.  After I’ve heard the word repeatedly there’s a good chance I can say the word correctly. 

One word that baffled me forever was the word, “chasm”. Just looking at the word at first glance, I thought “ch” should be a pronounced “ch” as in “church”. Wrong! Because you are smarter than I am, you probably knew “ch” was a “k” sound and the word is pronounced kæzəm”.  It wasn’t enough to hear the word once. Since “chasm” wasn’t a word I used often, or had even heard or seen often, I would forget.  Do you have a problem with your memory like I do? I had to repeatedly learn this word.  It was only recently that I finally mastered it.

This blog isn’t intended to be a lesson in reading and writing literacy but in literacy of a different type:  financial literacy.   The intention is to give you permission to ask questions without fear of being ridiculed for wanting to learn. Understanding the different financial products and services is important. Learning is the only way to get smarter about money matters you don’t understand. It’s probably how the title to the website, Get Smarter About Money earned its reputation.  We live in a world where there is so much we don’t know or understand that we have to sift out the things that are important in our world, not the world.  You need to know what applies to you and what is important to know.

Financial literacy can be and is confusing to some.  Underpinning the need to learn the appropriate steps to fulfill your dreams is a sure way to make them a reality. I shared my inability to pronounce “new cumbersome words” to provide a perspective that we all struggle with things which are foreign to us.  Even though we may have a general idea, it’s linking the information to our unique situation which may be tricky.  A perfect example is deciding whether your retirement savings should be invested using an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or a TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account).   I won’t immediately know the best option for you until we meet to review your whole picture.  That’s when we pull your story together much like stringing the consonants and vowels together to pronounce a word.  The chasm between knowing and not knowing will be closed.
As you browse through the blogs shared this past year or the information found at the website, Get Smarter About Money, don’t be afraid to ask a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional for help.  Give yourself permission to seek the knowledge you need.

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