It is a straight talk, no holds barred discussion with MoneyTree Malaysia CEO, Brandon Liew on money issues affecting most Asian families. But before that, I asked Brandon if he has any good story to tell about the founding of MoneyTree. As with all businesses, it is about making profit but then he realized, the longer he is in the business, the stronger is his desire to build+leave a legacy and give back to the society. It is about making an impact, or in Steve Jobs’ saying – making a dent in the universe. no matter how small the dent is. Also, I agree with him that learning should be rewarding and fun, instead of a torture – especially with today’s kids with much shorter attention span.
I probed further- is financial education the magic pill to cure financial problems plaguing society nowadays? First thing come to mind is credit card debt. Brandon said financial education won’t solve all problems, but he believes, with all his heart and soul, that education is the effective preventive measure. As they said, prevention is better than cure. More often than not, people are looking to treating the symptoms rather than curing the sickness – which, of course, is not the right way to go about it.
He further stressed why financial education is much needed in Asian families. I am sure you could relate to this – we all grew up in families where talking about money is a taboo, and could potentially lead to fights. It is ironic, our entire adult life deals with money, yet, money is the least talked about subject. How so? Parents nowadays complain kids don’t know the value of money, but they keep on giving kids money without teaching them the value of it. To compound the problem, we expect school to teach kids the everything – except the value of money. Now how kids are ever going to learn if parents and teachers don’t even want to talk about money topics in the first place?
This is a vicious cycle, isn’t it?
To wrap it up, Brandon has this to say – it is profound.
There is too much focus on academic excellence, but the fact is time has changed – parents need to realize this. Academic excellence per se won’t guarantee you financial security. Throw a stone in the street and chances are you’ll hit someone with at least a degree. Good education is no longer enough. Parents need to help their kids develop vital life skills – and financial literacy is one life skill one shouldn’t grow up without.
If this article found its way to you, drop a comments below on how this has affected your view as a parent.
I also hope by immortalizing such awareness, I could leave a legacy in widening the impact I make in people’s life as long as the Internet lives.