May 1997

“Help a Friend”

© Talbot Stevens

If you knew of a way that a friend could benefit significantly, and you didn't tell them about it, how do you think they would feel?

After thinking about it, some respond “They wouldn't know!”

If you feel like this, let me reverse the situation to hit a little closer to home. If a friend knew of a way that you could benefit significantly, they didn't tell you about it, and you found out later, how would you feel?

Helping a friend learn how to achieve their own financial independence might be the most valuable thing you ever do for them.

I can only think of two things more important — saving their relationship or their health. But financial troubles are one of the leading causes of divorce, and can produce stress that could lead to health problems.

By helping a friend improve their financial situation, you could also be helping them in two more important areas.

Many people, including myself, are in the financial business not just for the opportunity to earn a decent living, but for the personal satisfaction of making a significant difference in such an important area of people's lives.

Realize that friends include more than neighbours and co-workers. Relatives often fall into this category as well!

You may have parents or grandparents who, unaware of better opportunities, are receiving poor returns, poor service, or both.

Helping children — whether they are 5, 15 or 25 — learn about finances could impact their financial security more than the career they choose. This is why I have started a petition to make basic financial instruction a mandatory part of the education system, so future generations can automatically benefit.

Simple ways to “Help a Friend” include lending or giving them your advisor's newsletter, your Strategy Sheet, or a valuable book. Bring them along to the next public seminar or “client and invited friend” night.

If they aren't happy with their financial advisor, or worse, don't have one, recommend that they meet with your advisor to see if there are any areas that could be improved.

We all have a responsibility to those we care about to spread the word about how easy it is to take control of our finances.

If you learned something about finances that you can benefit from personally, you're probably not the only one who could profit. So my suggestion is to not be selfish. Don't keep this information to yourselves. “Help a Friend” and make sure they are aware of basic and advanced concepts you have already benefited from financially. Then they too can profit and reduce financial stresses, which could positively affect their health and relationships. If you didn't tell them, how would you feel?

For their sake, share these ideas with your friends and relatives. It might be the most valuable thing you ever do for them.

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