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Giving Back (Part 3)

Before continuing forward, I want to clean up a couple things—the first being the need versus achievement debate. I’m not really in a position to assess achievement. You could also make the case that I’m not really in a position to assess need. I therefore will not be deciding whom to teach based on those criteria.

I have discussed two monetary factors with regard to a trader education program. I have the previously stated reasons for charging a per-session fee. I would also recommend having ample savings to eventually open a real account. Both of these are included to try and prevent students from dropping out, which would result in time wasted for me [preparation of presentation material] and for them [education never applied].

I have thought about giving back by taking an entirely different avenue: teaching high school students. Kids are generally means-challenged so I would not charge a per-session fee. Neither are they likely capable of opening live trading accounts. They do have a solid potential for future income, however, which is wealth they could later manage on their own. Because option pricing models and considerations of probability and statistics all fall under the “advanced/theoretical mathematics” category, I would target advanced math students. This would also get me academically-disciplined students to work with who would be more likely to complete the program.

On a totally different note, I was tempted to argue against the “improve financial literacy” battle cry because people simply did not seem interested based on my recent exercise of getting 11 responses from 54 messages sent. Cost could have been a confounding variable; people may have been unwilling to pay a stranger. I also have no way of knowing how many of my 54 messages were actually received. Over the years, I have gotten poor response rates over the Meetup.com website. For all I know, only 11 people were even aware they received a message.

I do have other reasons for thinking people may not have much interest in learning to trade. Over the years I have approached a few different libraries about conducting a trader/investor program. This was met with lukewarm response because they had not found investing programs to be well-attended in the past. This was the same reason the Ann Arbor District Library gave for discontinuing their subscription to Value Line a few years ago.

Learning to trade, though, is only one subset of financial literacy. I cannot conclude from this that people have little interest in the latter.

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[…] is conventional wisdom: a simple internet search will bear that out. I challenged this in my last post because people seem to have little […]

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