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12 Aug

Financial Illiteracy, Motivation To Change Careers, My Reading List, And More

by

Maybe you were born rich, I wasn’t. Maybe you were taught about money, not me. People say it’s rude to talk about money, I used to believe that but today I generally disagree. Maybe that very belief is why so many people are in debt?

Growing up my family didn’t talk about money and I certainly didn’t learn about it in high school. Being the first to attend college in my family I found myself filling out FAFSA forms for Niagara University on my own. As if student loans aren’t bad enough, at college I applied for credit cards so I could get the free Mallo Cups outside the bookstore.

I never had a credit card before attending college. Talk about capitalism. About a month ago I saw Warren Buffet give a speech to a group of graduating high school students. Right before he got into the meat of his speech he paused and said, “I’m going to give you some advice unrelated to today’s speech, never use credit.” He went on to say, “Don’t get me wrong, I own credit card companies, you simply want to be on my side of the deal, not the other.” Then he proceeded. Wow, how I wish I was in that audience at 18!

Lesson here is debt is not a tool to get chocolate and marshmallows; it is a method to make banks wealthy, not you! I paid interest on that card for years after the 5-minute sugar high wore off.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before I was behind the eight ball. Luckily I landed a teaching job upon graduation from college with a starting salary $33,850 in August of 2001. Toss in a few cars loans and a mortgage on the house and things only got worse. Was this the American dream?

A survey of 1,000 consumers by LendingTree found that most people have no strategy to manage their debt. Remember though, it’s rude to talk about money so I guess that makes sense.

Another survey by LendingTree shows that 74% of Americans envision themselves debt-free, excluding mortgages, at some point in their lives, but only half said they have a plan for how to get there. Again, it’s rude to talk about money.

I had to laugh at that one… the survey was about being debt-free, but somehow the biggest debt most people take on, mortgages, doesn’t count or can be excluded in the conversation?! Scratches head… what does LendingTree do again?

Without getting religious the good book clearly states, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” but… there’s the rat race to consider i.e. buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have in order to impress people we don’t like. Peer pressure (Joneses) is an amazing thing indeed!

(Freedom from the Joneses)

Anyway, after a few years of teaching it didn’t take me long to realize the game was rigged and the odds were stacked against me. I tip-toed through the tulips with friends trying to figure out how they dealt with all this but as you can imagine, most of them weren’t open to discussing financial matters or my unorthodox ways offended them.

So I turned to books. In particular books about people who bucked the trend and came out on top. Heck, if I was to pay off a few hundred thousand in debt on a relatively small salary I’d need some darn good advice.

Just 3 short years ago my net worth was -$250,000 and I was living paycheck to paycheck. But I was living the American dream, right?! Masters degree, teaching career, house, 2 cars, vacations each summer thanks to Visa. What else is there?

Now let me say this… when I started this reading list below I had no intention of leaving public schools to be an entrepreneur, but as I digested each book I started to understand money more and more. That understanding gave me the confidence and financial literacy not only to get out of debt, but to change careers so I could do it quicker and get rich.

(A present from my wife just before leaving public schools.)

These are the books I read in roughly this order to go from a financial dummy to a debt free wealthy entrepreneur. I read them over and over, took notes and even listened to them on my iPod while I jogged. The power inside them combined with my ambition changed my life forever.

  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  2. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  3. The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
  4. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
  5. Napoleon Hill’s A Year of Growing Rich by Napoleon Hill
  6. SUN TZU Art of War translated by Ralph D. Sawyer
  7. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  8. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  9. Fearless by Max Lucado
  10. Dare To Dream by John C. Maxwell

Today I’m a multi-millionaire entrepreneur.

The road I took to get here was unconventional.

They say knowledge is power and I couldn’t agree more. I never understood the value of books until I needed answers and had nobody with experience to talk to. The books above opened doors for me you can’t imagine and I can only hope they open doors for you too.

For years my wife and I worked hard to get the best credit score so we could get the lowest rates. Like a cat chasing its tail round and round and round we went. Today my wife and I have a horrible credit score, it’s 0. I’m sorry… last I checked our credit scores read N/A, we’re not even worthy of a 0! Are we ashamed? Nope! It’s intentional and that my friends is what I call financial literacy.

Keep in mind…

The FICO score is an “I Love Debt” score. According to the FICO website, your FICO score is determined by:

  • 35% Debt Payment History
  • 30% Debt Levels
  • 15% Length of Debt
  • 10% New Debt
  • 10% Type of Debt

So if you quit borrowing money like my wife and I have, you will lose your FICO score. It’s not a score that says you are winning with money or that you have a million dollars; it mathematically says you LOVE DEBT!

I sure wish it wasn’t rude to talk about money, maybe if it wasn’t someone would have introduced me to these books sooner. Again, I speak from personal experience because we were buried alive in debt when we read all this but fought our way out one step at a time. You can too! So don’t be afraid to talk about money, who knows… the next Jason Bond might be on your Twitter list looking for answers with nobody to talk to, just like me.

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45 Comments

  1. Joe Nino

    Great blurb JB! (My favorite high school teacher Doug Olsen used to call any writing a ‘blurb’). Great list of books! As they say…”Readers are leaders”…and you are!

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Thanks Joe! A blurb it is indeed. I hope it finds someone like me before they get in the mess I did.

      Reply
  2. HunterShankle

    Awesome stuff JB

    Reply
  3. bill reese

    Great blog JB! Having no mortgage debt and a beautiful home was an achievement that freed my family to enjoy life for a number of years until divorce brought back a mortgage. Still, after that reversal, hard work, investing and good money management are bringing that goal within reach yet again.
    To quote Dave Ramsey, if you buy things you did not need, you will need things you cannot buy. I pay in cash whenever possible. Thanks for your wise words!

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Congratulation Bill. It truly is freedom.

      Reply
  4. Christine Barker

    Love your article Jason. It’s a great feeling to be debt free. I would say that is one of the American Dreams if there are still any. Our country’s debt isn’t a great example is it?

    Reply
  5. WPMcQ

    Hi JB! Thank You for sharing. I’m wondering with that type of salary as a teacher, how did you come up with enough to start your trades?

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Thanks. It’s sad but I took a $5,000 personal loan to get started playing pump and dumps. Not my proudest day there and I wouldn’t recommend it… it’s a long story one I’ve told many times.

      Reply
  6. EricChangelian

    JB, you make great points! One of my biggest issues with school, specifically college, is that they don’t teach you enough about money. And the entire credit card industry is the downfall of the younger generation. The first thing younger kids are taught is to get a credit card and use it to pay for everything. Buy now and pay later. From what I’ve learned, if you don’t have the funds to pay for something TODAY, then there’s a high probability you won’t have the funds tomorrow or thereafter. Thanks for creating awareness JB!

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      I was that kid and boy did I pay the price. Appreciate you contributing here.

      Reply
  7. Pink Investor

    JB- my dad gave me the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” last year. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf since then, unopened. My dad advocates debt-freeness and b/c he practiced what he preached, he just retired at age 60…no mortgage, no car payments. No debt. I think I’m pulling that book off the shelf tonight and reading up. You write a great article and better yet, you run a great service! Thanks for giving me the courage to take charge of my finances and retirement accounts.

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      It’s a great book PI, you will not regret it. That’s where it all started for me.

      Reply
  8. Muks

    Jason,

    Few days back you suggested us to read “The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey” and I took it very seriously. I started following his advise(s) and making my life change. I started getting down on Debts and making life easier and easier every week. I already 30% less on debt. I must say that book opened my eyes and this happened because of you. A great Thanks to you. Everybody makes money today or tomorrow. What matters is are you giving this knowledge to others and making a good deed or just go in dark? You are the one who is making that change. This is a good karma and it will help you when you would need it the most.

    Thanks again…

    Reply
  9. Supreme Galooty

    I had a friend who saved some money and paid cash for some land. She saved another year or so and had a basement poured and framed over with joists. She covered them with plywood and visqueen and lived down there – rent free – for an entire year while she saved some more money. She paid cash for a bunch of lumber and had the house framed weather tight. She moved upstairs and camped there for another year. In five short years, she had a gorgeous house, paid for, free and clear, and she was only 33 years old. Her comment to me? “Money spent on mortgage interest buys a hell of a lot of lumber.”

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      That’s awesome!

      Reply
  10. Karriann Graf

    Great list of books JB! I have read several and have shared many of these same books with my friends. “Rich Dad was my favorite too” sad to see Robert K. file for bankruptcy a few weeks ago. Cheers.

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Thanks Karriann. I didn’t realize that, just read the story… that is unfortunate.

      Reply
  11. ScottWall

    I started with “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” also and wound up pursuing real estate investing. That entire market wound up being its own pump and dump and i got in too late.

    As a teacher myself i find it extremely tough to make happen what you did with two young children and a wife tht works as well (took me 25 minutes between 3 sitting to write this on a Saturday). I can’t tell you how many times i logged into chat or responded to a text alert after the boat had left on a stock or option play and mutter to myself for hours afterwards. I f you ever write a book JB, it should definitely include how you did it.

    Reply
  12. MichelleBenson

    Thanks JB! My husband and I choose to live debt-free, no car loans, no mortgage and no other revolving credit (and we are both under 40). We have read most of the books on your list (together) and started with Dave just before we married. We did not come from money and paid our own way through college so it wasn’t easy to get debt free. It is however much easier to stay debt free when you talk about money, and plan together. Reading books like this with your spouse help open that dialogue which is almost taboo in many families.

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      I couldn’t agree more Michelle, thank you for adding to this discussion.

      Reply
  13. Paul Trimble

    You know what as soon as I get my bank up I hope you will allow me to be your client I have watched you for some time getting your free emails and attending your webinars and I can say I have learned more from you than any other service out there. You defiantly go above and beyond for your clients you are the real deal don’t change what your doing I was so disappointed when you joined up with Proffitly at that point I wrote you off. Then you did an about face I could not have been prouder of you, (thats not you dude your so much better than that) Don’t get me wrong I like Tim Sykes he is very entertaining but he’s like the opposite of you. Anyhow take care keep the good vibes coming best of luck to you and yours

    Reply
  14. Steven Martinez

    Very inspiring. I too am debt free, 29yrs old and a member of your service. JB, how did you become succesful learning the stock market? Any tips on what to learn first besides stuff in the video lessons to become more well rounded? Thanks!

    First 5 weeks up 10% of my portfolio, 10K and looking for moree!

    Reply
  15. don futura

    I’m a few years away from retirement and I’m learning trading to supplement my income meaning to have a vehicle where I can stay at home, press a few buttons and make $$$. I think about the poor folks that retired on fixed incomes depending on Bonds that payout 0%. Very sad that they are stuck!

    Reply
  16. zachszabo

    Jason, which Steve Nison Candlestick Charting book do you recommend? He has a ton of them. Thanks, Kevin

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Steve Nison’s The Candlestick Course.

      Reply
  17. Jarrad Fiorito

    Glad to see Rich Dad Poor Dad is up top on your list. That book changes lives. Read it 10 times. Awesome blog post JB.

    Reply
  18. allen_burgess

    This is great stuff JB, Im almost ready to make the move to support myself like this, I am grateful to have found you and the site to help me mitigate mistakes as I continue to learn and grow my account. The education alone received here is well worth the investment, the trades are gravy (but oh so sweet gravy!!)

    Reply
  19. William

    Great article. I’ve read a lot of these books already and need to go back and re-read them. I’m going to make sure my high school daughter reads them, too. It took me years to get out of credit card debt, and that debt was all due to immaturity and bad decisions. Now, I have no cc debt, no car payment, and only a mortgage. It’s a process, but I’m walking that pathway one step at a time. Working on my GOOD principle – Get Out Of Debt. Still so much to learn from your service, and so very little time to give to it, but I am learning and slowly building the account. Learning from my errors in judgment here, too. Don’t chase, sell losses quickly, and pay yourself. I just need to keep repeating that mantra. The principles you mention are helpful to make one a success in any industry they choose, and those books should be read by all. Gotta go, Amazon needs an order. Thanks for all you do

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Thanks William.

      Reply
  20. Tony

    Jason,

    Out of all the articles you have posted, this is, by far, the best one. Don’t get me wrong, your trading articles are good. This one, however, is so much more fundamental, that *everyone* can take something from it.
    If I may, I would also like add a book to your list. It is called, “Your money or your life”, by Vicki Robin. I had the same life experiences, as you described. After reading that book (and others), I had the same epiphany, as well.
    Once you get to that “good place”, everything becomes a lot less stressful, including trading.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Thanks Tony and I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      Reply
  21. JustinV

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! My life is forever changed since becoming a member here last year. This one by far has been my favorite on your blog! Nice to reflect on where you have been and where you are know, as I know I can relate. And there is no greater feeling than to know you are in real control of your life and not a slave to others anymore. May God continue to bless you and your wife

    Justin Veal

    Reply
  22. Democracy_Doctor

    I’ll go one further, guys. This bill of goods that we’ve all been sold as the great Amerikan dream is just that: a total BS bill of goods. Perhaps decades ago, you could afford to be a economic slave. Maybe it was OK to give up your freedom. Not anymore. Both Amerika and the world have changed. I continually get grief for NOT being a slave. NOT living the Amerikan scheme–ERR–dream and loving it! Not debt is the ultimate freedom.

    Reply
  23. Kent

    The way to have credit, which you may need on occasion, and still have no debt, is to have the discipline to use a charge card for day to day expenses, then pay the balance off every month. If one can’t have the discipline to do this, they will not likely be able to have the discipline to trade. No different than “obesity epidemic.” “No discipline” is more like it. JMO.

    Reply
    • Kent

      To be clear, I was discussing a concept, aimed at general human thinking about credit, and would never even remotely imply that your trading Jason, is not excellent. I can see that I might have left a wrong impression, in that regard.

      Reply
    • Jason Bond

      I agree discipline is key, I’ve abused credit and exercised discipline with credit. The freedom I feel without either of the previously mentioned is beyond what I can explain in an article.

      Reply
  24. praj

    Amazing post JB. Love the feeling of credit free life…yet to get there though :(. But sure will now…..with ur inspiration. Readers do survive…and I love reading:D. Thnx for this motivation again.

    Reply
  25. Larry

    Always good to see someone willing to talk about their personal development library and the drive towards success.

    Reply
  26. david wooten

    The first investment book I read before “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was “The richest man in Babylon” on a 5 hr flight, easy book to read. With the high frequency of trading today with the high speed computers, internet, auto trading, etc. are there newer indicators, or do you use some of the older indicators differently, or use some of the older indicators with the newer ones?

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      I have a 5 step process I teach for taking a trade and it’s working pretty good, I’m up 50% this year already or about $100,000.

      Reply
  27. mrmoreland

    Nice read, i’m new to your service and so far I am loving it!

    Reply
  28. larry finney

    Debt is fine as long as you can manage it. keep your interest rates around 3.5 on mortgages ,lease cars, no fee cc , use their money and pay it off in 45 days you’ll be fine. live alittle work hard /play hard……….enjoy the journey .help others realize their dreams ,and good things will follow

    Reply
  29. DEBRANA SALCIDO

    Thanks Jason! I’m an educator and an in a financial crisis. Hour is not to late for me. Purchased the books just now. Tweet you later about my progress!
    Debrana@solxicana

    Reply
  30. Ingrid Hubert

    Do u give advice on Stocks just beginning….New 2 THIS. HELP

    Reply
    • Jason Bond

      Start with the Penny stocks 101 video lessons. Cheers, JB.

      Reply

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