Learning Something New; Why Financial Language is so Hard to Understand

November 3, 2017

A big part of what we do is educating people about the financial and investment landscape. Those who are able to speak with a high level of financial knowledge or any other topic typically have the following:

Have the time to interact in that topic often

Have the knowledge through education or self study

Enjoy the topic / have the will power for it

I am one of those guys who loves to learn something new. Studying a topic or subject is fun for me. Several occasions in college I actually spent more time studying topics that had nothing to do with my classes that semester.

Recently I started studying something I have never tried before. A new language, Koine Greek.

Why I Struggle Learning a Language

Interaction with the Language

Up until a couple weeks ago, I have never spoken or learned anything in the new language. It was never an option for me to learn in school, I have no family who has ever spoken it, and truthfully I have never met anyone that who speaks this language. I recognize how some of the Greek language’s meanings relate to modern English, but overall no exposure to Koine Greek.

I know some people who are considered fluent in Spanish. After speaking with them they mentioned if they don’t speak it for a while they forget a lot until they start getting a more routine interaction with the language again. These Spanish speakers are also not able to learn any of the new grammatical changes. Languages, and especially the English language, change over time. Try to read english from the 6th century, the writings from Shakespeare, our founding founders, or even a generation ago.

So far I have done something every day with the new language.

Studying the Language

I struggled in my English and language art classes in school, so learning a brand new language was already difficult. Even today, I pay less attention to my grammar or the way I talk compared to some of my friends. I had to re-learn some of the basic structures of a language; adjectives, subjects, direct-objects, direct or indirect articles. I also had to learn other rules which pertains to Koine Greek; dipthongs, ascents, pitch markings, double vowel or double consonant rules and grammatical gender.

Those who I know that are fluent in another language have taken the time that is necessary to study the words and grammatical rules of the language. I am not just spending time in the new language every day, but I am taking the time to study it.

Enjoy the Language

One reason why I had a hard time in school is because I didn’t enjoy it. The art of understanding a language has never been appealing to me. I understand how it may drive some people crazy when they see something grammatically incorrect. Personally, I don’t think about it. I don’t like taking the time to learn if something I said was “technically” the right or wrong way to say something in today’s grammatical standards.

If someone enjoys a language, it makes it much easier to study or spend time in it. Otherwise they have to have the will power to overcome whatever dislikes they may have. I have specific reasons that would bring me great joy if I learned Koine Greek. Therefore, I have the will power to do it.

Why Most Struggle with the Language of Finance and Investing

After learning a new language, I appreciate the complications of learning the language of finance. I understand that some people are able to understand finance more easily than others, but executing personal finance is something different.

I have friends, family, and clients who have a considerable understanding of finance and are able to carry a well thought out conversation over most topics. Yet I find they still come to me for questions or see value in what I (Evergreen) offer. It comes down to the essence of those 3 topics I mentioned at the beginning.

You have to have the Time

If you don’t have the time to keep up with your finances, or what I like to call the language of finance, it’s hard to execute. Accounting is the language of business, but financial language is the ability to execute or act on information that puts you in a better financial situation. Economies change, strategies lose favor, laws and tax-codes change, all of which factor into someones ability to execute their financial situation.

You need the Education

In anything we want to execute well in life, having years of experience and years of studying over a topic is necessary. In an area such as someone’s finances, it is too important to execute an investment strategy or purchasing a financial product without the proper knowledge and background. Some of this has to do with understanding business models in different industries, the ability to value a business, or what is the appropriate strategy to buy or sell an investment. Some of it has to deal with understanding the ins and outs of insurance products and current/future tax law changes. Some of it has to do with knowing how to put together a budget, or perhaps most importantly handling your emotions through good and bad times.

You have to have the Joy/Will Power

Most people enjoy the benefits that come with handling finances well, and therefore have the will power to learn some concepts of finance. Still, most don’t enjoy learning the complications of tax law, investment strategies, analyzing companies or insurance products.

Even if someone enjoys the topic, but has not taken the time to study it there are some areas they lack to understand. Some people went to school to study finance and enjoy it, but because their career has them doing something else they fall behind and forgot about certain in-depth understanding of the subject. Those who are not able to keep up with the changes in the economy or investing could fall behind. Some have had all three for most of their life, and now no longer enjoy taking the time to execute their finances and pass that responsibility over to a professional.

Evergreen Conclusion

I believe the most interesting facet of finance is that everyone has to deal with it in some way. Not everyone in the world has to learn english to do what they need to do. Everyone however, does need to learn some sort of financial knowledge to accomplish their goals. Some learn more then others, most push off specific financial implication to a professional (ex: financial advisors, investment managers, accountants, estate planners, etc.) The value of an accountant or financial advisor is that they are in the topic every day, they have (or should have) years of experience and study time in finance, and enjoy doing it.

People see the value Evergreen provides due in part to our ability to educate people about finances and investing. We also have the financial language to communicate with whomever our audience is, and the ability to execute a plan that will accomplish their goals. All is possible because of the time we spend handling finances, our education and background in finance, and our joy of watching our clients accomplish their financial goals.

Evergreen Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance