ThePrune wrote:Most posters are focusing on the very young, which is a very important target audience. I'd like to challenge you to think about the masses of financially illiterate Baby Boomers that surround us.
Starting in 2009 I began teaching a 6 session / 9 hours total class on retirement planning in my local community. The typical demographic over the 6 times I have taught it is folks 15-5 years away from retirement. I get a few younger adults as well as a few recent retirees. The class is focused at adults with college education but with no financial background. I keep it cheap ($20 for cost of reproducing the class materials / I earn no mony from this class) and emphasize that I have no connection to any investment advisory, insurance or brokerage firm.
After repeated requests from the retirement class students I then developed a 6 session / 9 hours total class on investing that teaches the low-cost index mutual fund approach. I also throw in some behavioral finance, history of asset classs returns, the risk and return tradeoff, and a review of other investing approaches and the published research that demostrates why low-cost index fund investing is superior. Really nothing significantly different than what you get from reading Jack Bogle's books or these discussions.
Here's what I've discovered. Adults are hungry to get financial guidance from someone they view as being knowledgeable, organized, articulate and committed to putting their best interests first. It took some time for me as a non-financial industry retiree to build up credibility, but by offering highly organized classes along with summaries of the most recent academic literature I'm now over that hurdle. I'm not yet satisfied that my class materials are in optimum shape, but I'd be happy to share them with any Boglehead that wanted to offer a similar public education class.
Just remember - you'll earn maximum credibility if it's clear that you aren't financially benefiting from the class, either directly or indirectly.
That is awesome. Where do you hold your meeting? Do you assign books to read, i.e., the basic Bogle and Bogleheads books, etc.? What is your background work experience? Business? teaching? other? Who comprised your first class? Friends? Thereafter, how did you get the word out on subsequent classes? Word of mouth? Were you hesitant to offer the classes? Why? What finally prompted you to step up and offer the first class? Do you find that you then do follow up with individuals/couples on a one on one basis?
I am appalled at the lack of financial literacy of what I consider to be educated, successful people. And I agree with you that people are HUNGRY for information. They know deep down that something isn't right. I get questioned, off and on. It always surprises me. The questions take various forms. I have twice been asked to meet with a group informally, and I declined to do it. I know enough of the basics, or know where to get the answers. (Many times here.) I wouldn't know how to put a class together. What topics to cover and make the whole thing cohesive.
It's very generous of you to offer your materials. I have bookmarked this thread and may at some time in the future send you a PM.
I am impressed that you are actually giving classes on this stuff. Would you care to give anymore insight into that experience? Particularly, the response and effect on those who took your class. It must be very rewarding for you, too. KUDOS.