Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why Teach Basic Finance Skills To Musicians?

A recent national survey by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest independent regulator for US securities firms, reveals a disturbing lack of competence when it comes to basic financial literacy among US individuals. 

The study also suggests, among many other alarming trends, that younger individuals display a much lower financial literacy than older individuals.

Source: Financial Capability in the United States. FINRA Investor Education Foundation, December 2009

Many musicians, particularly the younger and upcoming talents, are somewhat clueless when it comes to handling their own personal finances. This needs to change - now more so than ever that tougher economic times are looming upon us all.

Financial literacy is not an art form nor is it an innate ability or talent.  Most of the concepts of understanding finance are based on simple math skills (Middle School level) and a bit of common sense, all of which can be taught at any age.  These fundamental skills need to be taught and practiced just as a musician would need to practice many years before embarking on a career in music.

A musician needs to build up the motor skills as well as the musical understanding and likewise do students need to learn, understand, and practice basic financial skills to better manage their personal finances.  Here's a simple rule:  It's not how much you make but how much you keep that defines your financial future!

Most importantly, by teaching musicians (and artists in general) to understand their own personal financial situation and enabling them to live within their financial means, we can elevate a much larger group of musicians to the ranks of “working musicians” and “working artist”.  All those musicians who would otherwise be forced to wait tables or work odd jobs could devote much more time towards developing their craft.  Music and art in general might experience a whole new renaissance.

Please help us spread the word and promote financial literacy!

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