FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient. It is the ability to make sound decisions and actions in handling one’s personal finances. Despite being an important type of intelligence, there is lack of proper training for it.
Take our student Juan, for example.
Juan was a successful student who, much to the delight of his parents, got a job a few months after graduation. The dutiful son later on got married and is now a father to four children. While he spends on his children’s education and other living expenses, he continues to give money to his parents regularly, and on some occasions, to other relatives in need.
He is just a few years away from retirement but has virtually nothing in his retirement nest egg. He cannot discuss this big problem with his parents and relatives, and also avoids talking to his wife about it because any talk about money usually causes trouble.
How many Juans are there? Millions! According to a 2015 East Asia retirement survey, 90% of Filipino workers are worried about not having enough money when they retire.
And these people are not necessarily extravagant spenders who blow their money on frivolous things. They may be regular, even industrious people who have been gainfully employed. Some of them are hard workers who help their family financially. Some of them are our friends, family, and loved ones who try but fail to save regularly, and are not able to incorporate long-term investing systematically.
Still, some of them might cling to the misleading interpretation of the saying, “God will provide” or count on their children to provide for them in exchange for raising them. If this happens, their children will continue the vicious cycle of financial dependency and family stress. This has to stop!
Why is this so challenging?
Unfortunately, any talk about money is difficult. How is your experience at home? What do you hear your parents say when they talk about money? Chances are, these money conversations are always full of emotions, unnecessary hesitations and drama that often result in misunderstanding: “Uy, pamilya yan, hindi dapat nagbibilangan!”
In order to avoid these unpleasant confrontations, money issues are often left the elephant in the room. No one dares to discuss it because not everyone is equipped to handle healthy and straightforward discussions about money. Even within the family, we do not always share the necessary mindset to discuss money in a healthy, peaceful, and comfortable way.
Too often, we see toxic family dynamics at work due to the lack of communication. Remember that FQ is not all about having a lot of money; it requires having a healthy relationship with money as well. Someone who has loads of money but is always insecure, suspicious of others, and afraid of losing his money still has a low FQ.
On the other hand, someone who is comfortable with his relationship with money and has set in motion a system to prepare well for old age may not yet have a lot of money, but he already possesses a high FQ and is using it to build his wealth for a financially happy old age.
Why do my parents get in the way of my dream?
Here’s another incentive for you to hone your FQ. Do you notice how parents sometimes get in the way of their children’s choice of college course or career path? If you’re in this situation, I hope you realize that they’re not interfering just to make life miserable for you. The usual reason they don’t want you to take up this course or pursue that career is that what you want to do is alien to them. They’re afraid you’d end up not earning enough money to fend for yourself. In the vernacular, “Ayaw lang nilang gutom ang aabutin mo!”
Once you develop a high FQ, your parents can sit back, relax and allow you to follow your calling or passion. “Alam nilang hindi ka gugutumin kahit anong kurso o propesyon ang piliin mo, dahil magaling ka na sa pera!”
What can we do?
My dream is to raise a generation of Filipinos with high FQ! If you’re game, let’s start with you.
I am excited to get into this FQ journey with you. I have raised three young men with high FQ. From the time they were born, we opened their bank accounts. While they were growing up, we talked to them about money in a healthy way. We complimented their ABCs, 123s, good manners and right conduct with lessons in saving and investing in a language that was appropriate to their age.
How about you? Would you also like to hone this essential 21st-century skill?
Later this year, Edukasyon.ph and I will be running an “FQ Course” designed for Filipino students like you. If you already wish to see where you are now in your FQ journey, you can take the FQ Test today!
Cheers to high FQ!