A North Vancouver CPA has authored a new book designed to fill the gap in the high school curriculum he believes exists on financial literacy. The author, Doug Allan, is a tenured finance executive and parent of two. Allan believes that the school system is setting up graduates for financial failure with an almost complete lack of personal finance education. His book, titled “A Fighting Chance: The High School Finance Education Everyone Deserves” covers a 360-degree view of personal finance over 10 chapters, hitting all the major topics like goal setting, investing, debt, budgeting, due diligence and even financial mindset.
Made more topical with recent financial market volatility on “meme stocks” like GameStop as well as financial challenges brought on unexpectedly through the Covid-19 pandemic, financial literacy as a critical foundation for success in life, has never been more relevant. Allan believes that personal finance education needs to begin at a young age, and not when a person has reached their late twenties or thirties, because of the power of compounding.
Compounding is the effect of investment returns snowballing over long periods of time. As an example, $1 invested in an index fund at the age of 20 that earns an average of 10% each year over 45 years, turns into almost $73 dollars by the time the investor turns 65. If that investor waits until they are 35 to begin investing, $1 invested over a 30-year period at the same rate of return only turns into $17. Those first 15 years are clearly critical to long term financial success.
Allan’s book takes a realistic view at creating wealth and challenges the status quo where appropriate. “We are living in an environment with unprecedented low interest rates and all of the ingredients for inflation as the government prints money to address the pandemic” Allan says “the financial decisions we need to make today are often different than those our parents made in the 1970s and 80s, and we need to challenge our thinking”.
Written to be digestible for teens and young adults by breaking up topics into sub chapters that culminate with Allan’s “Key Takeaways”, the book should be a piece of cake to read for those who are enduring calculus, chemistry and physics in their high school curriculums.
Allan notes that “the decisions people make early in their lives set the foundations for their financial picture down the road. Financial literacy at a young age has the potential to increase the future net worth of people by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. I wrote this book to give everyone a fighting chance at financial success”.
Doug Allan is a CPA living in North Vancouver. He is the Vice President, Finance and Operations for a commercial real estate development firm. Doug recently served as the Treasurer for the Polygon Gallery in lower Lonsdale. Doug is married with two wonderful children.
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