Teach your children well…

Retailers, as this story in the Wall Street Journal points out, are going back to basics when it comes to teaching millennials – that vast pool of potential “uber-consumers” – how to use their products.  Yes, it seems like individuals between the ages of 24-27 spent so much time being chauffeured around to sporting events and concert recitals (which their parents undoubtedly – and probably mistakenly – believed would end up in a college scholarship) and playing video games, that they never learned some really important lessons – like how to mow the lawn, cook a meal, or hang a painting.

Now these folks are at the age where hitting .300 or playing first chair viola don’t matter as much as they once did.  They are getting ready to live on their own, and America’s retailers are committed to educating them on just what it takes to do so – in the hope, of course, of selling them not only life lessons but lots and lots of goods and services over the next 50 years.

When I read this article, I couldn’t help thinking that these same consumers may need even more education on how to handle their own and their future families’ finances.  I don’t know if your family was anything like mine, but we really didn’t have discussions about money or how to manage it.  It was just assumed that we’d use the same people – insurance agent, banker, financial advisor – that our parents did.  Guess what?  None of my siblings did that.  And I suspect that this new generation of consumers will behave the same way.

This presents a great opportunity for fraternals and their field representatives to serve as teachers and mentors to a segment of the population that really needs it.  And that opens the door to a really bright future for those societies that can position themselves as educators – rather than product purveyors.  I know some of you are doing that and would love to hear your stories.  Share how you are teaching your children well right here…

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