Upon his parole, he will be given
200 dollars gate money and told,
"Hey, good luck, stay out of trouble.
Don't come back to prison."
With no meaningful preparation
or long-term financial plan,
what does he do ... ?
Get a good job,
or go back to the very criminal behavior
that led him to prison in the first place?
You taxpayers, you choose.
Well, his education
already chose for him, probably.
So how do we cure this disease?
I cofounded a program
that we call Financial Empowerment
We call it FEEL,
and it teaches how do you separate
your emotional decisions
from your financial decisions,
and the four timeless rules
to personal finance:
the proper way to save,
control your cost of living,
borrow money effectively
and diversify your finances
by allowing your money to work for you
instead of you working for it.
Incarcerated people need these life skills
before we reenter society.
You can't have full rehabilitation
without these life skills.
This idea that only professionals
can invest and manage money
is absolutely ridiculous,
and whoever told you that is lying.
A professional is a person
who knows his craft better than most,
and nobody knows how much money
you need, have or want better than you,
which means you are the professional.
Financial literacy is not a skill,
ladies and gentlemen.
It's a lifestyle.
Financial stability is a byproduct
of a proper lifestyle.
A financially sound incarcerated person
can become a taxpaying citizen,
and a financially sound
taxpaying citizen can remain one.
This allows us to create a bridge
between those people who we influence:
family, friends and those young people
who still believe
that crime and money are related.
So let's lose the fear and anxiety
of all the big financial words
and all that other nonsense
that you've been out there hearing.
And let's get to the heart
of what's been crippling our society
from taking care of your responsibility
to be better life managers.
And let's provide a simple
and easy to use curriculum
that gets to the heart, the heart
of what financial empowerment
and emotional literacy really is.
Now, if you're sitting out here
in the audience and you said,
"Oh yeah, well, that ain't me
and I don't buy it,"
then come take my class --
so I can show you how much money
it costs you every time you get emotional.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Financial literacy isn't a skill -- it's a lifestyle. Take it from Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll. As an incarcerated individual, Caroll knows the power of a dollar. While in prison, he taught himself how to read and trade stocks, and now he shares a simple, powerful message: we all need to be more savvy with our money.
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