Finance – can you speak the language?

SUBMITTED BY CU SOUTH

We’ve all heard it before – knowledge is power. Knowledge allows you to see situations from fresh perspectives, excel in your job and continue to grow in your career. With 20.3 million Americans working in the professional and business services, increased knowledge is paramount, and apparently, financial knowledge is lacking among many non-financial professionals.

A 2009 study put out by the U.S. Treasury found that adults’ financial acumen is only slightly higher than that of a high school students’. In fact, when tested on their financial literacy, adults only earned a “C” letter grade, barely passing in the eyes of U.S. education. In this same vein, a study conducted by the FINRA Foundation revealed that individuals residing in the United States have notably low levels of financial acumen and oftentimes struggle with applying financial decision-making skills to real-life situations. Is the topic of finance not a focal point in today’s education? Why is it so necessary to be well-versed in the language of finance?

Financial skills strengthen business leadership and are required competencies for managers and their accompanying organizations. According to Nicholas Martin, CPA, “Mastering basic financial concepts enables you to make quick and sound decisions.” He states that “pursuing these skills while understanding how your department impacts the organization is an indispensable criterion for success both in your personal growth and that of your organization.” Without financial acumen, you are at high risk for failing. A study conducted by Dartmouth found that “just as it has proven to be impossible to succeed in the modern world without the ability to read and write (literacy), so it will be impossible to succeed in the present-day financial system without knowing the abc’s of economics and finance (financial literacy).”

Martin claims that it is “vital for a business professional to be able to communicate efficiently and effectively; the foundation of that communication begins with basic financial literacy.” For a company to be successful, every single employee must fully understand what is making the company money.

Do you have the ability to converse with confidence in financial discussions at work? Martin is hosting an entire workshop on building your financial acumen Sept. 12 at CU South Denver. The workshop is $225 and will teach you to navigate and actively participate in financial conversations, how to assess performance and make sound business decisions, and help you master basic terminology and skills.

Learn more at: southdenver.cu.edu/portfolio/financial-acumen.

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