先导课2:美国克林顿总统奖获得者比尔·瓦雷托尼为你讲述财务规划问题(英文原声)
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先导课2:美国克林顿总统奖获得者比尔·瓦雷托尼为你讲述财务规划问题(英文原声)

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在这一节的内容中,共同导师比利会简单介绍一下自己的个人背景,并向大家分享一些故事。他最开始的时候就分享过一个故事:他在做社区阶梯非盈利公司时,他的初衷是来自于他发现在美国很多常青藤大学的毕业生犯着跟普通人一模一样的财务错误。美国的个人所得税是一年征收一次,所以一个正常的人可能就会在每收到一笔收入的时候,预先把税款留存出来,或者说他们会管理自己的税款,避免付不起这种情况出现。然后很多常青藤的学生跟普通人一模一样,都会在花钱的时候完全忘记了还要交税,于是他会陷入到财务危机中。类似的事情还有很多很多,于是比利就开始研究这件事,因此发现理财这事,可能跟我们的受教育水平、我们的智商可能并不完完全全是一回事。这其中还有很多其他的因素,心理医生也能在这个过程中研究一些行为,然后发现的非常多很有趣的一些现象。正是因为这样的一些发现,我们才会产生把一个心理专家和一个财务专家放在一起试试的想法,观察会产生怎样的化学反应。


下面的内容他会对大家做一个简单的自己介绍。音频的下方有自我介绍的文稿,大家可以看一看。


I’m Bill. Thank you for your interest in our course!  

Honestly, I really don’t like talking about myself ... but, it is important.  It’s important that you understand where I’m coming from, why I co-created this course, and why this course is so unique.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have a wide range of life and work experience to bring to bear on the issues covered in this course, and the larger book project. I’ll briefly highlight those experiences most applicable:   

 

- Let’s jump right in and start with Community Ladders – a social enterprise and non-profit I founded nearly a decade ago in response to the U.S. financial crisis. We provide one-on-one holistic financial planning and coaching services.  This means that we cover all aspects of people’s financial lives, from debt management to career changes, to budgeting and investments, and everything in between.  This has led to thousands of hours of client interactions, and a rich practical experience of trying different approaches to see which interventions work, and which don’t.  

- Along the way, we were motivated by some fundamental questions, like “Why do very smart people often seem to make rather stupid choices when it comes to finances?” Spoiler alert! – It’s BECAUSE SMART PEOPLE ARE ANIMALS TOO! Another inspiring question: “How do we ensure personal responsibility and accountability for keeping one’s financial goals. In other words, how do we keep people on track?” And of course, the fundamental question from day 1, “How to provide people with sustainable and very practical solutions to their financial problems.” These and other questions were at the heart of the development of Community Ladders’ approach to truly holistic financial planning.    

Beyond Community Ladders, there have been quite a few experiences that have helped shape this course and the larger book project:  

- I did my Undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame (a triple major in Accounting, Computer Applications, and Environmental Science) – so, from the start, I’ve been multi-disciplinary (and it truly takes a multidisciplinary approach to address problems in personal finance).   

- I have a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology.  Throughout the course you will see an emphasis on human evolutionary biology and the biological urges that underpin the reasons why we find money and finances so challenging. Studying animal and plant evolution and adaptation in graduate school helped frame my understanding of human behavior.

- While pursuing that Master’s, and later in my PhD coursework, I studied Ecological Economics – a systems approach to economics that, among other things, challenges the assumption in classical economics that people behave rationally.  

- I’ve spent six years living and working abroad, in Africa, China, and the former Soviet Union. I’ve worked for the US Peace Corps and the US State Department, and have worked with, and evaluated, international development projects in multiple countries. I believe I have gained a genuine appreciation for cultural differences in approaches to, and feelings about, finance. This is why I would not take on this course and other projects without a Chinese partner. I want to stress that this course is original and developed from scratch specifically so that we could tailor it to a Chinese audience and its unique needs. I really want to emphasize this important point - we are not just translating and repacking an existing course – we are developing it from scratch specifically for the Chinese audience.  

- A final note on my international experience – my work with international development projects informed the way Community Ladders works with its clients – we emphasize intervention and accountability instead of “instruction” or “education” alone.

 

Whew – enough about me!

So, the question you are probably asking yourself,  “Why should I take this course?  

First, let me tell you that I don’t have any particular interest in putting out the same content as other people, even with my own spin. Rather, when in discussions about doing this course, I wanted to ensure that it was truly unique, and that it speaks to the fundamental issues of people’s relationship to money.  At the same time, it was vital that it contained practical solutions for participants to make concrete process. And in this, I believe we’ve succeeded.

The most critical piece was collaborating with Jiejun Chen, an eminent mental health therapist and a true scholar.  She’s been great to work with!

It’s actually kind of funny – when I first started Community Ladders, I wanted to avoid anything that even resembled psychology and emotions, and instead laser focus only on providing practical solutions to people’s clearly defined financial problems. What I’ve learned over the last decade though – a decade that encompasses thousands of hours of clients intimately sharing their hopes, dreams, and fears – is that human biology, and therefore human psychology, is fundamental to helping people achieve more satisfying lives – financial and otherwise.  When it comes to personal finance, humans are constantly engaged in self-defeating behavior. Sometimes it’s dark and dangerous, sometimes it’s simply going to great lengths to avoid addressing issues, and other times it can be almost comically absurd. But, all of these are human behaviors, prompted in large part due to our underlying biology. As humans we are often irrational, but thankfully we are also predictably irrational.  Understanding this – our basic instincts and urges, and equipping ourselves with practical ways to combat these tendencies, are fundamental to making real and lasting changes for a better life.

 

 

So, with that, I want to very briefly highlight the benefits of this unique course:

- It addresses the root causes of anxiety and unhappiness with money.

- It combines the research in the scientific fields of neurobiology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and behavioral economics to explain human behavior regarding finances. It gives you an understanding of the urges and pressures we experience that cause us to make poor, and often irrational, choices.

- It brings a decade of holistic financial planning experience to bear on these issues, and we give access to the observations, practical solutions, and anecdotes distilled from thousands of hours of very intimate financial conversations with clients.

- It also brings Jiejun Chen’s long experience in mental health counseling. Money and financial issues are often prominent, or at least proximate, causes of anxiety and mental stress.

 

Lastly, a note on investing -

A lot of courses focus on investing. I understand, and appreciate, that this is an important topic. But investing - by itself - will NOT make or break you, it won’t solve your problems, nor will it  improve your fundamental relationship with money. In my work at Community Ladders, almost everyone came in with the same central questions about how to invest for retirement and what to do in the stock market. By design, investing would be the very last section of holistic planning that we would cover during our two hour intake sessions. The truth is you will NEVER feel like you have enough money if you don’t get the fundamental psychology of money and finance correct - for you personally. I certainly do work with people on investing, and indeed the psychology of investing. It’s simply that there are other things relating to your relationship with money that have a higher initial priority.

 

And so, I welcome you to this course, and appreciate you taking this journey together with us.


中文翻译:

我是比尔。感谢您对我们课程的兴趣!

老实说,我真的不喜欢谈论自己……但是,这很重要。重要的是你要理解我从哪里来,为什么我共同创建了这门课程,为什么这门课程如此独特。我很幸运地拥有广泛的生活和工作经验,能够对这门课程所涉及的问题以及更大的图书项目发挥作用。我将简要地强调那些最适用的经验:

-让我们从社区阶梯开始,这是一个社会企业和非营利组织,是我在近10年前为应对美国金融危机而创建的。我们提供一对一的整体理财规划和辅导服务。这意味着我们涵盖了人们财务生活的方方面面,从债务管理到职业转变,从预算和投资,以及两者之间的一切。这导致了数千小时的客户互动,以及尝试不同方法以了解哪些干预措施有效,哪些无效的丰富实践经验。

-在这个过程中,我们受到一些基本问题的激励,比如“为什么非常聪明的人在财务问题上经常做出愚蠢的选择?”“剧透警告!-因为聪明人也是动物!另一个鼓舞人心的问题是:“我们如何确保个人责任和责任,以保持一个人的财务目标。换句话说,我们如何让人们保持在正轨上?当然,第一天的基本问题是,“如何为人们的财务问题提供可持续的、非常实用的解决方案。”“这些问题和其他问题是社区梯子公司制定真正全面财务规划方法的核心。

除了社区阶梯,还有一些经验帮助塑造了这门课程和更大的图书项目:

我本科就读于圣母大学(University of Notre Dame)(会计、计算机应用和环境科学三门专业),所以从一开始,我就是多学科的(解决个人财务问题确实需要多学科的方法)。

-我有保护生物学的硕士学位。在整个课程中,你会看到对人类进化生物学的强调,以及支撑我们发现金钱和财务如此具有挑战性的原因的生物学冲动。在研究生院学习动植物进化和适应有助于我对人类行为的理解。

在攻读硕士和博士学位的过程中,我学习了生态经济学,这是一种研究经济学的系统方法,挑战了古典经济学中人们行为理性的假设。

我在国外、非洲、中国和前生活和工作了六年。我曾为美国和平队(US Peace Corps)和美国国务院(US State Department)工作,在多个国家参与并评估国际发展项目。我相信我已经真正体会到了对待金融的方式和感受上的文化差异。这就是为什么没有中国合作伙伴,我不会选择这门课和其他项目。我想强调的是,这门课程是原创的,是从零开始专门开发的,这样我们就可以为中国观众量身定做,满足他们的独特需求。我真的想强调这一点——我们不只是翻译和重新包装现有的课程——我们是从零开始,专门为中国观众开发的。

-关于我的国际经验的最后说明- -我在国际发展项目中所做的工作指导了社区梯子与其客户合作的方式- -我们强调干预和问责,而不仅仅是“指导”或“教育”。我受够了!


所以,你可能会问自己,“我为什么要选这门课?”

首先,让我告诉你,我对发布与他人相同的内容没有任何特别的兴趣,即使是我自己的观点。相反,在讨论这门课的时候,我想要确保它是真正独特的,它涉及到人们与金钱关系的基本问题。与此同时,重要的是,它包含了参与者制定具体过程的实际解决方案。在这方面,我相信我们已经成功了。

最重要的是与陈婕君的合作,他是一位杰出的心理健康治疗师和真正的学者。和她一起工作真是太棒了!

这其实很有趣——当我第一次开始社区梯子的时候,我想避免任何类似于心理学和情感的东西,而是专注于为人们明确定义的财务问题提供切实可行的解决方案。在过去的十年里,我学到的是——这十年里有成千上万个小时的客户亲密地分享他们的希望、梦想和恐惧——人类生物学,以及因此而产生的人类心理学,是帮助人们实现更满意生活的基础——无论是在经济上还是其他方面。当涉及到个人理财时,人们经常会做出弄巧成拙的行为。有时它是黑暗和危险的,有时它只是竭尽全力避免解决问题,而有时它几乎是滑稽可笑的。但是,所有这些都是人类的行为,在很大程度上是由于我们潜在的生物学。作为人类,我们通常是非理性的,但幸运的是,我们也是可预见的非理性。认识到这一点- -我们的基本本能和冲动,并使我们自己具备对付这些倾向的实际方法,是为更好的生活作出真正和持久的改变的根本。

因此,在此,我想简要地强调一下这门独特课程的好处:
它解决了人们对金钱焦虑和不满的根源。它结合了神经生物学、进化生物学、心理学和行为经济学等科学领域的研究来解释人类的财务行为。它能让你了解我们所经历的冲动和压力,正是这些冲动和压力导致我们做出糟糕的、往往是非理性的选择。它带来了10年的全面财务规划经验来处理这些问题,我们提供了从与客户进行的数千小时非常亲密的财务对话中提炼出来的观察、实际解决方案和轶事。它也带来了陈洁君在心理健康咨询方面的长期经验。金钱和财务问题往往是造成焦虑和精神压力的突出原因,或至少是近因。


最后,关于投资的说明-
很多课程都注重投资。我理解并欣赏这是一个重要的话题。但投资本身不会成就或毁掉你,它不会解决你的问题,也不会改善你与金钱的基本关系。在我在社区阶梯的工作中,几乎每个人都带着同样的核心问题:如何为退休做投资,以及如何投资股市。从设计上讲,投资将是我们在两个小时的课程中讨论的整体规划的最后一部分。事实是,如果你对金钱和金融的基本心理学不了解,你永远不会觉得自己有足够的钱。我确实和人们一起研究投资,以及投资心理学。很简单,你和金钱的关系中还有其他一些事情是优先考虑的。

所以,我欢迎你们来上这门课,感谢你们和我们一起踏上这段旅程。



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