Financial Literacy + Core Values = True Wealth
Recently, there have been a few high profile fraud cases. The most famous, or infamous, example is Bernie Madoff, who defrauded his clients in excess of $50 billion. More recently, business executive Edward Okun was sentenced to prison for conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering. Both of these men have a couple of traits in common: one is greed and one is financial savvy.
The moral to these stories is that financial acumen is only one component to proper money management. The other component is a foundation of core values and principles. Financial wizardry, in isolation, does not equate to good money management. It implies someone can amass a lot of money, however, there is no basis for judging how the wealth is used. To use that financial skill wisely, core values are required.
Warren Buffett is a great example of someone who is well versed in money management and uses that skill to help others. In addition to creating jobs and shareholder wealth through his company, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett is a major philanthropist. A substantial portion of his wealth is going to the Gates Foundation for their charitable work across the globe.
To attain True Wealth, both financial literacy and core values are required. So when thinking about wealth and personal finance, remember this simple equation: Financial Literacy + Core Values = True Wealth.