So what’s your finances like?


It’s become glaringly obvious to me. People like to talk about personal finances about as much as they like to schedule knee surgery. The topic has an air of taboo around it and we just don’t go there…

Even schools largely avoid the topic! We’re taught to work out the square root of a triangle and if you were paying some attention, you’ll find out where Turkmenistan is on the world map but very rarely are we taught to manage our finances and grow our personal wealth. Kids are subliminally told that they’ll eventually come to understand all things relating to money as they become adults but it doesn’t quite work like that and before they know it, they’re one of the millions who don’t have a true grasp on their finances.

Maybe at times, we hate to talk about money because it makes us feel inferior to the rest of the world but I’d like to point out that entire nations are themselves in debt. I mean think about that for a second. The big cheeses who run whole countries should be getting it right but they have less money than kids on the side of the road selling newspapers. Imagine explaining to those same kids that less than 10 countries around the world are debt free. How silly does that sound?

Unless you’re the rare exception, your perception of money is often misguided by the terrible examples set all around you and we are worse off as a collective for not talking to each other about the very thing we all deal with every day. I have my own set of money challenges which is exactly what prompted me to do something about the situation.

Instead of just writing about it, I’ve decided to create a smaller, more intimate version of Suits & Sneakers which will be focused on a singular topic, in this case personal finance. I’m not a wealth professional but my strength is in analyzing the shortcomings of the masses (of which I am one), providing a platform for the conversation to develop and finding the right people to advise us.

My team and I will be running a pilot event at a venue in the south of Johannesburg called Malakite on the evening of Wednesday, 26 August and we have asked a man named Paul Roelofse to share his idealisms with the audience we will provide him. Paul is a certified financial planner who mainly deals with high net worth individuals but is a human being who just gets the value of collaboration and has volunteered to be part of the bigger picture!

Tickets are limited to 150 people and will cost R150 per person which will include some snacks.

You can find out more information about this personal finance series by visiting the Facebook event for this pilot project but we want to encourage you to spread the word about what we’re trying to do… Human development is everyone’s deal!

Mark Sham is the owner and founder of Suits & Sneakers and believes emphatically in informal learning and human development. You can like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter!

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Mark is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Suits & Sneakers and also founder of the Impello incubation hub. Mark loves to travel the world and is hell bent on disrupting education for people of all ages.