Lost in Financial Translation

Financial literacy month is coming up soon (November) and I’m going to try and do my part.  I read a project management article at the office recently and it caught my attention.

The thesis of the article stated poor communication is the leading cause of project failure and project inaction across all organizations, by leaps and bounds above all other factors in fact.  The article went on to state “…consider a simple conversation with one other person.  The person whom we are speaking with has to hear the words and how they are spoken, observe our body language, and then translate it all to gain understanding.”  With all that going on, there is a lot that can go wrong when it comes to communication.  It’s even worse with the written word.  If the only cues you are provided are the words on a screen or page, writing in plain language is essential.  As this blog matures, I hope to write with more purpose, clarity and precision than before.

In support of financial literacy next month I hope to post a few “101” articles.  My “101” articles intend to distill some financial jargon down to the basics and the essentials you need to know.  These articles are also expected to include a few links to other educational sites, including some blogs I enjoy for more details and further reading.  This will definitely be a learning exercise for me and hopefully you’ll get something out of it as well.

I look forward to sharing these articles with you over the next month.

Do you ever get lost in financial translation?   Do you get frustrated with all the financial terms and jargon to de-code?  

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

16 Responses to "Lost in Financial Translation"

  1. Looking forward to finding out what I don’t know haha! It sounds like this will be really helpful 🙂
    On a different note, would you be looking into strictly investing? Or borrowing as well? I know personally, I am looking at purchasing a new car and trying to make sense of APR, OAC and all of the other lending jargon is just as hard as picking a car I like! Borrowing smart is just as important as making wise investments.

  2. Great idea Mark. I struggle with how often to post more basic articles that seek to break down jargon, and at the same time giving more advanced readers a little red meat. Also, sometimes after doing high school all day I want to communicate some more advanced stuff.

  3. When I first started blogging, and even now, I do get lost in financial translation sometimes. It’s usually around topics that I’m not as interested in or ones that I am not as well read in, butI find blogs an easy platform on which to learn. Looking forward to your articles!

  4. Looking forward to your 101 financial articles. I think sometimes the basics gets skipped because we assume everyone already knows and understands them. I often find myself discussing a topic with someone and bringing up a simple term like P/E ratio and finding out they don’t know what that is. Sometimes they’ll ask but sometimes they unfortunately will just go along with me without understanding. I think it’s best for everyone to get down the basics of finance and investing which will help them reach long term success.

    1. Thanks Dan. The articles won’t be overly comprehensive but hopefully it will get folks thinking about the basics and doing those very, very well. Most investors would never need to know P/E, P/B or other ratios. Those are for the sophisticated folks like you 🙂

  5. One problem with financial literacy is some people don’t even know what they don’t know. Several times I’ve read people on chat boards who obviously think that they will get, say, 2% interest paid after 3 months of investing at ING Direct, when the offer was 2% annual interest for a 3-month period. They don’t get that they will get 1/4 of the 2% if they are fully invested for the 3 months. Banks, of course, exploit this.

    Good luck with the new series of articles!

    1. True, and I don’t know what I don’t know….

      I’ll do what I can do get things back to the basics…because even if I and other investors can do the basics very well, I suspect that’s all we’ll need to be successful. Thoughts? Thanks for the comment, always appreciate your insight.

  6. I look forward to your 101 series. I am too lazy most of the time to look up meanings of anagrams so I hope that might be part of the series. Another explanation that would be helpful is: ” the yield is somewhere between the yield to maturity and the distribution yield” — yikes! What the heck kind of answer is that.

    1. Thanks Gary. The list of anagrams as you put it are simply too much. Over the month or so, I hope to provide both definitions, insight into registered and margin accounts for folks, and more. Maybe yield to maturity and distribution yield will be on the list?


    1. Ha. Well, I’m certainly no expert or financial guru but I do know some terms and things that were confusing for me when I started my DIY investing journey, so hopefully my series of posts will help. Maybe I’ll learn someone more in the process.


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