Part 3 – A Year of Lessons on Money Matters for Your Children & Grandchildren

Contributed by: Matthew E. Chope, CFP® Matt Chope

Get the big things right!  Don’t miss the forest through the trees.  Some young people can get lost in their 20s choosing to hang around the wrong crowd, not exactly sure what they believe in, ignoring facts or historical truths or getting trapped in a dead end job. I consider these 4 ideas as significant steps toward gaining greater financial security and strength in your future:

  1. Know what you believe in (see more about writing a belief statement below).
  2. Choose a career you’re passionate about, one that interests and excites you.
  3. Keep the right company.  Surround yourself with people who help you grow and encourage your dreams and ongoing success.
  4. Read the right books – understand a little about all the main areas of knowledge.

On Understanding your Beliefs 

Differentiate between truth and beliefs and know that knowledge can be found in the overlap.  Many times our beliefs can be unreasonable and sometimes unrealistic.  So, we need to have a good grounding in what is real, true, and factual vs. just belief. To help you summarize your beliefs, consider writing a belief statement. Here’s a sample:

I believe in myself, 
in the pursuit of happiness, 
the rule of law, 
and building moral wealth.

I believe I am only human, in that lies my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. 
I believe in living for and developing an abundance of good physical and mental Health. 
I believe in playing Sand Volleyball for fun, exercise, camaraderie, and as one of my dearest passions in life. 
I believe in good and honest people - who I call my friends. 
I believe in living a life well lived with meaning and intension. 
I believe in all basic freedoms and human rights 
I believe in the 7 UU principles. 
I believe that most people need to believe in fairy tales; that the harsh reality of this world is too flat, monotonous and dreary.
I believe most people are good.

On Choosing the Best Career

Many people choose careers because someone else thought it would be a good idea for you or because it’s connected to a large paycheck or it has prestige.  Instead choose a career that feeds you and your soul.  If you love what you do each and every day – it won’t feel like work and you can figure out how to make a good living from that. And if you want prestige become that best at what you do!

On Keeping the Right Company

Surround yourself with people that share your values and drive you to be the best person you can be. This can be very difficult. People can’t choose their family and many times feel trapped in long-term relationships that have been built up over their lifetime.  This is where we need to stop and reflect.  Take some time to find the new people that you want to surround yourself with.  I typically choose smarter people, selfishly always wanting to be learning from my peers or mentors.  I choose people that have similar beliefs and values, people that are auspicious! It does not mean we agree on everything and that is ok.  We find comfort in people we agree with, but  we find growth in those you don’t.   

On Finding the Right Books

When it comes to reading the right books, I suggest asking people you look up to who seem to know a lot about the big subjects of mathematics, ethics, natural sciences, human sciences, history and the arts.  Ask them how they came to know so much about these subjects and consider learning more about them over your lifetime. I like taking the approach guided by the chart below, created by international teacher of history, theory of knowledge and humanities Edwin M. Van Olst. He suggests that when you encounter what he calls Knowledge Issues, you can use the chart to identify the challenges and guide your way to greater knowing.

Any opinions are those of Matthew Chope and not necessarily those of Raymond James. 

Matthew E. Chope, CFP ® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt has been quoted in various investment professional newspapers and magazines. He is active in the community and his profession and helps local corporations and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning and money and business management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, Matt was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine.


Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.