Life After Chase: Bryan Barnett
Standing Up for Financial Literacy
Even if the World Series goes to a seventh game on Thursday, November 5, 2009, Chase Alumnus Bryan Barnett will be watching VH1 at 10 pm. That's when the channel kicks off a national “Stand Up for Financial Literacy” campaign with the premiere airing of Broke and Famous.
The campaign is an initiative of the International Association of Financial, Sports, and Celebrity Advisors (IAFSCA), of which Barnett is a founding member. The partnership, along with its partner organizations, plans to launch the largest financial literacy education campaign in American history. On April 1, 2010, the first day of financial literacy month, some 100,000 financial advisors, educators, athletes, celebrities and business coaches are expected to lead financial literacy programs in classrooms all across the nation.
Barnett is responsible for recruiting other financial advisors and professionals in the financial services industry. These individuals include CPAs, estate planning lawyers, HR diversity executives and senior partners at consulting firms – and, he hopes, Chase alumni.
Barnett joined AXA Advisors as a financial advisor in July 2006, having left JPMorgan Chase the earlier March.
Barnett himself often witnesses financial illiteracy when he talks to clients. "I met with a prospective client who had a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old," Barnett said. "They had about $20K in savings and no visible means of helping to pay for their children's college education. The mother still had $10K in student loans from getting her master's degree. Another couple, for whom I did some financial planning, was saving $6K per year for their twin girls' college education. With two kids going to college at the same time, the savings was insufficient to pay for their kids' education.
"Another example is when couples lose their jobs in the same industry," Barnett continued. "This economy requires being prepared for this worst case scenario. Can you still meet your financial obligations if two people lose their job at the same time and take 12-18 months to find another?"
"If there's one lesson I hope can be learned from this campaign, it's that individuals take responsibility and show accountability for their financial decisions and actions," Barnett continued. "Many times immediate gratification dominates over preparing for a 'rainy day', such as losing your job. Parents need to be less selfish and invest more of their money in their children."
Providing the nation with the proper skills to become financially literate will rely heavily on the participation of the nation’s most powerful and well-respected individuals and associations in the financial industry. According to the IAFSCA, children everywhere must be taught monetary basics: paying bills, establishing cash/savings accounts, earning money, paying taxes, purchasing insurance and understanding the federal budget and deficit.
Its organizers believe that implementing the goals of the “Stand Up for Financial Literacy” campaign will contribute to America’s efforts in eradicating poverty by 2015, as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set forth by the United Nations and the international community.
The teams that will go into the schools in April will go through a training program. The teams will consist of a coach, celebrity, athlete, and advisor/financial professional. Individuals probably will be asked to commit at least two hours per month. Financial professionals will also be expected to recruit others to volunteer their time to working with school kids. Middle school children will be the primary focus because that's when you can have the most meaningful impact, Barnett said.
Chase alumni interested in volunteering should contact Barnett at 516-358-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the IAFSCA, please visit www.iafsca.com.