Are you a lifetime learner? |

Are you a lifetime learner?

Danielle Howard
Personal Finance

Danielle Howard

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. With the Internet at our fingertips, knowledge is easy. We can garner facts and data from a plethora of resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Filtering through the noise to find truth is hard. Wisdom refers to the ability to discern and utilize knowledge in an insightful manner for the benefit of ourselves and betterment of the whole.

Proverbs 13:20 tells us, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion to fools suffers harm."

George Bernard Shaw admonished, "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."

Are we up to the challenge not only to pursue and expand our knowledge base but then ruminate on and transmute it into wisdom for the advantage of those we care about and our own advancement?

April is Financial Literacy Month. Many of us may brush it off — "I know about money." But do we? It seems the more I study, the more I know I don't know — it is endless! What pecuniary proficiency would you like to build on? Where would you like to expand, question or reshape the knowledge you currently have and make thoughtful, practical applications in your life?

How do we combine knowledge with wisdom in the area of our finances?

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It may be very basic: I need to get a grasp on how much I am paying in interest on my credit cards and come up with a plan to knock it out. I need to clarify the picture of what is important to me and put strategies in place to keep my trajectory moving forward. I need to understand what my options are to taking Social Security distributions in order to maximize my income stream during retirement.

It may be in area of understanding our current economic environment: How do rising interest rates affect my portfolio? Are bonds as safe as I thought they were? What investments perform better in the economic season we are headed into?

Your quest for growth may be exploring your money mindsets. What are my attitudes around money, and how does it affect my behaviors? How can I have better communication about financial matters with those I care about?

Scripture initiated and John Kennedy reiterated the admonishment, "To those whom much is given, much is expected." An increase in financial wealth requires amplified knowledge and additional advisors. Discerning wisdom is paramount. How do I prepare heirs for what will be theirs someday? If you love your children equally, how do you treat them uniquely? How do you structure your business, or title your assets to best accomplish the legacy that is important to you? How do you create a giving plan that reflects your intentions and leverage your giving in the most prudent ways?

It may seem trivial, but embrace the challenge of looking at which areas of your financial life you can increase both your knowledge and your wisdom.

One opportunity here in the valley for the ladies is a Women's Financial Empowerment Series sponsored by Response and underwritten by the Embry Family Foundation. I am honored to be facilitating this enrichment experience. Open to women of all economic, marital and age genres, we will be spending two hours Tuesday nights in April digging into and working together to increase our acumen around finances. With three components each night — introspection, education and inspiration, you will be equipped to make the changes you want as you receive, give, grow, protect and spend your financial resources. You will gain knowledge, and increase your wisdom. Call Response at 920-5357 or visit for more information and to register for the class. There are limited spaces, so sign up soon.

Money profoundly affects every area of your life — mental, physical, spiritual and relational. It is an integrative component that weaves its way through our minds and our spirits. As a lifetime learner, make it an ongoing practice to be intentional around your monetary astuteness.

Danielle Howard is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ practitioner. Wealth By Design, LLC, her financial life planning office is located at 23300 Two Rivers Road in Basalt. She helps clients build financial lives to facilitate their passions and purpose. Visit her at or call 927-3909. Advisory Services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., A Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and WBD are not affiliated.

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