Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Most Rewarding New Year's Resolution You Will Ever Make

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

A little over a year ago, my Foolish colleague Jason Moser wrote a wonderful article pointing out how the U.S. needs to increase its financial literacy. Jason pointed out a few alarming facts about how a lot of young Americans never learn about basic personal finance in school; in fact, it's a required topic in only 14 states.

Around the same time, Fool analysts John Reeves and Ilan Moscovitz summed up an SEC-published report on the financial literacy of U.S. citizens in an article in which they highlighted 19 alarming stats. The one stat that stood out to me was -- and still is -- No. 19: "75% of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. Is this a result of people not knowing any better?"

No matter what age you are, if that figure doesn't scare you, I'm not sure what will. But that doesn't we have to sit back helplessly. We can all take part in making a difference, starting right now.

In 1993, Tom and David Gardner founded The Motley Fool with the goal of building the world's greatest investment community. Their purpose, then and now: "To help the world invest. Better." For those who don't know the Fool, that may sound like PR-driven corporate-speak. But as I can attest, along with lots of other Fools, this company lives and breathes that mission statement. Every day, we Fools cut through the Wall Street noise to inform the public about market news, which companies look attractive, and which ones are best avoided. We explain how to get started buying stocks, and we offer our motley opinions about where everything from the Dow Jones Industrial Average to shares of Apple are headed next. Sometimes those opinions turn out to be right, and sometimes they're wrong. But all of the articles, videos, blog posts, and newsletter services that make up The Motley Fool get people thinking, talking, and -- most importantly -- investing in their future.

Your resolution
Throughout my life I've had a number of teachers and mentors tell me that they do what they do because they love helping others. If you're reading this article, you obviously care about your personal financial situation and are probably actively working to improve it. You also probably know at least the basics of finance and investing. So why not share that knowledge with those who need it?

Instead of making the same old New Year's resolution to lose weight, consider making a new one that can reward yourself and others alike. Promise yourself that you'll find at least one person in 2014 to whom you'll  teach some basic financial concepts. Maybe you'll teach this person why saving money for retirement is so important, and how to start. Maybe you'll help someone open a brokerage account and show that person how to make a trade, or how to read a balance sheet.

With the massive number of financially illiterate Americans living among us, it's crucial that we do all we can to make things better. As the old saying goes, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. in 2014, consider helping The Motley Fool build a better investing community. By helping others, we can help the world invest better.

More Foolish insight
Not sure how to start helping a beginner in the world of investing? You're in luck: Check out our brand-new report "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today." The Motley Fool's personal-finance experts show you what you need to get started investing, which you can use as a guide to helping someone else. And as an added bonus, the report even gives you access to some stocks which a new-bee could buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2778093, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 3:16:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,326.15 97.85 0.54%
S&P 500 2,168.47 8.54 0.40%
NASD 5,313.41 7.70 0.15%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes