CNN's Ali Velshi on How to Speak Money

First aired on Metro Morning (14/2/12)

For many people, learning another language is a challenging but enriching form of cultural and social education. It can help us be more open-minded and find common ground with others. However, given the recent economic turbulence around the world, perhaps it would behoove us to improve our financial literacy as well.

ali-velshi.jpgIn his new book, How to Speak Money: The Language and Knowledge You Need Now, CNN correspondent and anchor (and former Canada Reads panelist) Ali Velshi argues that people, especially couples, need to talk about money as if they're learning a foreign language.

"The reason I think about it like this is because if you are introduced to somebody who speaks Greek, and you don't speak Greek, your natural inclination is not to be offended by them, it's to figure out a way to communicate and see if you have things in common," Velshi told Metro Morning's Matt Galloway during a recent interview.

"When it comes to money, if your partner doesn't speak the same language, doesn't speak about money the same way you do, it tends to get our backs up, it tends to make us edgy. We don't speak with respect the way we should if they just spoke another language, and the reason you or I might speak differently about money is because we come from different places, we've had different experiences with money, [and] we have different responsibilities."

Velshi went on to stress the importance of mutual respect. "We have to accept that the person we're speaking to, particularly our loved one, people who live in the same house, our partners, our wives, our husbands, may approach it differently, and if we can learn that language, we can have more harmony in our homes," he said.

When it comes to successfully managing household finances, communication and co-operation are key, Velshi said. Couples that don't talk about their future, and how they plan to save and invest in order to get there, can quickly find themselves in a bad financial situation. Ignoring conversations about household debt will 'come back to bite you.'"

"If you can manage your debt, if you can live below your means, then when times turn tough, because they will again one day, you will be prepared for it."


How to Speak Money

by Ali Velshi and Christine Romans

Buy this book at:

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From the publisher:

"Do you speak money? You should. It is the world's most important language. It's spoken everywhere. Speaking-or at least understanding-this language allows you to follow the real conversations in politics, business, and at work. Understanding money and speaking the language fluently is critical to preparing for a comfortable retirement, building a small business, planning for college and a career for your children. Everyone speaks it differently, with different dialects. Some are riskier than others. Some want to save their money; others want to see it grow. There is no one accent, but understanding the differences will make couples, business partners, and coworkers happier-and wealthier. Authors and CNN financial experts Ali Velshi and Christine Romans speak the global language of money and translate it every day for hundreds of thousands of viewers. And they are here to teach you, too. It's easier to learn than you might think."

John Wiley & Sons.