It occurred to me today (actually, it has occurred to much earlier, but I've never put it down on paper) that having little or no financial education today is akin to having little or no computer education in the 80s and 90s. Or perhaps little or no literacy in the 60s and 70s. It just puts you at such a disadvantage that there is really no getting around it. I just spoke to my father on the phone. His financial background is sparse and outdated. At a certain point the conversation was almost unintelligible to me. Luckily, he's smart. In our conversation he quickly figured out he was artificially limiting the impact of market forces for no good reason (other than tradition). But most people aren't that smart. They must think today's talk of default swaps, derivatives, PIPES, and other financial instruments is some sort of alchemy or dark art.