Manuel Chavez/ Class 9: Financial Literacy

by Manuel Chavez

223. How would you gauge your level of financial literacy today?

I would rate it as poor at best. I do know that  I will have to rely on my family for initial support, unless I get a big break on my patent. I sank all of my money I made working for UNICOR into my patent application and I now have a patent. I took a big chance and it could pay off in the long run. As this is being written the maintenance fees on the patent are almost due. It is another $875.00 that I’m hoping will be paid in time by my family. I would be sad if someone came along and paid the fees and then would own my patent. I pray that will not happen.

224. To what extent would you suppose that financial literacy relates to your probability for success upon release?

I’m certain also that my ability to be able to sell or get some funding, even if I have to do it myself, to market or manufacture on of these oil tools, I’ll be in a real good bargaining position. The problem I face is that most people don’t have the enthusiasm that I do about this device and it’s potential.

225. What opportunities exist for prisoners to improve their financial literacy?

There are classes available and people willing to tutor you about the stock markets. If I had the money I would invest in the stock market especially when it collapsed in 08.

226. How would you summarize the total costs of your imprisonment?

I added it up in lost wages alone the total was over the 29 yrs that I have to do is a staggering 7 million dollars! That is not what the ordinary man can make. I don’t even know what I don’t even know what the taxpayers have spent towards my incarceration thus far.

227. Describe ways in which in an understanding of the stock market may help you value investment opportunities.

I understand the basics of the stock market. I enrolled in a stock market class and I did quite well with mock trading.

228. How would improving skills to analyze the fundamentals of a particular stock lead to becoming a better small businessman?

I know that it takes money to make money. After analyzing a company’s profile you will be able to understand how important it is to keep a good record of expenditures and profits. You as a small business man should hire a bookkeeper, and a CPA firm to make sure you pay all of your taxes and invoices on time.

229. Describe the level of thought you are giving to your financial future.

On a scale from I to 10 I am always thinking towards the day I’m able to get back on my feet. I say around a 7 to an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

230. Describe the level of preparations you are making to prepare for retirement.

Unfortunately I will have to work until I’m 70 or longer if I’m able to. I want to work even at that age. I have many things to teach my son and grandchildren about pipe wilding and the oilfield business.

231. In what ways would an understanding of the U.S. tax code contribute to your preparations for release?

We all pay taxes and without understanding the Tax Code you are very liable to end up back in prison for cheating on your taxes. That’s where a good CPA is indispensable. I will find one who can handle all of my taxes and payroll and invoices because it will be a large amount to do it myself.

232. What is your understanding of entrepreneurship?

This is what I’m trying so hard to become, an entrepreneur. I am desperately trying to carve out a niche in the billion dollar petroleum industry business. All I have to do is get my foot in the door and I can do this even from in prison, I just have to keep trying and trying until I

233. What would you attribute as a primary reason for business failures in the United States, and why?

Financial woes and poor planning. You have to access all of the ups and downs.

234. If you were going to run your life as a business, how would you describe your preparation to succeed?

You have to have a winning attitude. You have to work hard and make certain goals and make commitments.

235. What resources do you have available to you now?

I have a valuable patent that is just waiting for the right person or company to inquire about a business venture or partnership.

236. What potential markets exist for you?

I have a world wide potential with my invention. I would like to see that people care about the environment as much as I do.

237. What level of resources do you anticipate having on the day of your release?

I don’t know, I would like to be able to afford all the necessities on my own merit.

238. What level of earnings do you project during your first three years after your release?

With my vast knowledge of the oilfield I’m looking at the minimum of 500,000. But in reality a good livelihood is all one could ever ask for.

239. What level of earnings do you project during your first decade after your release?

Well into the millions of dollars worth of assets and contracts for me and my son. Again, in reality a good livelihood and good health is all on could ask for.

240. What action steps can you begin taking to increase your financial literacy?

I can read more on the skills that I have. I will study the basic oilfield manual on casing and cementing and the producing of oil wells. It has to do with cubic inches, cubic ft and gallons and barrels of fluid conversions. I do these calculations with the guidance of the Halliburton Red Book. And my handheld calculator (a pencil).

241. What relationship do academic credentials have to enhancing financial literacy?

You have to have your mathematics down pat if you want to be financial literate. It is a must. I pride myself in knowing these skills.

242. In what ways would fluency with mathematical concepts and equations enhance your potential earning power or opportunities upon release?

The oilfield is based on mathematics and doing equations, conversions etc. I’m good at this and I can use a computer to draw all of this and the components and I know how to use the program to be exact in all my measurements and calculations.

243. In what ways would developing your skill with regard to reading, writing, and speaking enhance your potential earning power or opportunities upon release?

I may need to sales pitch my skills and business. I’m thinking I can do this.

244. Describe the types of books that might broaden your financial literacy and thus help you prepare for success upon release?

How to books will help and running a small business is financial literacy in a jam session. You had better be ready for a long commitment.

245. What resources will you rely upon to make financial decisions in your future?

I have to make sure my family is aware of all the plans I have to make. From a shop to the field.

246. To what extent do you anticipate investment decisions having a role in your future?

I will be so busy investing in real things such as equipment. If I do invest in a company it will be one in the oilfield business.

247. Describe the resources you anticipate relying upon as you advance in age.

I will rely on the wise investments of tools and equipment and having steady inc omen from on of my inventions.

248. What role will these resources play in sustaining your life?

They will be paid monthly and I will adjust my living accordingly.

249. How will you adjust your tolerance for risk as you age?

I won’t risk all of anything all at once. I ‘all make sure to research and and all investments.

250. What influence would another problem with the criminal justice system have upon your financial stability?

That world be a “lights out ” for me. I can’t and will not ever come back to prison. I will live a value-based life from now on.

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