Severin Stone/ Class 9: Financial Literacy

by Severin Stone

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

I would gauge my level of financial literacy today as good. I have made investments before and have a decent understanding of the stock market. I have bought real estate and owned my own business. Though I still have a lot to learn and am interested in always learning more.

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

It really depends on what type of field of work you are going into. I think the better understanding you have of financial literacy the more opportunities you have available. The more you know the better options for making your money grow.

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

Not many that the institution offers you. These are attributes that you must pursue yourself by, buying books, watching and studying the stock market, or being mentored by those that are financially literate.

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

Expensive. The total costs of my imprisonment have not only restricted me from making money and contributing to my family but, have cost them thousands of dollars to support me. This is difficult to deal with as a husband and father but is reality and something that I look forward to putting behind me.

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

The more you understand of the stock market the more opportunities to make money open up to you. Just as you saw Michael Santos utilize the stock market to invest and grow capital, as you develop these skills and begin to invest you to can make money from the money you have.

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

These would improve the opportunities for any small businessman because just as majority of successful businessman will tell you it is not from business that will make you successful but from your investments.

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

To be honest not much. My focus has been on my Spiritual and Acedemic growth to develop the skills that I need to make money upon release. The financial focus will be coming soon after I finish up the projects I am currently invested in and be able to move toward release.

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

I am 33 years old and really have not begun preparing for my retirement. I think for many older than me this is very important and I need to also begin thinking toward the future.

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

An understanding of the U.S. tax code would give a better knowledge of how money can be invested and what is required financially of us as citizens of the United States.

232. What is your understanding of entrepreneurship?

I am an entrepreneur and have owned and ran my own businesses. I am constantly looking for opportunities to be creative and see God working through me to bless others through business. I have also been an imaginer and have read many books on entrepreneurship; one I recommend is “the E myth.”

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

Many businesses in the United States fail for lack of planning. The planning of a business from the beginning must be set for the proper amount of growth necessary to survive. Many businesses start because of a good idea and base the entire business on that one person instead of creating a scalable model for a turn-key operation. When the entire business is based on one person it is very difficult to replicate and grow, I learned this in my first business venture.

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

I would say that my preparation to succeed is good. I get up early, I work hard every day, I accomplish my goals, and am health to me that would equate to a successful business. Though there are always ways to improve in my life, I feel I am successful.

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

I have God, my family and friends that support me, and my hard work ethic. Though I do not have thousands of dollars in the bank yet I study God’s word and am preparing myself to do His work.

236. What potential markets exist for you?

The potential markets that exist for me are either in the field of preaching at a church or making Christian movies. In either capacity i will be serving God. Initially upon release I will need to find a job that will get me out of the halfway house and get me on my feet while I find the right church for my family and I.

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

Not much. We will see what I can put together when that time comes but, God is faithful and I pray for Him to bless me with all that I need. My family will hopefully me able to provide me residence initially and I can work from there up.

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

In the first three years after my release I expect to make some where in the ballpark of $50,000-75,000 a year.

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

A decade after my release I expect to be making over $100,000 a year. Though I want to be working toward making movies at that period of time I might have to take a loss to dedicate the time necessary to produce the films.

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

Action steps that can be taken to increase my financial literacy could be reading books, learning from others who are financially literate, or listening to or watching programs about financial literacy. By taking the time to understand money and how it works you put yourself in place to grow your financial portfolio.

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

Academic credentials do definitely open up opportunities to make more money and receive consideration for promotions. Though some have been successful without them, many more have gained from their academic credentials. I would recommend everyone in this situation to take advantage of their time incarcerated and graduate from college.

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

Mathematic skills are important especially depending on the field of work that you are planning on getting yourself into. I don’t really now how they could enhance your earning power but, there are many fields that this can benefit you in. The construction field is one where these skills could benefit you for earning more.

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

For me this will greatly benefit my options for the job market by reading, writing, and speaking skills. Whether I head into some capacity of ministry or making the Christian movies or even the public speaking that I plan on doing al these skills will enhance my opportunities. These are all areas that I focus on on a daily basis and plan to use every day upon release

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

The types of books that can broaden my financial literacy are on how to evaluate the stock market or how to read real estate markets. Newspapers that track financial reports and television programs that highlight market trends are also excellent sources to broaden ones financial literacy.

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

I will rely on expert advise and market trends that I can follow to make my financial decisions in the future. The more that I can enhance these skills now while I have the time to study will be crucial to my financial growth when I get out.

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

I anticipate that investment decisions will have a significant role in my future. The only way to make your money work for you is to invest and that’s how you work smarter and not harder.

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

I plan to rely upon the investments that I make to mature and support my wife and I in our old age. That is the importance of learning how to invest while young and put your money to work for you into your old age. The older you get the less you can do and that more you must rely upon healthy investments.

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

These resources will play a huge role in sustaining the life of my family. I want to be able to focus solely on ministry work into my old age and therefore will need these investments to sustain my family.

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

I will adjust my tolerance for risk as I age toward a lower risk on return so no unforeseen events wipe us out. I think it is important to diversify your assets and always prepare for problems in the future.

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

Another problem with the criminal justice department would be devastating to my financial stability. Actually it would be devastating to all that I have worked so hard to change more than just the financial stability my family would be hurt the most. I will take all precautions to make sure that this does not happen.


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