We are pleased to share the money memories of Peter Kwadwo Asare Nyarko. Peter is a founding Executive Director at the Center for Financial Literacy Education Africa. He’s a Financial Literacy Advocate & Educator, Author and a practicing Accountant. Peter is also the Secretary and founding member of the Alliance of Financial Literacy Organizations (AFLO) in Ghana.
Peter maximizes his God-given talent of “speaking, writing and serving people” as he continuously coaches and talks to people in all walks of life. He is an award-winning financial coach and author of three personal finance and financial literacy books. Peter is currently based in the capital of Ghana, Accra in the Western part of Africa. His life’s mission is to empower and educate his generation to help them build happiness and success.
Leslie: Tell us about your family and community. What was it like growing up?
Peter: I grew up in a farming community, a small town in the Ashanti Region of Ghana called New Edubiase, a suburb of Obuasi (the golden city of Ghana). It was exciting hanging out with friends, playing football and running errands for the adults in this community. My dad was and still is a farmer and my mum is a trader. My parents were very passionate about our well being and fought really hard to support our education. We were raised the Christian way; give when you have, don’t cheat your friends, share with them, and love everyone.
My dad will always say “do the do with or without support” as a way of instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in us. I remember my siblings and I planted crops and took it to market. We made some sales and used the money for things we wanted.
HUGGING BECAUSE WE MADE IT
Leslie: What was one of your first money memories?
Peter: My brother Alexander Nyarko and myself made our first money selling food in the market and it was one of the best feelings ever. We planted our crops, harvested and took them to the market with the support of our parents. Making money made us feel happy and fulfilled. And I remember embracing and hugging my brother so tightly in front of everyone just because we made it. Nothing beats the feeling of working hard to make your own money.
IMPORTANCE OF SAVING
Leslie: What was your first experience saving?
Peter: I have always loved the concept of keeping money for another day. My dad, though financially illiterate at that time, knew the importance of putting money aside. We were made to keep money in boxes (MILO TIN), now Piggy box. I remember saving a good amount of money.
WORKING & SAVING FOR EDUCATION
Leslie: What was your first job?
Peter: After high school, I worked as a storekeeper in an electronics shop. I was in charge of issuing receipts and invoices and receiving cash for televisions, refrigerators and other electronic gadgets. I was paid GHS300, that’s 52 US Dollars. I saved this money for my IPMC College of Technology tuition and exam fees.
Leslie: Did you parents talk to you about money?
Peter: They didn’t really talk to me about money because they were financially illiterate themselves. My dad, despite not being financially savvy, knew the importance of putting money aside. That was what I learned from him.
THANKS TO GRANDPA TOO
Leslie: Who was your primary or one your main money mentors as a child or teen?
Peter: I would say my grandpa, because of the impact of his financial actions and inactions, he understood the importance of good money decisions. He shared his money lessons with me and encouraged me to practice them. I learnt a lot from him.
Leslie: At what age and how did you come to realize money had value?
Peter: Age 12. After we made our first money we were able to buy the things we wanted. And my grandpa always used to say, “money helps you get the things you value in life and therefore, money is valuable, so Kwadwo, get money.” That statement really informed me about money.
SPEND LESS, DON’T IMPRESS
Leslie: What is one mistake and one smart choice you made with money?
Peter: Despite all the money lessons I learnt from my grandpa, I was spending to impress in high school. I think it was a competition among my friends in college. It really affected me. Later, I accessed the situation and made that smart money choice not to spend to impress anymore. Ever since I have cut down my spending.
SHARE MESSAGE WITH THE WORLD
Leslie: What peeked your interest in personal finance?
Peter: The story of my grandpa. He gained so much wealth and lost it all due to his unhealthy financial actions and inaction. I decided to share this message with the world. I also see it a calling, an assignment, because it gives me fulfillment.
PERFECT TIME TO BEGIN
Leslie: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Peter: I think so; one of the most important things is to teach kids about money, set expectations and help them figure out a path to financial freedom. By teaching kids about money, you help them discover the relationship between earning, spending and saving. By age three, four and five, most kids understand that money can be exchanged for something they want. They see parents pull out their wallet to pay for things such as food, books, toys, etc. This is the perfect time to begin.
YES! TO PERSONAL FINANCE IN SCHOOLS
Leslie: Do you think personal finance should be taught in schools?
Peter: Absolutely yes! I believe personal finance encompasses a range of money topics and it will be essential for students to learn and master these money topics before they come out of school. It will better prepare them to face the marketplace and the corporate world.
THE SOONER YOUR BEGIN, THE EASIER YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE WILL BE
Leslie: Do you have a favorite book on personal finance or money management. Does one lesson stand out – what is it?
Peter: My favorite personal finance book is Money; Master the Game by Tony Robbins. He expounded so well on the subject matter and dug deep into issues that best prepare the individual to master his or her money. I like the lesson that says compound interest is your best friend. If you start with $0, and you add $5000 to an S&P 500 index fund for 50 years, you will end up with $6,401,496.91 not including reinvesting dividends. It also talks about the sooner you begin, the easier your financial life will be.
Peter: “The best financial or money advice is to educate yourself financially.” – Peter Kwadwo Asare Nyarko
FAVORITE MAGAZINE, WEBSITE, RESOURCES
Peter: I like Forbes, and I will be featured there one day. Also, check out www.cfleafrica.org
Peter: Jeff Bezos, Grant Cardone, Saundra Davis, Valentino Sabuco, and of course Sam X Renick of Sammy Rabbit, and a host of other great people I learn and take inspiration from.
MISSION TO EMPOWER AND EDUCATE
Leslie: We appreciate you sharing your money memories. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Peter: My team and I are on a mission to empower and educate Africans. We believe having better personal finance knowledge changes your world and the world around you. We are ready to welcome support and collaborations to help us improve financial awareness and financial literacy in Ghana and Africa.
I appreciate Sammy Rabbit and his team, The Financial Awareness Foundation and Sage Financial Solutions. Let’s change our world!!