Fred Masters Personal Finance Author
We are pleased to have Fred Masters share with us some of his “First” and “Favorite” childhood and professional money memories.
Fred Masters is the President & Founder of Masters Money Management.
He is the author of the new book ‘Lessons on Mastering Money’ which has been has been named one of the global finalists for the Money Awareness and Inclusion Awards for Best Book.
Fred has a passion for personal finance. He has delivered dozens and dozens of personal financial literacy presentations to a wide variety of audiences including university students, both elementary and secondary school students, parent groups and during business ‘lunch & learn’ sessions.
Prior to embarking on a career in financial services, Masters spent three decades as a professional educator in Ontario, Canada delivering financial accounting courses.
Discover more about Fred at his website: MastersMoneyManagement.ca
In His Own Words – I Loved Monopoly!
I wasn’t taught any personal finance during my school years!
Like most people of my vintage, I enjoyed playing board games as a kid back in the early 70s.
We had all of the biggies back then – Clue, Sorry and Risk – but my favourite was Monopoly. I loved everything about the game, especially being the banker!
First Bank Account
As I got older, I opened my first bank account at the Canada Trust branch (the company was bought out by TD Bank in the 90s) close to my home at Stanley Park Mall in Kitchener, Ontario.
At that time, it was the busiest branch location in Canada and, as I waited in line, I got to watch the tellers. They were all dressed so professionally and were always so positive as they helped the clients complete their banking.
I knew that I loved being the banker when playing Monopoly, so I decided that I wanted to be a teller at that branch when I grew up. When I wrapped up my high school days, I applied and was fortunate enough to get a part-time job there!
College and Becoming a Financial Coach
I headed off to study business at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON and my program had a co-op component. I successfully applied to get into the co-op program and targeted a posting at Deloitte, one of the major global CPA firms in the world. Given my banking background, I secured a co-op placement at Deloitte’s Guelph, ON location.
At that time, I had started to coach ringette with my girlfriend who is now my wife. I absolutely loved to coach – it provided an exhilarating natural high for me – but I still loved finance.
It dawned on me that I could ‘coach finance’ by becoming a finance teacher! I ended up completing my business degree at Laurier and applied to Teachers’ College at Western University in London, Ontario.
No Mandatory Persona Finance Classes
When I started my teaching career back in the late 80s, there was no mandatory personal finance taught in our schools in Ontario (sadly, not much has changed in this area over the years).
I taught financial accounting at the grade 11 and 13 level back then, but the courses were ‘electives’ and many kids didn’t take them.
I knew that I wanted to make the courses as interesting as possible to attract more kids to enroll in my classes, so I focused in on the content in the ‘financial analysis and decision making’ strand.
Launching a New Enterprise
That allowed me to spend time with my students analyzing real-world companies and comparing them using all kinds of metrics such as revenue growth, profitability and dividend yield.
I was passionate about all of this content and went on to retire early from teaching so as to launch Masters Money Management.
Now, I provide personal finance training to every imaginable demographic – from elementary school students to university students to young workers to retirees. There is just an insatiable appetite to learn more about personal finance right across all age groups.
I built a feedback loop into my sessions so I know the content is helping people. I also thought a book, filled with my best lessons, could help so many more people increase their financial wellness. To this end, I wrote “Lessons on Mastering Money: The Personal Finance Guide for Canadians in their 20s & 30s” and the book was launched in late 2021.
I enjoyed every moment of my teaching career; clearly helping others to take control of their financial lives was, and continues to be, my life’s calling!
A Passion for Investing
When I think back to the beginnings of my passion for investing, I instantly recall that I had the good fortune to attend an Annual General Meeting of the Templeton Growth Fund when I was starting my investing journey so as to hear Sir John Templeton (the fund’s creator).
He was a value investor despite the fund’s name and one of the first advocates of global, diversified investing (the fund was launched in 1954). He made a compelling argument to support buying a diversified portfolio of quality stocks from around the world when they were ‘on sale’ (suffering through a bearish period) and holding them until the fullness of time brought them back to a realistic valuation.
Successful Investing Recipe – Templeton + Buffett
I learned similar lessons from Warren Buffett through his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. annual letter to shareholders, which I would frequently share with my classes.
These core, foundational philosophies have certainly stood the test of time, and I am proud to continue this messaging through my book’s lessons and through my personal finance presentations.
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