Since I announced Finance For Youth: The Self-serving Contest, I got a couple e-mails that made me laugh a little, scratch my head a little, and think a little. Two of them just had to be posted. I only wish that these were comments and not emails. These are reprinted exactly as received, so any spelling or punctuation errors are there on purpose.

The first one was from reader “L”


Why bother writing a book? I’ve been a teacher for more years than you’ve been alive, and kids just don’t care. It’s better just to let them fall on thier faces then to try to do anything about it. The people in your ‘audience’ have better thing to spend their money in. This is just a huge waste of time. Give it up.


My response:


I can’t disagree more. These kids are no more a waste of time than you and I are. In fact, I would argue that spending the time on these kids is exactly what you are paid to do. I do it because I think its important– you should be doing it to stay employed. Maybe most of these kids won’t buy my book. But if one does, and learns from it, that’s not bad, now is it? Just like I wouldn’t let a baby just learning to walk fall on their face and hurt themselves, I don’t think it is fair to do so to a young person when their best role-model (you) tells them that they are a waste of time. I sincerely hope you reconsider your vocational choice, since the thought of you influencing my children causes me to cringe.

The second email was from “D” in California:

“Self-Serving is right! Do you have any concept of how much time, effort, and experience goes into making a commercially viable book cover? People train for years, go to school, and work hard comming up the ranks. And you want them to give you a winning cover design for what? A hand-shake and a button? Get real. If you even get any responses, I bet they are just amateurish suck jobs!”

My response: You might be right. Maybe they are all suck jobs, but they suck a lot less than anything I have the talent to put together. You are probably right about the prize. No hand-shake. My best advice to you– don’t enter. I can’t afford someone with your obvious skills and reputation (even though I don’t know who you are). Thanks for the input.

While I haven’t yet received any entries, that’s not the point. Could I just hire someone to do the job? Of course. Finance For Youth is not a source of income for me, I make enough that I’m not dependent on it. I’m having a contest because I think it would be a lot of fun, and because I want the reader to be as much a part of F4Y as I am. If that’s wrong, oh well. Like I said, this isn’t my job.


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