- Brandon Copeland
- New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland saves almost all of his salary, runs his own real-estate company, and teaches a financial-literacy class he calls “Life 101” at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Improving your financial situation is all about having access to info and sharing it with others, he said.
- Having open conversations about money helps those involved increase their financial awareness and makes them more comfortable talking about a subject often avoided.
- People are waiting too long in life to share what they’ve learned financially – they should share while they’re building wealth, not after they’ve built wealth, according to Copeland.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Copeland also runs his own real-estate company with his wife and teaches a financial-literacy class he nicknamed “Life 101” at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, with Brian Peterson.
Needless to say, he has his financial act together – and he wants to share what he’s learned with everyone else.
“While I’m gaining this knowledge, my goal is to share it with as many people as possible,” Copeland, who learned everything he knows about money “on the fly,” told Business Insider.
People are waiting too long in life to share what they’ve learned financially – they wait until they’re 50-something to share tell-all books about how they built wealth, Copeland said. “Why wait until 50 and tell me how to do it?” he asked. “Share in your 20s, while you’re doing it, rather than sharing it later.”
When it comes to setting yourself up financially, “it’s all about access to info and sharing it,” he said.
It’s the whole objective of “Life 101.” By sharing what he’s learned, Copeland wants to make students more comfortable and knowledgeable when talking about money; having open conversations helps those involved build their own financial situation.
In his second class, Copeland discusses with students why people are afraid to talk about finances. He encourages them to talk to mentors and parents about money – one homework assignment involves discussing retirement plans. He’s trying to alleviate the level of discomfort that often characterizes conversations such as these, he said.
In an upcoming class, Copeland is bringing high-school kids in from Philadelphia. He plans to split his students into different groups and have them spend 15 to 30 minutes interactively teaching financial literacy to the high schoolers. He wants them to put into practice what they’ve learned and break it down at a high-school level as a way to measure what they’ve retained over the course of the semester, he said.
Copeland is on to something – part of building wealth is about financial literacy, according to Sarah Stanley Fallaw, the director of research for the Affluent Market Institute and a coauthor of “The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth,” in which she surveyed more than 600 millionaires in America.
Understanding and implementing personal financial-management practices is related to better financial decisions and outcomes, she said.
“The goal of the class is [that] I want to make students able to teach this info to someone else,” he said. “It’s about sharing the info – not what you do with your own stuff, but how you bring other people up with you.”