The most important initials to have after your name are?

What is the value of an education? It seems that students are ploughing more and more into getting more letters after their name and racking up ever deeper debts. For what?

Take finance. The CFA is a pig to pass. 80% drop out mid course. Three years of blood sweat and tears. Now there are computer programs that can replicate all that hard work. Is it any wonder?

How much do these tiny letters after your name really mean?  Those hoping it would launch their salaries into orbit are clearly delusional.

“Global turnout for the CFA exam surged after the 2008 credit crisis, with young financiers looking to burnish resumes as banks slashed jobs. Almost 142,000 candidates were tested that year, a 30 percent increase from 2007.” This only highlights how the financial services industry has progressed that younger and younger people are replacing those with battlefield experience of brutal cycles. No degree can ever be a better lesson than the school of hard knocks. This is also why I think markets to some degree are failing to see the obvious trends.

As the old saying goes, “Experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and the lesson afterwards.”

I’ve read quite a lot of articles recently suggesting the educated elite know best. That the youth of today have more letters than their forebears thus carrying intellectual superiority. However the lack of ability to critically think is what worries me. More and more schools and universities are betraying the very nature of open thought, especially the latter. We see it in our journalism too. The blatant group think we read in media today is alarming. How can so many people fall for such poorly thought out diatribe which anyone who thought for 5 seconds would realize it couldn’t pass the sniff test?

It is the same rhetoric we hear from our central banks who profess to know more than us. I don’t doubt the academic records of the model makers who can apply a theory. However these people don’t live in the real world. They don’t understand how their economic experiments aren’t like mixing chemicals in a test tube. They are completely involved in trying to steer billions of lives in one direction without taking into account the most important factor – free markets. With all the manipulation by authorities trying to support markets it is driving up fear not quelling it. Why can’t markets be allowed to find natural support? That is like ripping hot wax off your eyebrows. It hurts but the pain quickly subsides. Still our mighty establishment drip feed us that prosperity is upon us when the increasingly number of those living in poverty know it isn’t true. It is this falling level of trust by those educated by the University of Life who know far better than those who carry letters.

That’s why the most important initials after your name are EQ not IQ.

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