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To the Class of 2011: Financial First Things

I’m waiting, but the invitation to give a college graduation speech hasn’t arrived yet. It’s really too bad, since I would be a great candidate. I’m acceptably old, just of an age to be respected by the 20-something set, but not so old as to be irrelevant or needing assistance to the podium. The fact that I’m a woman should appeal to the majority of college graduates. Giving sage advice is what I do all the time as a financial advisor. Plus my speech is already written.

Looking out over that sea of young, expectant faces, and trying mightily not to be distracted by the purple hair, tattoos, or nose rings, I’d begin by invoking the wisdom of the timeless phrase, “First things first.” I’d remind these graduates that their entire education, from babyhood through college, has been focused on the importance of doing things in the right order. Socks before shoes, first base before second, learner’s permit before license, 101 courses before senior seminars.

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