The power to control your income isn't something that just comes about. It takes education, time, and temperament. Any congratulations or criticism you may send at the American public school system, one thing must be recognized: The addressing of personal financial matters is not a topic to which a great deal of attention is devoted to students. Whatever the ordinary citizen knows about saving and investing did not come from the schoolroom. This is comprehensible, of course, if only because the veritable classroom teacher is evenly baffled by the cosmos of money. However, there are those among us who have solved all the puzzles on how it all works, and what it takes to get ahead.

Are you among those individuals that have managed to get the gist of it? If you accredit yourself in most of the following scenarios, then you are able to confidently answer "yes" to that query.
  • Your credit card bill is paid off in full every month without a cent in interest incurred.

  • You enjoy financial talk shows for their amusement value while recognizing that 95% of whatís said is nonsensical.

  • Whether your choice of wristwatch is a top-of-the-line Rolex, a stylish Jacques Cartier, a presentable Bulova, or an economy Timex, you recognize that all are battery-operated, with a similar quartz movement, and none fail to keep first-class time.

  • The newspaper ad offering a half-pound silver commemorative medallion from The Treacherous Mint, at the "limited price of only 150 dollars," impels you to hold back a laugh.

  • You find it bewildering why anybody would purchase a lottery ticket.

  • Youíre well aware that an alternative to pay your automobile insurance premium in two installments, with a "humble convenience fee" besides a single payment, in all probability works out as a loan at about a 25% rate of interest.

  • You have a good idea by mid-November how much your income tax will be for the current year.

  • Youíre not influenced to invest in something because of a red-hot tip you get from an acquaintance or relative.

  • You realize that the variable annuity in which your friend just invested will show to be a distressing mistake.

  • You are sufficiently sophisticated in real estate to recognize that the most defective house in the best neighborhood beats out the best house in the worst neighborhood.

  • Itís beyond your mental capacity why anybody not certifiably mad would buy a timeshare property.

  • Whenever youíre negotiating a buy and qualify to receive a deduction, you do not pause to ask for it.

  • Although you thoroughly love the home in which you live, itís substantially less expensive than you can afford.

  • In spite of an engineered craze by the media, you recognize that the $60 it costs to fill up your vehicleís gas tank is cheaper in todayís dollar than the $30 it cost 20 years ago.

  • The only type of life insurance that you would ever debate buying is a term policy.

  • You have intellectual uncertainties that the 3-unit course in basic English composition offered at a university for $1000 is any better than a similar course conducted at community college for $90.

  • You owe nothing on the automobile you drive.

  • Your checking account balance never falls below the minimum limit that sets off a monthly service fee.

  • You know nothing about the option marketóand destine to keep it like that.

  • You entertain no delusions that a financial adviser will supply dependable counsel simply because of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) identification held.

  • You make the utmost possible contribution to your retirement pensions.

  • You cannot recall the last time you borrowed money for an unforeseen emergency.

If the thoughts conveyed in most of those situations do not ruminate your reasoning, youíre not in control of your financial future. In that case, you can use a little direction.