CTV’s Consumer Advocate Pat Foran discusses the financial lessons he wishes he had learned in school.
By Laura Bickle
Photo: CTV News Toronto
Name: Pat Foran
Describe your school-aged self.
I was curious — not surprisingly for someone who’s now a reporter.
Which subjects did you excel at?
Writing and public speaking.
Any subject that you struggled with?
Who are your favourite writers?
One of my favourite books is Call Me Ted by Ted Turner. I read a lot of financial self-help books and highly recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
What are you currently reading?
I am finishing up Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I’m also reading Alice Munro’s My Best Stories, The High Road by Terry Fallis and Winning by Jack Welch.
Who do you count as your heroes?
I count Nelson Mandela, Terry Fox and Ted Turner as my heroes.
Which teacher did you most admire?
Mr. Fred Moroz, my Grade 9 history and Grade 12 world religions teacher. He spoke to our class about religion, politics and sexuality with a depth and frankness I was not used to — it opened my eyes to what a good teacher he was. Mr. Moroz also suggested that I read Atlas Shrugged — it took me almost 30 years but I finally got around to it!
What do you wish you had been taught in school but weren’t?
Financial literacy — I’ve always thought that it should be mandatory. A Grade 9 general business course came close but I would have preferred a stand-alone one to prepare me for the important financial decisions (mortgages, car loans, RRSPs, for instance) that I eventually would have to make upon graduation.
If you could learn any language, which would you pick?
My wife is French and my daughters are all bilingual. Being able to speak the language has opened so many doors for them.
Lessons learned in kindergarten?
Being respectful of others and listening while people speak.
What was your dream career?
I was torn between business and journalism. That’s probably why I ended up a consumer reporter writing financial books.
Best advice from your school years?
A wealthy farmer who I worked for told me that the secret to success is to make the right decisions every day. This may sound glib but if we think about the daily decisions we make, and take extra time and care to choose the right ones, you can’t help but be successful.
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