Manifesto

The core value and driver behind Student Loan Odyssey is financial self-determination.

Financial self-determination stands for your right and obligation to drive your own financial destiny.

Each person’s dream is different. However, there are some common underlying principles that can help you get to your goal better, faster or more reliably.

There are many barriers that prevent you from mastering your own financial destiny:

  • A complex and confusing market landscape
  • Poor understanding of actual costs and benefits of products
  • Lack of focus on maximizing the buyer’s financial wellbeing 
  • Limiting self-beliefs, actions and habits
  • Hard-wired human biases that make it difficult to act in one’s best interests

The secret to overcoming these barriers is to adopt the financial self-determination mindset and principles to significantly improve your financial outcomes with a little effort, consistently applied over time.

Here is our financial self-determination manifesto to support your journey:

  1. You alone are responsible for and in charge of your own financial destiny
  2. Set the goals that are right for you
  3. There will always be trade-offs
  4. Your values are the best guide to help you make the trade-offs that are right for you
  5. The right path to your goal is the one that you can stick to long-term, not the one that’s necessarily in the textbooks
  6. Recognize that this is a journey not a destination
  7. Balance short term and long term. Aim for moderate goals in both, but always keep the door open to let in the great
  8. Always build options. More options are always better than fewer
  9. Remember every seller is seeking to maximize their profit – financial services companies are not philanthropic organizations
  10. You are the best champion of your own well-being
  11. Seek mutually beneficial transactions and arrangements when doing business with financial providers
  12. Approach the market with skepticism and a questioning mind
  13. Actively seek cons as well as pros to every purchase / financial decision
  14. Numbers are your best friend – actively befriend them, and get cosy with them – they’re much nicer than you thought!
  15. Find and assess the few numbers that matter for every decision – simple numbers are better than no numbers or complex analyses
  16. Get expert help, but understand how and for what they get paid
  17. Even when you get expert help, don’t delegate the decision making
  18. Ensure that the reason for the decision makes sense to a fifth grader
  19. Pick simple over complex every time
  20. Build small habits and practices, rather than big one-off actions, for long-term success
  21. Automate as many favorable actions as possible; leave little or nothing to willpower
  22. Check in on the status of your financial affairs regularly, even if it’s briefly. Limit the numbers to monitor, and understand what changes in those will require action
  23. Long-term success entails focusing on behaviors, systems and processes and not as much about outcomes. Financial outcomes are driven by too many factors outside a person’s control – but every person has control over their actions
  24. Negative outcomes don’t indicate poor decisions; similarly, great outcomes don’t usually indicate genius ability
  25. Process and habits trump everything

Get on the road to financial self-determination today!