Chris says that while financial literacy is a critical tool for success, it's not about figuring out how to become rich—it's about understanding your options, goals and responsibilities. "It's about becoming aware of where you are financially, what your aspirations may be and what means can you employ to accomplish your goals," he says.
Chris credits his mother for encouraging him to have dreams and for telling him that it was his responsibility to make them come true. He calls this set of "inherited" values "spiritual genetics," saying that while you can't choose your eye color or how tall you're going to be, you can choose the soul of who you're going to become as a person. "I believe you can choose, and I chose to embrace the light that I saw in my mom," he says.
While it's every parent's dream to give his child a better life than his own, Chris says this impulse can actually hinder a child's success. Parents should raise balanced children "who can appreciate the nice things but can function without," he says. "Something I've learned as a parent is that giving all of this stuff doesn't necessarily create better people. And it doesn't necessarily prepare them to be making the kind of decisions that they should be making."