Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll arrived in prison as an illiterate 17 year old teenager. After learning how to read, he taught himself how to read the financial markets and trade stocks. He made a few thousand dollars on his first trade and then started teaching others while still in prison. During his early classes on the prison yard, “Wall Street” taught incarcerated people how to make money through stock investments. After the 2008 financial crisis, he realized that he was teaching people who not only lacked financial capital about investing, but also lacked the ability to manage smaller issues like their eating habits and self-expression. Realizing that financial prosperity was a by-product of a healthy lifestyle, Wall Street created FEEL as a tool to identify the emotional needs and feelings that motivate actions in order to succeed in all aspects of life:personally ,professionally and financially.
Financial Empowerment Emotional Literacy, FEEL, is designed to teach people how to recognize the influence of their emotions on their financial decisions. FEEL is not a set of skills we teach, it’s a life style that we live. A person that can properly manage their eating habits, their time, and their relationships can also properly manage their finances. The financial component of FEEL is built around the four timeless rules: Saving effectively, Borrowing properly, Controlling your cost of living, and Diversification by allowing your money to work for you instead of you working for it.
Emotional spending is a result of people’s secondary needs for power, beauty, love, and choices. Unlike peoples primary needs for air, food, and shelter; these needs are rooted into the way people save, borrow, control costs, and diversify. FEEL helps people both to identify their needs and to identify the feelings surrounding these needs. Feelings dictate reckless spending habits and until people identify these feelings they will never get what they’re really paying for.