In episode #9 of The Big Bo $how, Big Bo (a.k.a. Jason Blumstein, CFA®) discusses the need for Financial Literacy, an important topic that is near and dear to his heart. School is in session! Topics Discussed:
- Alarming statistics about the lack of Financial Literacy in both Adults and Children
- Ways we can teach and promote financial literacy in our homes
- The importance of confidence
Hope you enjoy the $how!
Episode 9 Key Takeaways
Welcome to episode nine of The Big Bo $how we got a special show for you today. Back to school season is upon us we're having a special topic that is near and dear to my heart. As you know as you listen to The Big Bo $how brought to you by Julius Wealth Advisors, financial literacy ways we can teach and promote financial literacy in the United States and our children. We have a special guest on here to discuss this Kelly Klingaman of Kelly Klingaman Financial Planning, who also I discovered shares this passion on financial literacy and also brings it into her own practice. Be sure to listen to the end of the show where I bring up some statistics that will probably blow your mind on financial literacy in this country and with our children. And also the importance of building confidence in yourself and especially your children and how this can promote great financial literacy habits. So sit back, relax, and welcome to episode nine of The Big Bo $how.
Jason Blumstein, CFA®
All right, welcome to the startup episode minor, big boy show. I'm excited, very excited to have Kelly Klingaman onto the show to talk about a topic that it seems that we're both extremely passionate about. So with that said, Kelly, can you please introduce yourself and give us a little bit of a background? What made you so passionate about financial literacy?
Yeah, thanks for having me on the show, Jason. I just recently switched jobs. I guess I left my longtime job, corporate job and decided to start my own financial planning firm much like myself. So I serve mainly dual career couples who are in their 30s and 40s, and help with all different aspects of their financial life. And most of the clients I work with have little kids, young kids, they're starting to think about growing their family if they don't have kids yet. And I also have young kids. So financial literacy and teaching kids how to be savvy with their money is definitely a big topic that we tend to cover. In our conversations together. I think I was lucky to have a family that was very open about talking about money as I grew up. And I also grew up in a house where my mom made a lot more money than my dad. She was the breadwinner. And I think something about that made her want to educate me and my younger sister about money from a pretty early age. So I think just having that influence on it, it sunk in early on that I needed to pass that on to my kids as well. As you and I both know, it's tough to get good financial literacy coming up in the school systems. You might get lucky and happen to take a class that teaches you some helpful things, but it's definitely not consistent. So figuring out ways I can pass on some good money lessons to my kids. I'm always trying to get new ideas and talk with other people like yourself to see what else I can teach them. So they're hopefully better prepared for life in the real world than they would have been otherwise if we hadn't had those conversations.
Fantastic. Yeah, I'm sure we'll get into some specifics now throughout the conversation. But it sounds to me like your mom was very instrumental in forming your mindset on money and personal finances, I guess, can you just touch on some specific memories that you have from your mom that helped shape you?
Yeah, so maybe a little more background on her. She is an ocean engineer. So she loves numbers, loves the data, it really excites the ocean, loves the ocean. We grew up in Houston, Texas, so very much a part of the oil and gas industry. And she actually would design offshore oil rigs, and the boats, the platforms that would bring them overseas from where they were being built over in Europe. So it's very specific work that she did, she loved numbers. And I think she always wanted one of us to follow in her footsteps and be an engineer as well. And I have an older daughter, she also has another daughter, my sister. And I think I had more of an interest in numbers, but I don't think I had the same aptitude for it as my mom as much as she would have liked. But early on, she was like, You need to have a, you know, a passion for numbers in some way. So when I started elementary school, she helped me set up a savings account. And it was actually something that's offered through my elementary school where we were given a big purse, like where you could collect your coins and your dollar bills. And we had our name written on it in a Sharpie, I remember, and throughout the week, you'd collect money on it, and then you could bring it to school on Friday. And in the cafeteria, you'd walk up to the stage and a local bank was set up where we had gone to open our own little savings account, and you could deposit your money with them, and it would go into your bank, and then you'd keep track of it in your own little register. And I remember my mom helping me learn how to do the check, register, how to write a check, I mean, all these things that I think we take for granted, because we don't. But I just remember that so vividly early on, like, hey, you need to start being more mindful about money that you're receiving, whether it's like birthday money, or, you know, we would do things around the house and try to earn extra money too. And she was like, we don't want to just spend all this, we want to save some of it. And so she helped me set up that savings account, as always a very vivid memory of those early days.
Very cool. Very cool. So you touched on, you know, what the takeaway there had like passion for for numbers, right? But it's, it's interesting, you say that, because with two kids in my own, it's, you don't, you know, people have worked, you know, typically work with one side of their brain, use your left side or right side and either have a passion for numbers, or you potentially struggle with numbers. Right. So it probably seems like you had some, you're good with numbers, maybe you didn't have the same passion as your mother. But that leads us interestingly, into one of my other questions is, you know, there's children, right, you have two children of your own, late and Kate, I have two children of my own as well. I think our kids are roughly the same age. I have an older boy and a younger girl, and you have an older girl and a younger boy. But it leads that into like, okay, every child is created differently. I think that's one of the biggest shops that I've had being a father, right, my brother and I were totally different growing up, and I was just like, How is this possible? We like the same roof and have the same parents and the same very same genes. And I have my own two kids. And I'm just like, now I get it. Now, I get it is really the nature versus nurture sort of thing, right? So I guess my question to you is, what do children like? What are some of the valuable ways like knowing that every child is different, that you try to teach your own children about money.
It made me think just of my daughter immediately and how different her personality is from me and my husband and also from her younger brother. She seems to have this scarcity mindset where if she gets candy or a snack or money, she needs to eat it right away. She needs to use it right away, or else she's not going to get it back. And she's really worried, which is so interesting to me because we're very lucky and blessed to have great jobs. We're always able to provide for our kids and she's not really having that life experience. But just an example: It goes to show that nature versus nurture is hard to combat. One of the things we started doing early on And just as a family, even before we talked about money, was talking about what we valued as a family. And we actually came up with it. I read this in a book somewhere where it was a parenting book, and they suggested coming up with a set of family values. So words that you could talk about with your kids, and tell stories about those words, talk about those values playing out in real life. So what we ended up doing was we picked 12 different values, and we assigned them to each month of the year. So every month since our kids are younger, we try to focus on one thing at a time. And I think a lot of those values are a good foundation to talking about money in a very healthy way. Because we can align a lot of, hey, here's how mom and dad are spending and saving our money. It's very much in alignment with those values that we've been discussing with you all together. And I think it sets them up for focusing more on using money, for things that are more focused on experiences and time together versus using money to just buy things. You know, try to keep up with their friends, you have the latest gadget and electronic I mean, my hope is that they're much more interested in, you know, getting out in the world and having great experiences and saving money to prepare for that versus just wanting to spend it all on the latest thing, which I know is tough with younger kids who are very influenced by their friends, as I'm sure Yeah. So that's all the things that we had focused on early on. That's cool.
Do you notice any differences between like, you mentioned your daughter right away? Do you notice any differences between your son and your daughter?
Yeah, my daughter is very strong willed, very loud, she can hold a conversation with any adult and has been forever. And my son is the opposite. He's very cautious and quiet, and more reserved, and it's like he's observing the room, whereas she's kind of like, in the action. I don't know how that'll play out necessarily with their views on money yet. But it is funny just to see her like, we've started to pay her a weekly allowance. And I think that is helping with this scarcity mindset that she seemed to just possess automatically. And I'm interested to see how, when we bring him into the fold of receiving a weekly allowance, I'm interested to see his take on that too, and continue to compare them since they are still very different.
That's cool. That's cool. Yeah, for me. You know, for my two kids, it was very interesting as my son is. I'm not just saying it, because he's my son. I try to be objective when it comes to my children. But No, probably not. My son is extremely sharp, like extremely sharp and picks things up very quickly. So for him, when when I was I remember alerting me for me learning about this stuff when I was young from from my grandfather, which you know, a lot of people know if you just go to my website, or just listened to the first episode of the show. That was highly influential in my life. So I try to, you know, bring this to my children's lives. But I noticed with my son right away, that I think he could handle some of these concepts at an early age. So it was funny when he was six years old. Obviously, he also gets money or presents for his birthday, or for holidays, or this, that and the other. And my son had already, like, already asked me questions about things like, what I do and stuff like that. So I thought he was kind of interested in it. So I tried to teach him a concept of like, hey, you know, Jonathan, what would you do, which is my son's name? When his birthday rolled around, he was always like, oh, I want a toy. I want a toy. So eventually, I said to him, I was like, let me ask you a question like, what do you think's going to create more value and more wealth for you in the long run, buying the toy? From the toys from the toy company, online, or owning the toy company? And I thought it was like a pretty big question for a section of remarkably, he said, Oh, owning a toy company. You know, so I was like, alright, he gets it. So. So what we did is like, Alright, so let's start taking your money and owning businesses, because owning businesses over time has proven to be a way that you can create wealth versus taking your money and buying a toy. And now the toy is you're going to use a toy for another three months, maybe six months, and then you're done with it. And now your money's gone, right. So we ended up doing that right away. And when he was six years old and now every time he gets a president that's what we do, we'll have an investment account where when we open it up, we'll put the money, even with choice, hey, do you want to buy a toy? What do you want to do with you? Or where do you want to put your money into an investment account? And we always, you know, 90% of the time don't want to put it in an investment account. And it's fun to watch and see it grow. It's grown. You know, I've told people this already, like it's grown up too slow. It's down a little bit now, which is another interesting dynamic, because obviously, the market is down. But before the beginning of the year, we got up to $10,000, right for printing, just putting some money away in the market and then growing it since he was six years old. And then now the market is down, obviously, this year. And, and he's like, Whoa, I lost money on my, well, you didn't necessarily lose money, like now you're still up and you really only lose money. Like, if that's it, like you're gonna give up like, you're only 10 years old at this point. Right? Like, you have a long way to go. So I think it's very interesting that he understood that concept, which is great. So cool, pretty cool experiment that I guess I'm running. On my own site.
I need to start when my daughter is six years old. So I'm like, oh, what I think starting so small, but like giving them those real life concepts. I mean, I'm sure she could grasp that now, too. It's, it's a
good way to try and you have to just kind of like, understand it. Like, it's for me. It's like, that's why I should question they've been chewing your son and your daughter, because I mean, my daughter, who I obviously adore, she always wants a toy. Like she always chooses toys. I give her the same choice. You want a toy or you want a toy? Like I want a toy. So I'm just like, and then but the funny thing now is that her brother, who are older brothers as, like, teaches her these concepts, like what do you want to eat? Do you want a toy like, what do you so
she needs to hear it from someone that's like her peer versus her dad's or?
Exactly. So it's like, different different ways. So now, you know, she gets into it. She's not as, as I guess, understanding of these concepts as my son at this age, but that's also where it's funny, you see, like the documentary nature versus nurture. And like, you know, even when I work with clients, which I'm sure you've experienced, too, there's, there always appears to be within a relationship, a savior and a spender. So it's, it's interesting to like, see this unfold and in my own life with kids, because obviously, you know, this is extremely important to me. And, you know, we'll see what unfolds throughout life with them. But, you know, moving on to, you know, just trying to enhance financial literacy. Within this country, I actually stumbled across an article last week, as I was researching some different things about financial literacy in this country. And I came across this study by the Milken Institute 2021, you know, so kind of hot off the presses, where it said, That was a pretty long report. And then it came up and said that 53% of adults are what they call financially literate, based on different tests that they gave in questions that they would give. And then there was a score out of a scale of 1000, the average score for a group of 15 year olds, right that they gave the same test of 15 year olds for six, six years in a row, the average score on all those cohorts was 506, out of out of a scale of 1000. So that's a score of 50.6%. Or if we're talking about school, that'd be a very strong F. So, which I think it's funny, and you know, happy to comment on this. But I think it's funny that like, we get and actually had parents over peace and people in my house this weekend, they're talking about, oh, maybe, oh, can you name this country or that state and this and that, and I'm just like, wow, like if someone gave a test to their child, on naming the 50 states in this country, and they got 25 of them, right. People would like to say that those parents would be so disappointed. Right, like, you only know 25 of the 50 states in this country. Right? I'll openly admit, I probably know all 50 states, but if he asked me to 50 state capitals, I would maybe get 25. Right? Maybe. So I think it is just funny that like, you know, through life you go through like if I never knew the 50 states of this country, or if I knew 25 of them, I'll probably be fine. But if I got the 50 sent in understanding money and financial literacy, you're not going to be fine. Because most likely most people deal with money 100% of the time, every single day. Right? So it's like, to me, it's just fascinating the thing that I don't know, if we value as a country, or the way that we try to teach people in this country, I think the priorities are sort of skewed. Right? So I guess, for you, what? What are some ideas that you have to promote financial literacy, you know, in this great country of ours, and, and also like the youth specifically?
Yeah, I think just what I'm even trying to do just in through the avenue, I guess, of my new business is putting free content out there for people to find that it's like, Hey, here's some easy ways to start talking to your kids about money, even when they're really little. And I want it to seem like it's not a burden to start doing. I think people are intimidated, because maybe based on their own personality, they're just not interested in the numbers, and they don't feel equipped to turn around and talk to their kids about it. And I think a lot of that, too, is like whatever your own money story is, maybe money was a really tough topic in your house growing up. And now you don't know how to talk about it with your own kids. So I think there is a lot of good free content out there nowadays. And unfortunately, maybe that's the only way parents can really feel like they can be equipped to have these conversations is seeking it out themselves. But I'd love to see more of a curriculum just in public schools, where we talk about more of these concepts on a regular basis, starting in kindergarten, and just going forward, I mean, be great to teach kids how to do their taxes, and what a 401k is, like, all these different things that we're just not prepared to know about when we get our first job. Yeah,
I hear you, I hear it actually, I've been reading I think, like, 14 states in this country now at least instituting some sort of financial literacy within schools, I'm not really sure, like, what concepts they're teaching them, you know, it's something that, that, that, you know, for me, obviously, right now, starting my own business, gotta get it growing and all that, but it's something that I plan on, actively getting involved in, in trying to go into schools and, and teach to teach schools and children for pro bono. You know, also for me what I do in my practice, and maybe you can start implementing this in yours, well, not like, I don't want to tell you how to run your business.
Always need new ideas.
I always offer clients giving, giving their children like three, free one on one sessions, right. Because you can change or, or not change, but like, give some sort of basic understanding to someone when they're younger. It helps, right, and even if they only say, Oh, I only have $500, or whatever, but just like teaching them the simple concepts. Because I always try to lead with my firm, I always try to just leave with knowledge, right? I think if you teach somebody something, it's very valuable, right? And then this industry, I'm not sure, you know, if you experienced the same thing, but I always think in this industry, a lot of people try to make it gray on purpose, right? Because, in my opinion, most people in this industry don't even necessarily know what they're doing themselves. So they gotta make it great, because it's great to them. So they don't think they're doing it on purpose. So those are some of the little things that I'm personally trying to do. Because I think if we can change the small influence on, you know, one by one by one, it should hopefully change the dynamics. And I see it with, you know, people in our industry that are younger, like you and myself that are realizing that the way that this industry has historically gone about things just isn't right. Right. So we're just trying to take it upon ourselves to powerfully and positively influence our industries, people's lives.
Yeah, I love that you just think of just going into your local, like your kids school and seeing if there's opportunities to speak about these topics. And yeah, we don't have to think so big we could just start on the local level and makes me think of before I had kids, there's a local organization called the financial literacy coalition of Central Texas where I live and so I would volunteer through that it was like you go to the library, and they give you some materials and you just go through the materials with people that come by for the free workshop. We're just offering more of that for kids in the school setting and volunteering more or through their school seems like so easy and, yet, like we're not doing enough of that. So that's a good idea. And when he's that,
Usually the simplest things in life are the most effective. Right? Exactly. Keep it, keep it simple, keep it simple. Want to get into I know, you know, we touched upon a little bit, but you recently started your own company. You can tell people the name of it, happy to have you plug it, whatever. But I just want to understand, you know, discuss how you, you know, you're so set yourself up to do this. And also had the confidence to sort of like, take that leap, if you will. Yeah,
still definitely feels like I'm building the plane as I'm flying it. I think that's a very common phrase for those of us have started our own financial planning practice, that we as a family, my husband, and I prepared probably for five or six years, saving pretty aggressively for me to quit and launch his business, mainly because I was previously the breadwinner in our family. We both worked, but I made significantly more money than my husband. So thinking about, Okay, well, if that salary is gone, what's the income gap between my husband salary and what mine used to be that we sort of need to save and prepare for, we also have young kids at the time, they were both in daycare, that is quite an expense, if you know anything about childcare costs. I do especially in major cities. So just thinking of the fact that kids cost a lot of money. And I am probably more on the conservative end of wanting to save even more than I needed to because it made me feel more secure. So we saved a lot of my sales bonuses for five plus years, and built up a pretty big cushion, kind of an emergency fund on steroids, if you will, in a high yield savings account. And then I felt confident enough to quit. Toward the end, I did a lot of business planning on the side while I was still working, which kind of meant that I had two jobs plus we had kids, it's a whole nother job. So a lot of late nights just planning out how I was going to do this. And it was great as I had a good support system, my friends, family, husband, everybody was very supportive of me doing this, they kind of said, Yeah, Kelly, you should have done this a while ago. So just go ahead and do it already. But feeling like I had that savings there that would protect us if we needed it was really great. And so quit earlier this year, took a little bit of time off, which was nice after just working straight for 12 years, and then launched it this past May. So you know, it's interesting, I'll share this with you. My husband actually got laid off, right when I launched my visitors. But we were prepared for that. I mean, we were totally prepared to deal with the fact that, even if he didn't have an income, it would and his company was going through like this whole overhaul. So it was not a surprise to us that this happened. Of course, not great timing. But you know, having prepared and saved enough money, we were able to deal with it and move forward and not freak out as much as other people might have, if that had happened, where both of us had no income for a while. So I think taking the time to plan things out makes when you're in it that much more enjoyable. Because you can actually relax a little more and know the savings are there, I can focus on building a business in a very thoughtful way, in a way that I have always dreamed of doing.
That's pretty cool. The cool part was that, you know, for what we do, I think, you know, I've always I've always had a background in investing, right? And I've always loved and had a passion for investing since I was 10 years old. And then that kind of like, just coming from my background, I was just like, well, people don't even know what they're doing. Right? So like, you gotta, you have to like, plan and you gotta educate. Because if you have the best investments, but you don't even know what you're planning for, like, who cares, right? And you have the best. Maybe you're great at planning, but you have terrible investments like, who cares? And then I always tell people look, if you have great planning in great investing, but your behavior is terrible. That's going to derail all of that. And that's kind of interesting that that's what you do. And then also that kind of happened to you right? Like you were planning and planning and planning and then you made this launch and then your husband unfortunately got laid out but it seems to me like you kind of just like your behavior was was was was Find because you're like, Alright, well I did planning I thought this through and I have my investments are fine and, and you were able to power through. So that's, that's awesome to hear that, you know, like I tell people like you can plan all you want but eventually life happens, right like
it will happen, whether you
like to plan for the worst and hope for the best versus people that plan for the best. And then if the worst happens or kind of like, you know, not good. So that's pretty cool. It's very powerful. That happened. So very, very I commend you for that. And I think the biggest thing also is, you know, you said you said confidence. So like, how did you get the confidence because I think that just in observing people, right, I've always been a highly confident person, just, I think I got that because I, you know, just my background and in life, and I think just like playing sports and stuff like that I just became like, a very confident person. And then I always tell people, like, confidence is like 99% of life like you can, and which I think is extreme as I teach my own kids, right? It's like, you have to believe in yourself, and you have to have confidence in yourself. Because you could be the smartest person in the world and have no confidence and your smarts will go nowhere. She could also not be smart and have a lot of confidence. And you probably will get a little bit further than the person that's a genius. Right? So a little bit about like, kind of like confidence, and how that and how you got that and that and how do you think that sort of translates into financial literacy?
I think it's maybe twofold part of it was in my prior role. My clients were financial advisors. And I would come across some of their businesses. And I would say to myself, I can't believe this person is like managing people's money and working with clients like, they don't know how to run a business, everything seems a mess. So I got a lot of confidence, seeing people being successful, who were not qualified to be doing what they were doing, which goes back to a point you made earlier, you know, this industry in general, is very hard to tell who's a good financial adviser, and who may just be, you know, a salesperson trying to sell you something. And so people get away with calling themselves financial advisors when maybe they're not quite qualified to be doing that. So that helped for sure. I was like, Man, I gotta get out there, if these people are running a successful business, and yet on the inside, it looks the way it does. So that helped. So that was years, you know, 10 plus years of being exposed to different people's businesses. And I would sort of say, Oh, I like what you do there, I wouldn't do that. And gathering ideas and feeling like I was studying the industry for so long. So that gives me a lot of confidence. And I think being a woman in the industry that I've grown up in, you get some thick skin, I was usually the only woman in a room, especially as I got higher up at my prior company, and really wonderful people that I worked with. But a lot of times, people just didn't have the same life experience as me. And I realized I had to speak up a lot louder than maybe other people had to. And that helped to write, it just sort of forced me to see that nobody else is gonna speak up for me. So I had to try. And I was trial and error of going through situations where I didn't stand up for myself and was sort of discouraged. So a lot of years of that I think was also helpful. And the support system of the network that I'm a part of, and peers in the industry have been super helpful to be like, No, you need to be out here doing this. I think that has also given me a lot of confidence to
Very cool, very cool, I love it. I love it. So final question. I always ask people, all guests on the show, because I think in life you have to, as I tell people, my core values, you have to have integrity, you have to have knowledge. And then but most importantly, also have that passion, right? We only get one shot at life. And if you're not passionate about what you do, well then like, who cares, right? So I would love to understand outside of your family and outside of your business, what your biggest passion in life is and why.
I think you and I talked about this a little bit. We both come from sports backgrounds. So I always continue to be really passionate about sports. I grew up playing Hang club volleyball. So I really love playing sand volleyball, even as an adult. And in the same way I want my kids to learn about money, I would love for them to be a part of sports and be a part of their life in some way. I don't know if I can necessarily force that but sort of like giving them that positive exposure to it. You know, having them come watch me play in the sand volleyball league that I play in or just getting out there and being outdoors instead of inside in front of the TV as much as we can. I think our family is very much into the outdoor experience. My husband too, he grew up playing watersports, and being out on the lake wakeboarding. So I think we just have a really big interest in being active and being healthy through playing sports and being outdoors. And if I can pass that to my kids, and have them have a similar sort of passion for getting out there and getting their heart rate up running around the block and getting on their bike, find balance getting their knee, like whatever it is do something outside, then hopefully, I would feel like that's a successful way to to raise a family if we can all have that value together.
Awesome. Awesome. Great. The one thing you said there is you can't force your kids into wanting to play and playing sports. And it's funny you said that because that's a valuable lesson I learned with my son. When he was younger, you know, obviously I think, you know, some of the listeners know I played football in high school and in college and just love the game of football. So the second he was born, I was just like, oh, let's watch football force running. And he's just like, now he sort of rebelled. And then when it came to teaching him baseball, I was just like, alright, like, let him just pick it up, right? I'm not gonna force him now. He's like, loves it. And that was also interesting with football since I stopped sort of like, pushing it on him. He's actually now becoming interested in it. Right. Like last night. He, you know, wanted to watch Tom Brady play. You know, they're playing Sunday night football. So he's like, Oh, that Tom Brady's playing? You know, can I watch the game with you? So I was like, okay, cool. Sure, no problem. It probably also liked it because he got to stay up till like 11 o'clock at night. Which isn't his bedtime, typically at nine. But, that's a whole nother story. All right. Well, I appreciate it. Kelly, this has been fantastic. I really thank you for your time. And you know, coming on to the show. I think you provided a lot of valuable lessons on financial literacy about confidence about you know, teaching our kids and really appreciate having you on to the show.
Thank you so much, Jason. I really enjoyed the conversation today. Thank you all the best.
So let's wrap things up on episode nine of The Big Bo $how: back to school, ways we can teach ourselves and our children about financial literacy in the great United States of America. And a few takeaways from the show. Though we are the wealthiest country out there. The statistics on a lack of financial literacy to me are alarming. According to the Milken Institute study in 2021, only 53% of US adults are classified as having financial literacy. And our children are scoring a 50.6% on tests that we're giving on financial literacy. Also a way that you can help promote financial literacy with your kids teaching the concept of Would you rather buy a toy from the business or own the business? Number three, the importance of confidence, the lack of confidence in yourself and the importance of confidence in your children, where I always joke around with people and I say 99% of life, in my opinion, is confidence. So I hope you enjoyed episode nine of The Big Bo $how. As always, I'm going to remind you to live a life of integrity. Live a life of knowledge, always obtain as much knowledge as you can. And importantly, live a life of passion until next time, all the best.
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