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Poor financial literacy

Marlon Madden

Poor  financial  literacy

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POOR MONEY MANAGEMENT among Caribbean residents is being blamed on the education system in the region.
Furthermore, Cherryl Hanson Simpson, managing director of Financially SMART Services, said lacking education on the subject was one of the reasons more people were not able to better multiply and protect their finances.
“The challenge is that people are not being taught financial literacy in schools. So how is it that we are to know how to invest, how to save and how to budget and how not to get in trouble with credit card debt when nobody teaches us?” she asked.
“Unfortunately, our school system doesn’t really teach us life skills that are important for survival . . . . It is very sad because that life, where there were all these jobs and big industries that were waiting for all these graduates to leave, that does not exist anymore.
“So our school system is teaching us to get a job in a world where the jobs are decreasing. It is a major problem,” argued Hanson Simpson, who admittedly was an advocate of entrepreneurship.
She was delivering a public lecture at Frank Collymore Hall last Wednesday night on the topic Secure Your Nest Egg With Financially Smart Planning And Money Management.
The lecture was put on by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) of Barbados as part of its 45th anniversary celebrations.
Sharing some of her life experiences with the audience, the Jamaican said prior to starting her business she realized that many people had trouble with money.
‘Financially ignorant’
“The problem was that nobody was teaching financial literacy skills. Then it became my passion to go out and teach others what I have learnt,” she said, and the more people knew about money, the more they were likely to gain financial wealth.
NIS board chairman Dr Justin Robinson shared similar views, saying that a lot of entrepreneurs, despite having “top degrees” and starting their own businesses, were “financially ignorant”.
“They didn’t quite understand money and bank accounts. That seems to be a flaw or hole in our system of education, which is world-class in a number of ways, but [people] seem to come out of our system not being able to balance a chequebook or understand the basics of money,” he said.