Before Financial Literacy we may need to find TIME to self-educate

By Kyith Ng

Recent surveys seem to indicate that we, Singaporeans, however well educated as a general population, still needs work to be financially literate. If we happen to be the most well educated country per capita and our financial literacy needs work then it sort of proof, if you are academically smart, you may not be financially literate.

The common pill to this problem is: MORE EDUCATION.

I definitely think education is important, but more of how it is carried out. The planners can be a bit innovative in this area.

Targeting young kids and making them well aware of how money works and effective use of it when they are young is good. However, that is carried out at a time where they have the least amount of money.

Without practice, people are likely to forget about it.

Perhaps a national budgeting campaign can be carried out. I kind of like the idea of the old Speak English, Speak Mandarin type of campaigns. Do it with some social engineering and it may work.

The challenge is to increase financial literacy of their parents, or people in my age group.

This is difficult. I find my peers resistant to this. They can complain about money at the whole lunch conversation. Yet, if you provide financial literacy solution via different mediums, they cite the challenge that they do not have the time for it.

How do you find time to care about your money? Or rather, perhaps they don’t realize that to tend to their wealth, it requires spending some time on it. Perhaps all Temasek Linked or Government Linked Companies need mandatory weekly lessons conducted during office hours to force the financial stuff into every employees head.

The end result, I felt is that nothing much will change.

This article first appeared on Investment Moats on 6 May 2015. It is reproduced with permission.


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