Financial Literacy in India is very poor. Every day one can hear several cases of Ponzi schemes and miss selling of financial products. What we need is to introduce our children and youth to the habit of saving and investing at an early age so that they can have wealthy and safe future. We can do this by teaching them budgeting at home, conducting seminars in school and colleges. It will be considered successful once the youth of this country is able to identify bad investment.
In order to make utilize her surplus amount she was looking for some investment option. She talked about this in her office and was then approached by an accountant from her company, who advised her to invest in ULIP with a premium of Rs. 75,000 a year. Later on she realized that she made a mistake and she could have invested the same amount in mutual funds which could have given her better returns and liquidity. After this incident she learned that it is very important to have little knowledge about financial products.
In today’s world for young investors, it is never too early to learn about how to save and invest money wisely. Today’s youth is not focused on money. It’s what money allows them to do, to follow their passion, to achieve their dreams. When the understanding of money making relates them to their aspirations then only they take interest in the financial markets and try to implement that knowledge.
Financial literacy for youth has become inevitable considering the fact that today’s school kids or college students have their goals decided from a very young age. If their ambitions are decided then why not start planning for it from now? Some key personal traits that can be inculcated in them can be time management, making a proper budget of their income and expenses, developing a proper mind set about savings and a proper knowledge of investments like mutual funds, insurance, stocks, debt, etc. Through proper financial literacy one can at least make sure that they will not lose their hard earned money or will not fall for any Ponzi scheme.
- Parents should start giving allowances to the kids from young age to manage expenses on their own. This will definitely help them in understanding the importance of savings. For example parents can ask them to save for new video game due next year. This way kids will get an idea of how many months do they have to save and how to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
- Schools can conduct Seminars on money matters wherein young students are taught how to save their money. That may include teaching them on how to prepare a budget based on their monthly pocket money given by their parents. As these students are quite young and not really ready enough to know exactly the investment matters, they can definitely be taught the concept and importance of saving their money.
- Seminars can also be conducted in colleges wherein they are taught simple concepts of opening bank accounts and how do they work. In addition to this , they can be educated about investment atmosphere, wherein the meaning of financial terms like, stock, bond , debt , credit cards, insurance, risk management, etc. is explained. Early mastery of these financial concepts can let them take their personal financial decisions which can affect their quality of life and standard of living.
- Students who go for internship or article ship should be encouraged for investing their savings. They can be asked to invest only 10% of their salaries which they can utilize for their future plans.
- Professors can also share their views on the current market scenarios in the class can also encourage on current affairs in financial markets discussion thereby encouraging students’ participation in such matters.
- Financial Planning firms can approach the college students and can help them decide on how much are they supposed to earn and invest based on what goals they have in mind .This way even students become a little more aware on what kind of job they are looking for and how to work towards it as they can get a clarity of the short term and long term goals of their future. They can then be explained the concepts of risk management and insurance.
- It can help you in managing you debt easily in later stage of your life. For example many people end up into a huge amount of debt in order to accomplish a goal of buying a house or spending through credit card and hence pay back through EMI. Thus, most of the income goes into paying back for the interest amount or the extra expenses of credit cards. This same amount if invested into mutual funds, debt or equity can fetch a huge lump sum. If planned well one can avoid such situation.
- Being financially literate helps in creating a culture of savings. Keeping record of one’s daily expenses helps in understanding the basic concept of budgeting and hence utilizes their salaries or income accordingly. It keeps a check on one’s spending habits and thus helps in cutting down unnecessary expenses.
- Understands the difference between saving and investment thereby plan investment strategies for today and tomorrow.
- It also helps in understanding the financial product better and hence reduces the chance of miss selling.