Financial literacy will be great. Implementation is perhaps the issue, beyond just human greed.

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A friend called. He said he has gotten involved with a financial product which has just started and as a friend, he must share with us. He tells us of how EPF’s returns are low. He tells us of the dangers of stock market and even tells us that property market is now in trouble. Thus, the best way and safest way is to invest for STABLE returns. He also mentioned that the returns are high. Perhaps 2% per month and thus, 24% per year?

We are like, ‘WOW!’ We proceeded to meet him and he showed us very professional looking slides. We “Invested” and first few months, everything was smooth and we even recommended friends to join as they pay referral commission as well. Then, payment stopped. Then, that friend disappeared. Then, a police report was lodged and suddenly we realised hundreds of people were also reporting the same thing. This kind of scenarios repeat continuously. At least on a weekly basis that we hear of people getting cheated. Is it solely because of financial literacy? Based on some of the people who got cheated including even senior managers and even professionals, I think it’s both financial literacy and greed. For the financial literacy part, there’s an upcoming solution.

Article in themalaysianreserve.com EPF has warned that statistics have shown that retirees finish their savings within two years. Reports also showed that civil servants have lots of debts. The government has just launched the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023. This programme is to equip Malaysians with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions and to nurture healthy attitudes in financial management.

This was formulated by the Financial Education Network, an interagency group co-chaired by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia. Founding members include Ministry of Education, Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corp, EPF, Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) and Permodalan Nasional Bhd. It says that this literacy programme will focus on helping individuals manage their money wisely, planning ahead and even investing for their future. It will also help protect them from financial fraud and abuse. Article in themalaysianreserve.com

The founding members are definitely all the institutions which knows about investments. Perhaps the question is on implementation. Are these agencies going to be the one coming up with programmes on how to educate their targeted group? Is it going to be the typical brochures on financial literary which we could find in many of these agencies? Erm… Will there be public events and talks by speakers from some of these agencies? Could we ensure that the delivery part is really an interesting one and not reading from slides with way too many words? Will there be a very interesting dedicated website which is written and updated regularly?

How about also ensuring that some of the ‘FINANCIAL SPEAKERS’ do not continue to share that it’s possible to earn fast money if the people join their talks? Isn’t investment something stable and over along period of time instead of suddenly becoming rich? Oh yeah, one more thing. Please do not just add another tab in all the founding members’ website and hope it will work magically. Of course, when all these are being done successfully, it may reduce the number of people getting cheated but it will never eradicate them all because of greed. Happy understanding.

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written on 12 Aug 2019

<Featured Image is courtesy of Stock Photos from designer491>

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