Financial literacy course offered at College
As a teen, Shane English benefited from living in a financially literate household, but he realises that isn’t necessarily the norm in Bermuda.
Mr English, an investment review analyst at Lombard Odier, says it can be difficult for some people to discuss finances.
“Money is a taboo topic — people don’t like to talk about money,” he says.
Mr English is president of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society on-island, which is partnering with Bermuda College to offer a four-part series covering the core financial literacy topics of budgeting and saving; income, expenses and debt; planning for your retirement; and putting it all together.
The objective of the course, organisers say, is to educate and empower people so that they can adopt healthy spending and saving habits.
Held every Wednesday at 6pm at the College for four weeks beginning October 30, the series is open for registration now at a cost of $80.
There are no prerequisites required to attend the sessions, but organisers say students must register for all four courses.
Financial literacy is one of the core messages of World Investor Week, which wraps up today.
Mr English said: “The course targets people who don’t have the basic skills and a proper understanding of financial instruments — bank accounts, credit cards, compound interest, mortgages.
“When it comes to mortgages, some people don’t realise that you can shop around to get a better rate — and what that better rate can mean to you over the long term.
“Anyone who is carrying a balance on their credit card is being charged 20 per cent interest a year on that debt. You have payday loan companies on the island charging 10 per cent for a week.
“I don’t mean to be judgmental — if you need them, they are there for you — but it’s about being aware of the implications and repercussions of debt.”
Retirement planning is another important consideration, Mr English says.
“Do you really understand what the benefits are within your plan? You are the only one who will suffer if the plan can’t meet your goals and objectives.”
Tawana Flood is director of the Professional and Career Education division at Bermuda College.
She said: “Financial literacy should be a fundamental component of our lifestyle. It’s that important. Someone once said that money is a global language, yet so few of us have learnt how to speak it. It’s true.
“We need to learn, early on, about the importance of managing our finances.”
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