The south west-based IFA is worried that future clients will be unequipped to make educated decisions about their financial futures.
“We already have people coming to us who have made poor financial decisions on the advice a family member or because of something they read in the media,” explained managing director Robin Etherington. “Or in some cases, they’ve avoided looking at their financial situation at all and not sought professional advice for fear of being seen as stupid.”
Robin and his team are calling on local schools, colleges, parents and councils to join forces and equip future generations with the skills they need to take charge of their finances.
“We’re not saying everyone needs to have a comprehensive understanding of investments, tax law or retirement planning,” said Robin. “Just a plain-English, working knowledge of important things from budgeting and working out which mortgage to apply for to investment options and smart retirement planning.
“That way, they can feel confident when dealing with money and making decisions about their own finances.”
While there will always be occasions when speaking to a chartered financial planner is the best course of action, Robin and the team at HDA want people to feel empowered to deal with their own financial situation, whatever it may be.
“A quick look at social media shows that young people are crying out for this information,” explained Robin. “Memes asking why they need to know Pythagoras’ theorem when they don’t understand how to calculate income tax are completely justified. Students feel the system is letting them down and we can already see a stark financial gap appearing where people are making poor choices out of ignorance or because they don’t know when to ask for professional help. It’s time we addressed the imbalance of financial education.”
Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson is supporting the campaign. He said: “I've always believed that, as schools prepare pupils for the outside world, financial education should form part of the curriculum. Knowing about bank accounts, mortgages, loans and financial planning is essential in life and pupils should have at least a basic understanding of these issues. And some pupils might be interested in learning about more involved issues, such as the stock market, bonds, currencies and so on - such knowledge about the real world would surely be useful.”
To download your free Simple Guide to Finance, and for more information about HDA, visit www.hda-ifa.co.uk
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