Taking financial advice to the whole family with at-home and at-school solutions

6 minutes  
Date: 02 February 2018

Take outs:

  • There is an increasing number of school and at home financial services advisers can align with to help educate kids.
  • The opportunity for advisers is to compliment or fill the education gap left by teachers and parents, to ensure these services are more than just an experience
  • Sponsoring programs, mentoring, hosting workshops and even discussing the kids experience of the products is a great way to start them on their financial journey.

Taking financial advice to the family of your clients is a great opportunity to spread the word on the value of financial advice and to get more Australians started on their financial literacy journey.

In a recent Netwealth webinar titled ‘How to extend financial education to the entire family’, Founder of Banqer, Kendall Flutey, who launched a digital financial literacy classroom program for kids over two years ago, says advisers can play a pivotal role in financial capability because it helps break the cycle in financial education.

“We're in a society where parents don't have the time, the confidence, or the capabilities, or all three, to teach their kids about financial education.”

She adds: “Yet it's cyclical in that most of us learn how to be financially literate and capable from our parents. The majority of that, again, is through passive observation of our parents' financial behaviours. So if you get a negative trend, that's going to persist through the generations and that's a huge contributor to inequality in our societies.”

Flutey profiles six solutions advisers can incorporate into their businesses, to help break this cycle. Three are school related and three can be used are in the home.

Worth noting on the school front is that while financial literacy is in the curriculum, many teachers are not trained in financial fundamentals and do not feel confident about financial concepts. In this regard, they need someone’s support. That could be you.

School financial educational services

Given many advice clients would have children at school age, reaching out to their local school and sharing resources (including yourself) is a great place to start.

The best approach to introduce programs into classrooms is via a teacher.

Kendall says unless you’ve got a strong relationship with a local school at principal level, teachers are the ones that you should target as they are the people who ultimately will implement the solutions.

Three school resources to consider include:

1. MoneySmart – www.moneysmart.gov.au

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission have developed a National Financial Literacy strategy and built a suite of resources on the MoneySmart website to compliment this strategy.

While more traditional in approach, it is unbiased and free. It also offers teachers face-to-face support and professional development. This program is suitable for primary and secondary schools and is mapped to the national curriculum.

Kendall says this tool is particularly great for schools who are just starting on their financial literacy journey or perhaps are a bit skeptical whether financial literacy will have a long-term role in their curriculum.

Not only can advisers introduce the program to their client’s kid’s schools, but they can also get involved with the local schools using MoneySmart.

Even if a school doesn’t use the program, it is worth approaching a school to see how you as a financial adviser can help. MoneySmart provides a link on the website of all the schools using the program, so it is easy to find out what schools are and are not using it.

2. Kidpreneur – www.kidpreneurs.org

This program focuses on learning by doing. Kids go into business on a small scale and through some mentoring, have a practical experience of running a business. This tool is great for clients whose kids show a natural inclination towards business.

“This is pitched at quite a young age, year four and six, but kids do show a tendency quite early on if they are business minded,” says Kendall.

The opportunity for advisers is to become a mentor, facilitate workshops or to sponsor a school, as costs are associated with this program.

“As an advisor, if I was wanting to extend my reach and my contribution to the local community, I think this would be a really tangible way to start that."

3. Banqer – www.banqer.co

This is an online financial education platform for kids and in a simulated way, immerses kids into the financial world. Banqer was started by Kendall a few years ago and now services over 50,000 school kids in New Zealand and Australia.

Kids have their own online bank account, split into two accounts, savings and expenses. They can buy property. They get an overall view of their net wealth. This tool is also gamified a little bit with the use of leaderboards.

The advantage of this platform is its measurable. Using interim exit quizzes and tracking financial behaviours, Banqer can measure financial literacy rates. This tool is an unbiased platform run by an education company.

For advisers, by introducing Banqer to a local school, Banqer can connect you with your account giving you some visibility over their progress as well as touch points to drop in to that school or that classroom.

“So for example, the teacher may have introduced a new financial concept, and you would be pinged and you may reach out to that teacher and say, "Hey, I see you've just enabled purchasing property in Banqer. Would it suit you if I come in and have a chat with the kids?"

Refer Banqer to a teacher

Netwealth is delighted to be funding 15,000 students to use Banqer. Help make your child one of the lucky ones.

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At-home solutions

While schools are a great starting point, everyone has a role to play in financial education.

This includes parents who Kendall says are “perfectly primed to teach kids' financial experience, and to also be involved in some of those money firsts.”

Three at home resources include:

1. Pennybox – www.pennybox.com

The modern-day equivalent of pocket money, Pennybox takes the three-jar approach to savings and puts it online for kids aged 6-16 years.

Tasks can be created and payments awarded. It is both fun and interactive, but is more about the experience rather than financial education. In this way, there is a great opportunity for advisers to fill the gap and play the educator.

“I would certainly recommend Pennybox as a beginner, in-home solution,” says Kendall. “Kids, perhaps, 10 years old and younger, before you progress onto something more substantial.”

2. Money School – www.moneyschool.org.au

Clients who are particularly engaged and involved with their child's education, will be perhaps most interested in this tool.

This is an intensive program for parents and kids and therefore is not for the time poor. They enrol and go through the activities together. Money School may just suit a small subset of clients out there.

The opportunity for advisers it to get involved at the mentor level or an attendee at one of the Money School workshops.

3. Spriggy – www.spriggy.com.au

This is a prepaid card for 8 to 18 year olds which lets them experience the responsibilities that come with earning and spending cash.

Kendall says Spriggy is a step up from Pennybox in that it is a good progression age-wise, responsibility and experience wise. There is a cost involved.

Unlike Pennybox where it is just numbers on a screen and parents cash it out for your child or put it into the bank account, this is real money that the parent is pre-loading onto a card and that child is then able to spend.

“I would categorise this, again, like Pennybox as financial experience, and so, again, that same opportunity exists for advisors. But perhaps that's even more enhanced as an advisor, because here we're talking about real, tangible currency.”

“So it's in need of the education piece, and if the kid or the student isn't getting that at school then there's an awesome opportunity for advisers to introduce that themselves.”