Never too young to learn about money

Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens

One of our foundation’s charity partners MyBnk, recently found that just 52 per cent of 7-11 year olds have received some form of financial education at school.

The consequence of this gaping hole in many young children’s education is that when they reach adulthood their understanding of even basic personal finance is at best patchy.

This lack of knowledge ultimately leaves droves of 18-24 year olds in a precarious financial position, well-illustrated by the Money Advice Service, which found nearly half of this age group are unable to cover an unexpected bill of just £500.

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Without basic financial education, which enables them to see the merits of good financial habits, it cannot be a surprise that few young people consider a career in financial services, let alone financial planning.

Many young people will have never thought about or even heard about financial advice as a profession and even if they have, they may be confused about what it actually entails.

Making financial education a compulsory part of the primary school curriculum should be a basic requirement.

And by raising general levels of financial literacy, it could also boost the number of young people willing to explore financial planning as a career.

Alongside Quilter’s partnership with MyBnk, which aims to give financial education to children up and down the country, the Quilter Financial Adviser School is working to engage students by running personal finance workshops at colleges across the UK.

However, we all know that good habits are best started young and we desperately need to give primary school students the tools to manage their own money from an early age.

The old adage is that you would not go to a hairdresser who has a terrible haircut themselves, and the same is true for advice.

We cannot expect to produce a steady flow of capable financial planners if the next generation are already struggling to manage their own financial affairs.

If we can improve financial education, we might find that the next generation decide to advise people on their money too, and as a consequence bolster the industry with a slew of fresh talent.

Why not think about approaching a couple of local schools yourself, to see if they would be interested in you giving a little financial education to their students.  

Scott Stevens is director of adviser recruitment and acquisition at Quilter Financial Planning