Tasmanian Times


Your children are at risk

Want to keep your children safe at school? Then read this.

Let’s kick off with a few buzz words.  Financial capability. Financial education. Financial literacy.

They all mean roughly the same, and they all contain the F word.

And there’s one thing I’ve learned from 25 years in financial markets — as soon as the F word is mentioned, the shonks and fraudsters come running.

If it’s government money being thrown around, then stand back, or risk getting trampled in the rush for the trough.

It happened with the child care industry. Remember Fast Eddy Groves? The Ferrari-loving former milkman leveraged billions in government subsidies into Australia’s biggest kiddie care chain, ABC Learning. It went bust, as did Eddy.

Then there’s the Vocational Education and Training debacle. The poor old taxpayer stumped up billions to provide worthless certificates for people who deserved better, and Porsches for the predators.

Even Jordan Belfort, the wife-beating Wolf of Wall Street crook got in on the action, flogging useless (but friggin’ expensive) training courses on the Gold Coast. Guess who paid for them? You did.

Where am I heading with this? Well, there’s a lot of chatter about kids needing more financial education in schools. Because schools are paid for by the government, guess what? The sharks are already circling.

I’ve already seen property spruikers angling to ‘teach’ kids about property investment. Seminars promoted by well-groomed people with shiny websites and zero qualifications. What’s next? Bitcoin training?

Not to mention all the financial planners trying to paper over their Royal Commission stains by rebadging themselves financial literacy facilitators or wealth coaches.

Look, I’ve worked with journalists who couldn’t work out basic percentages. That’s because they studied Greek history rather than maths at university, but we’re still talking educated adults who don’t understand interest rates.

At its heart, financial literacy requires a basic understanding of mathematics. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

My formula for raising financially literate kids — and remember I know stuff all about early childhood learning — is 10% maths, 25% psychology and 75% not copying the financial mistakes of parents.

But the flies starting to hang around the financial literacy honeypot probably wouldn’t agree with that. Or care. They just want your money.

Yes, I know ASIC has a financial literacy curriculum. I’ve read it (it gave me a headache at about page 3). It’s only a matter of time before delivering the program is outsourced to the private sector. And like Vocational Education and Training, don’t expect it to end well.

Please, think twice before throwing these people the keys to the classroom.

From here …



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Russell

    October 18, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Yes, as soon as money is flashed around by Governments, forget about any benefits to the ordinary man and women in the street. They’re only offering it because they’ve been lobbied to do so by their maaaates, or it’s in their own self-interest.

    Schools should teach kids how to read, write and do maths. Parents should do the same and also teach them how to behave and act with respect and compassion towards others.

    These days all they seem to care about is their bloody mobile phones, Facebook, Youtube and wondering if they are boys or girls or whatever else is the current trendy thing to be. They think their first job should pay at least $75 per hour. Good luck with that!

    Parents and ‘teachers’ have largely failed in today’s society. Parents are ‘too busy’ to teach their kids how to be a valuable contributing member of society. And most ‘teachers’ today seem to be just kids almost straight out of high school with minimal life experience. There used to be specific Teachers’ Colleges, but now the ‘Education’ institutions are practically handing out degrees to make sure they continue to get funding from the Government.

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