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The Importance of Financial Education and How the Nigerian Stock Exchange Can Help Teenagers Become Financially Savvy.

4:53:00 PM

Financial Savvy

The void in financial education should be held responsible for the setbacks of many Nigerians. The inability to make adequate financial budget and plans for the future, the high rate of inflation, gradual devaluation of naira, rising debt ratio, fear of investing and many more are the consequent challenges of lack of financial education.

Financial education is a relevant subject for the entirety of the society to consider and be aware of. Financial education is the quest for financial knowledge and not necessarily money; it raises our financial IQ towards its basic concept. Indeed, financial education brings increase to the mind. Little wonder Albert Einstein said, “The mind that opens to new ideas never returns to its original size.”
The importance of financial education can never be over emphasized. Financial education helps to reduce naivety among individuals of the society; helps us to think and gain vision, enables us to spot economic problems hence turn them to economic opportunities, it displaces fear with the courage to invest and also aids in the general self development of young people towards establishing employment-generating ventures. A financially educated person finds it easy to get out of debt using his leveraging tools. Financial education has tremendously done a great work in the lives of teenagers and youths as it has helped them to intelligently contribute when it comes to financial issues. Coupled with this, financial education replaces fear with courage and gives us a platform to become wealthy in future by simply solving problems. One who is financially educated has a better chance of becoming successful in the future, as this offers him guides to investing in the capital market.

Furthermore, financial education helps to inculcate the values of investing into young people. It has been noted that most investors are only traders in disguise whose sole aim is to make profit from buying and selling of stock and shares, but due to the vast knowledge of the subject matter, individuals are now taught to own the investment and pass it over to their generation afterwards, which is in contrast to the former. Again, financial education helps to remove the mindset of “savers’ mentality” who promote saving instead of investing. Financial education has taught us that money is like talent, which does not yield any benefit if kept unused. It has to be nurtured, developed and used efficiently.
Practical experiences from men and women who have made great impact in the world of business have proven that financial education taught to teenagers and youths make them look into the future with the mindset of investing into numerous available opportunities and equally make research for higher returns. Seeing that searching for jobs in Nigeria has become a job, I am of the opinion that there is absolutely no harm in inculcating financial education among our youths if we can depend on it and other factors to deal with the high level of unemployment and its consequences in Nigeria.

To make an average Nigerian teenager like me financially savvy is never a difficult thing to achieve if the Nigerian Stock Exchange Commission will do some of the following:  introduce financial education as a subject at the secondary school level, launch more of Nigerian stock exchange essay competitions, partner with television programs on financial literacy.

It is worthy of note that the place of the Nigerian Stock Exchange as an alternative market where one can with his disposable income purchase products he thinks will improve in value at a later time is indispensible. This is because no one can be bold to say that he is financially savvy if he has little or no knowledge on sales. By engaging teenagers like us in an annual financial literacy workshop, we will be better equipped to participate in the transactions going on at the stock market.
It is a big error if I fail to inform us that the absence of financial education in our school system is one of the reasons young graduates are deeply engulfed in debt. Some who in a bid to get out of debt thinks that by working extra time and saving more money in the bank rather than trade them at the stock market will make them financially savvy. However, who again is in a better position to give me and other teenagers who are anxious for change a wholesome tutorial on financial education, especially as it has to do with the stock market if not the Nigerian Stock Exchange?
Meanwhile, I am glad the Nigerian stock exchange institution is on a special scheme of improving financial education through the platform of this annual essay competition, which will indeed help to develop and widen my thinking capacity. CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, had explained that this initiative was not only to test the aptitude and knowledge of the students but is also a mechanism for boosting financial inclusion in Nigeria by enhancing investor’s financial literacy. “I am particularly elated that we are privileged to champion this value-adding program targeted at promoting sound financial literacy amongst our youth”, he said.
By sponsoring teenagers like me who are committed to sustaining generational ideas that helped some businesses wax strong even in times of economic downturn to host television program where mentors and Chief Executive Officers will be interviewed, I can guarantee you that there will be tremendous change in the way Nigerians handle money.
Obviously, financial education is very relevant, especially in helping us to overcome naivety, garner courage for making investment and spot economic problem and hence turn them to economic opportunities. Helping teenagers to become financially savvy is the ultimate approach.

written by Joshua Okezikam.

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