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Financial literacy

RI’s Mandatory Financial Literacy Courses Face a Tough Deadline

This story is published in partnership with The 74, a non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America.

Seven years after students at a small suburban Rhode Island high school successfully advocated for statewide financial literacy standards, lawmakers made mastery of personal finance a requirement for high school graduation from the class of 2024.

Enacted by Governor Dan McKee on June 1, the requirement carries a December 31 deadline to develop and approve state-specific consumer education and personal finance standards. By the start of the 2022-2023 school year, all public high schools in Rhode Island must offer a course that meets these standards.

“It is very aggressive to put these standards in place within the time frame that we have set, but we know that it is really necessary,” said state education commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. One reason: On average, Rhode Island graduates have the second highest student loan debt of any state, at $ 36,193.

After meeting with students from across the state who thought they weren’t ready to go to college, and given the impact of the pandemic on student engagement, the commissioner said this Now was the time to consolidate what they had been building for years.

“[Students] felt like it was something they were wronged [on]. We have therefore endeavored to move this agenda forward. ”

Rhode Island approved the National Council on Economic Education standards in 2014. On average, only about 5% of students in Rhode Island receive financial literacy training, according to the state Department of Education; until now, schools could choose whether or not to adopt the program.

Last year, East Greenwich High School senior Saloni Jain took a personal finance course in a blended learning setup, with three days of e-learning. She said lesson simulations, such as making false tax returns on TurboTax and creating a budget spreadsheet, kept her engaged during virtual learning.

“We were getting paychecks – how do we put that money into a 401 (k) and pay all of our bills and pay off our credit card or student loan debt?” It’s been very helpful in visualizing, you know, how we might live in the future, ”Jain said. “It was just a semester course, but honestly it changed my thinking a lot.”

Financial Literacy: An Antidote to Poverty?

Nationally, 21 other states have a version of the Financial Literacy Standards, which can be incorporated into math or civics classes; only seven require a full-semester stand-alone course to be taken before graduation.

In 2021, more than 25 states introduced bills to strengthen personal finance education. Advocates argue that literacy is the key to breaking cycles of poverty, especially as the younger generation grapple with the economic fallout from the pandemic. When loans, budgeting, and debt management are explicitly explored during the school day, young people are exposed to life-changing information as they move into adulthood.

A 2018 study by researchers at Montana State University found that financial literacy degree requirements translate into lower credit card balances, less high-interest student loan debt for students at low income and a decrease in the use of private loans for high income students. Working-class and lower-class students who took financial literacy classes were also able to work less while in college, which could encourage persistence and graduation. Expanding access to personal finance courses can help reduce racial wealth gaps and support homeownership down the line.

Even in states considered to have the highest standards and requirements, students are looking for more real-world connections to prepare for the future. Whitman Ochiai, who recently graduated from high school in Alexandria, Virginia, described his compulsory course as “broader than deep.”

Left to ponder retirement decisions, building a balanced budget, and the intuition behind big purchases, he launched the MoneyEd podcast in 2019 to explore these topics. He said there had been increased interest throughout the pandemic, likely with more students working and families facing economic uncertainty.

“Often the only people who have access to this information are the ones who would have had access to it anyway,” Ochiai said. “Especially for first-generation college students, and parents who may not be homeowners, this is a way for them to gain a deeper understanding of finance.”

In RI, a scattershot approach so far

Some teachers in Rhode Island have created elective courses in their schools in recent years, taking into account student desires and seeing how financial literacy can make connections to hard-to-grasp concepts like compound interest. But until now, funding and implementation has been left to the priority of teachers or schools.

Samantha Demairias teaches math, financial literacy, and computer science at Central Falls High School. She hopes the legislation will open the door to state financial support for accreditation and hiring, thus strengthening the ability to teach the subject.

Otherwise, she said, “there’s going to be a disproportion between the districts that are able to move around their budgets or their staff and make it work and the districts that are weighted by all these other things.” .

Demairias teaches about three sections of finance per year; enrollment is still higher even with its elective status, at around 25 to 30 students per class. This fall, she will also teach a section for English language learners to introduce students to the American money and credit systems.

“If you like to learn something today, spread this news and talk it over with your friends. There is no reason why talking about money is such a taboo subject, ”she explains to her students.

Advocates say personal finance education offers students the opportunity to break the stigma attached to conversations about money before embarking on big financial decisions such as student loans, car ownership and financial decisions. credit card debts. The lessons learned can also find their way home and support families facing economic challenges.

Pat Page

“I see the state’s implementation of this financial literacy guarantee as a kind of gateway to meaningful engagement with families,” said Pat Page, business educator and vice president of the Personal Finance Coalition. JumpStart from Rhode Island.

Page, a former teacher of the year in Rhode Island, has been a strong advocate for broader financial education for years and was one of the first in the state to teach a stand-alone course. She has helped students, including Sunny Sait, testify before the state legislature about the need for broader financial education – in 2014, 2019 and again this year.

See money as something to invest

Although Sait took Page’s course two years ago, he said he still uses the concepts on a daily basis. Now in a gap year after graduating last spring, he opened a Roth IRA and is budgeting his internship salary to make sure he can still afford the things he loves, like karate.

“My mindset has definitely changed a bit from thinking about money in terms of things, but more about thinking about money as a means of growth, saving and investing. My goal is really to move on. from buying, like being a consumer, to becoming an investor. ”

Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who started his career as an elementary school teacher and is currently running for governor, helped introduce financial education legislation.

Seth Magazine

“The most ardent advocates, who worked very hard to get this bill passed, were the teachers and students – students who really wanted it taught, and teachers who are willing to teach it,” said Shop.

Both the treasurer and the education commissioner see signing the law as the first phase in creating a larger financial literacy landscape in the state, and their hope is to extend lessons to classes. medium and elementary. Education, says Magaziner, will make a special difference in Rhode Island.

“We have a large and continuing immigrant population, students who are learning English. We have one of the highest poverty rates in the Northeast. Financial education is not a panacea, it is not a panacea, but it is an important part of the puzzle of how we solve these inequalities and correct them.


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EPCHS awarded for financial literacy education

EVERGREEN PARK, IL – Evergreen Park Community High School has been recognized as an NGPF Gold Standard school for implementing a personal finance degree requirement.

Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit organization that has developed a free personal finance program for grades 6 to 12 students, listed 1,591 high schools across the country, and 66 in Illinois, which require at least one semester of a personal finance course to graduate. According to an NGPF press release, less than 18.3% of all U.S. high school students receive a high school financial literacy class.

Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia are the only five states that require this of all their high school students. Other than that, it is a requirement in only a fraction of the schools in any given state.

According to EPCHS Conditions for obtaining the 2022 class, students are required to complete at least one semester of a course titled “Financial Literacy in the 21st Century,” which may meet a consumer education requirement.

“Gold Standard Schools are showing remarkable leadership, surpassing the state’s progress in financial education instead of waiting for a term. The teachers, parents, students, administrators and community leaders of these schools are showing what can happen when a coalition commits to building the capacity of the next generation, ”said Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of NGPF.
Click on here to see the full list of NGPF Gold Standard schools.


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Stock-Trak Partners with W! Se to Offer Financial Literacy Certifications to Students

The partnership allows students using PersonalFinanceLab.com’s virtual financial literacy platform to take the W! Se Financial Literacy Certification Test

Now, StockTrak’s PersonalFinanceLab.com website brings all the tools personal finance and business educators need in their classrooms.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, October 6, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Stock-Trak, Inc., the leading provider of personal budgeting and scholarship simulations for the education market, has partnered with W! Se (Working in Support of Education) and its certification program in Financial Literacy to provide certifications to students using its PersonalFinanceLab.com website.

The partnership allows students using PersonalFinanceLab.com’s virtual financial literacy platform to take the W! Se Financial Literacy Certification test and become Certified Financially Literate ™ by W! Se if they pass the test.

Now, StockTrak’s PersonalFinanceLab.com website brings all the tools personal finance and business educators need in their classrooms. This includes a budgeting game, a scholarship game, a customizable program and certifications to complement the offerings of PersonalFinanceLab.com.

By providing students with this opportunity, PersonalFinanceLab.com will help students take advantage of W! Se’s coveted and nationally recognized credentials. The certification demonstrates that students graduate with the knowledge and skills to lead a life of financial well-being. It will also help them with their college admissions and job search applications.

For schools, the W! Se certification is a great way to measure the financial literacy of students who have used PersonalFinanceLab.com and the results of personal finance instructors courses.

For more information on this new partnership, please click here.

About Stock-Trak and PersonalFinanceLab.com

PersonalFinanceLab.com is an online experience-based teaching and learning tool designed for college and high school personal finance, economics, business, social studies, and math courses. It is owned by Stock-Trak, Inc., the world’s leading provider of online financial simulations for universities, colleges, and the financial services industry.

This unique fusion of technology, real-world market activity and educational content is uniquely designed to bring financial literacy to life, increase student engagement and maximize retention, through applied activities, exercises, interactive calculators, videos, quizzes and more.

PersonalFinanceLab.com is completely web-based, which means teachers and students can access all features, lessons, content and portfolio simulation from anywhere with an internet connection. There is also an integrated learning resource center which includes over 300 lessons in a variety of business subjects.

Stock-Trak, Inc.
101 boul. Marcel-Laurin # 330 – Montreal, QC, Canada – H4N 2M3
For more information: https://www.personalfinancelab.com/
Media contact: [email protected]

Mark T. Brookshire
Stock-Trak, Inc.
+1 514-871-2222 ext. 365
write us here


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Egypt celebrates Global Investor Week by promoting financial literacy

Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Mohamed Farid, President of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), inaugurated the EGX trading session on Tuesday, as part of Egypt’s participation in World Investor activities Week 2021.

The event also brought together heads of private and public universities, stock exchange executives, members of EGX’s board of directors and representatives of associations operating on the stock exchange.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) launched Global Investor Week in 2017, with the aim of improving financial literacy and strengthening the culture of investing in capital markets.

The week includes many events and activities, as more than 80 global stock exchanges are very active and put a lot of effort into spreading financial culture related to the capital markets, with trading sessions from October 4 to 11, on the occasion of World Investor Week. , based on the invitations it receives from the World Trade Federation (WFE).

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of Global Investor Week, to promote the activities and role played by EGX in the development of the Egyptian economy. She noted the importance of capital markets in the coming period in light of the global demand for green and innovative financing tools to advance the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and efforts to Egypt to use this type of financing tool to improve its vision of development.

The Minister indicated that the financial markets play a major role in financing large and small businesses as well as small and medium-sized businesses, which allows them to finance their expansions, increase their business volume and increase their opportunities. growth.

For his part, Mohamed Farid said that Egypt’s participation in Global Investor Week reflects the growing involvement in supporting and promoting financial literacy and raising awareness of capital market issues as one of the most important elements for developing the Egyptian market.

He revealed several efforts of the current administration to establish partnerships with several ministries concerned with education and culture, to develop and produce educational content that helps spread financial literacy for all groups, especially for children. , through interactive and dramatic story content.

“The current management believes that the process of improving financial literacy and increasing levels of financial awareness and knowledge is one of the most important goals of the value chain to develop the market, increase efficiency and competitiveness. This would happen by increasing the number of companies listed on the supply side and the number of investors on the demand side, as well as developing products, “he said.

He added that the strategy to improve financial literacy includes several aspects. It includes training employees and university students, developing social media platforms and updating the website, as well as launching an unprecedented media campaign to raise awareness and publicize the fundamentals of investing in stock Exchange.

Nadini Sukumar, president of WFE, said financial literacy is not optional. “We have always invested in spreading financial literacy, convinced of the importance of inclusive growth and market-based financing that contributes to sustainable economic growth. This is very dear to us, given the nature of the securities industry, which sees the protection of brokers as a major concern. “

Martin Moloney, Secretary General of IOSCO, said that the promotion and dissemination of financial literacy is a major player in the different lines of work of the organization.

“It’s a cornerstone. We will always work to design programs to educate clients as a key factor in ensuring their protection, ”he added.




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NKU joins two national initiatives to boost civic engagement and financial literacy

Northern Kentucky University will participate in two American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) initiatives designed to improve civic engagement and economic literacy among students, and to build campus-community partnerships.

The two-year-long initiatives involve hundreds of resource-sharing colleges and universities across the country, according to an announcement.

One program, Re-Imagining Campus-Community Partnerships, will help colleges and universities deepen their engagement work with community partners, especially
during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the announcement.

The initiative will identify trends and patterns of engagement and allow NKU to learn from other institutions and share our most impactful community engagement practices, unique educational goals as well as common goals among participating institutions, the school said.

“Over the past year, we have seen tremendous changes in the way citizens interact and engage civically in their communities,” said Samantha Langley, vice-president of graduate studies, research and outreach. “It’s important for us to delve deeply into how civic engagement has changed over the past year to help us deepen and
strengthen our regional commitment.

In the second initiative, the Economic Literacy Project, NKU will work with other colleges to improve students’ knowledge of US national debt, tax policy, and financial literacy.

“Helping students understand the importance of money and finance is extremely vital for their role in society after graduation,” said Dr Abdullah Al-Bahrani, NKU economics professor at Haile College of Business. “From understanding their personal budgets to US tax policy, finances play a huge role in everyday life.”

NKU President Ashish Vaidya is a long-time active member of AASCU. In addition to being appointed to the AASCU board of directors, he also sits on the association’s committee on manpower and economic development and has also chaired its engagement and research council. Vaidya represented NKU at the AASCU Annual Meeting in 2018, where he joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Keeping the Promise of Public Higher ED” podcast.

-Staff report


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First Financial Literacy Videos in Cambodia

A series of nine Khmer language financial literacy videos funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and sponsored by several Cambodian institutions and NGOs – with the Cambodian general public and in particular young women entrepreneurs like target audience – created in the Kingdom at the end of last month.

In an October 3 press release, Deputy Governor and Managing Director of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) Chea Serey said these financial education and financial pathways guides will provide guidance to the Cambodian public and users. services to enable them to fully understand how to access and get the most from modern, efficient and intelligent financial services.

Sabine Joukes, country director of Pact Cambodia who has often worked with young women entrepreneurs, said these financial guides aimed to address many issues related to access to finance for young women entrepreneurs.

Joukes added that there were already solutions available in some cases for these entrepreneurs but their notoriety remained low, so increasing the knowledge, understanding and real access to finance of these businesswomen would open doors for them.

“We will make these documents available to funding partners and other stakeholders,” she said.

According to Joukes, more than 200 participants representing key stakeholders attended the event, including representatives from the US Embassy; CNB; Association of Banks of Cambodia (ABC); Cambodian Microfinance Association (CMA); Wing Bank (Cambodia) Plc; the capital of the bush; SHE Investment Co Ltd; Savings group of women as well as other development partners, NGOs, financial and educational institutions, state institutions and many young women entrepreneurs themselves.

Wing CEO Manu Rajan said women play a fundamental role in all economies today, including Cambodia. They run small businesses and are generally responsible for their family’s cash flow. Financial literacy is an important tool for women entrepreneurs because it gives them important knowledge that enables them to manage their home and small business budgets efficiently and effectively.

He said the financial pathways guides are a map to help young women entrepreneurs make effective decisions before concluding that they need financing and determining the type of financing that is right for their conditions, including the size. and the level of activity of the company.

Ceila Boyd, co-founder and director of SHE Investment, said the project would really highlight public-private partnerships, focusing on young women entrepreneurs and their voices.

“We are proud and happy to have contributed so far and look forward to seeing these resources help women make informed financial decisions in the future,” she said.

She said the nine videos will raise awareness and increase the financial literacy of all young entrepreneurs in Cambodia to strengthen their businesses. Viewers learn about financial access issues and secure financing options for male and female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Kea Boran, representative of ABC and chairman of the board of directors of CMA, said the nine videos accompanying the financial journey guides are essential in helping Cambodian entrepreneurs, especially women, manage the financial aspects of their business. business, especially in the context of Covid-19.


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The Recorder – Area Schools Discuss Benefits of Financial Literacy Programs

School districts in the area are putting more emphasis on financial literacy for middle and high school students, in part thanks to a program sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union called Banzai.

Since 2010, Greylock Federal Credit Union has worked with Banzai to promote the free online resource and bring financial literacy education to over 14,440 students in Western Massachusetts and Columbia County, NY The Content Library can be found at greylock.teachbanzai.com, allowing users to practice real-world financial education from their home or classroom, using any internet-connected device.

Banzai public relations specialist Elizabeth Fitts said the online resources can be used as complementary material to the existing school curriculum. In addition to being accessible to students, Greylock Federal Credit Union members can also access Banzai resources – including articles, calculators, and customizable coaching sessions that explain everything from the basics of tax filing to how it works. health insurance.

Franklin County Technical School College and career awareness educator Justin Lawrence said the Turners Falls school will use the Banzai program as a unit for juniors and seniors in its College and Career Awareness class.

“Our goal is to build the future, and we believe a big part of that is financial literacy,” Lawrence said. “Whatever their academic or professional intention, financial literacy will be important. ”

He explained that the program has an online component where students can access materials and lesson plans, and an associated workbook allows students to practice exercises on paper. Students try to manage a budget, save for a goal, and face unexpected financial pitfalls.

According to Fitts, the Banzai resources are used by more than 80,000 teachers in the United States and the instructional tools align with the Massachusetts state curriculum requirements. After completing Banzai’s classes, she said that users will know how to know where their money is and what it is used for, recognize financial tradeoffs, and plan for a financially healthy future.

Lawrence co-teaches juniors in a shared classroom alongside Raye Young, who teaches seniors. He is a 2008 Franklin County Technical School alumnus who returned as a new recruit this year after the “Career Awareness” class was expanded to the “College and Professional Awareness” class and to include for the first time juniors alongside seniors.

“We’re going to be focusing on college and career because our students really have a choice for both,” Lawrence said. “’All roads lead to work’ is something we say. ”

In addition to financial literacy, the College and Career Awareness course teaches students other life skills, including college and job application skills, interview skills, business practices and other employability skills that “are important to everyone, whether their next step after high school is a college classroom or an industry,” Lawrence said.

While schools and residents in several towns in Franklin and Hampshire counties are listed as having access to Banzai, some schools have chosen to use other financial literacy resources for their degree programs. Mohawk Trail Regional School College and career counselor Sara Neuenschwander said her district does not use Banzai. Instead, it uses Next Gen Personal Finance (ngpf.org) to teach students in grades 7 to 12 during counseling periods in the first half hour of each school day.

“We decided their program was what our students requested,” Neuenschwander said of the Next Gen Personal Finance program.

The program offers one-semester, nine-week and one-year options. It also offers professional development resources, videos, podcasts and other educational tools in a “very well-designed platform,” she said.

Use of the Next Gen Personal Finance program will be linked to the Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s Trailblazer Model, which focuses on student-centered learning and aims to prepare students for the world after high school, which it is a college or a career.

Neueschwander said the students were asked about topics they would like to learn more about.

“The relevance of personal finance – the information they can use now – emerged as one of the main things they were really interested in,” she said. “We have a personal finance course, and a lot of the feedback we received from students was that this course was very useful. So we listened to what our students had to say and found the program (Next Gen Personal Finance).

Zack DeLuca can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4579.


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YAO | Financial literacy: it makes money

I’m still unclear about the differences between a Roth IRA and a 401 (k). I can’t imagine how much money I would need for retirement. I can’t figure out what debt could mean for my future. And don’t even get me started on taxes or insurance rates.

I’m far from the only student to feel this way. It might be reassuring if it wasn’t so terrifying. According to a 2019 survey by EVERFI, 53% of students surveyed felt they were less prepared to manage their money compared to other college activities like staying organized or managing classes. I am not a medium, but since a recent Bankrate survey showed that 51% of Americans have less than three months of emergency savings, our society’s lack of knowledge about money management does not bode well for our collective economic health.

Simply put, there is a financial literacy crisis in this country and few ways to fight it. Financial literacy education should start at a younger age, when most students can enjoy conversations about money, but are not yet struggling with obligations such as mortgage payments, student loans. or large medical bills. Universities like Cornell are in a position where they can help deal with the crisis, rather than allowing it.

Some colleges have actually taken steps to build the financial confidence of their students. The Utah State University, for example, has just added a personal finance course that would meet general education requirements. In fact, during the fall 2018 semester, Cornell had a similar course titled HADM 3200: Personal financial management, but it is no longer offered. The class covered topics ranging from taxes and insurance to investing and retirement planning. Bringing back such a course that teaches life skills like budgeting while discussing concepts like inflation or compound interest could go a long way in building beneficial long-term financial habits. Allowing the course to count towards graduation requirements and marketing it as essential for students of all majors would encourage students to take the subject more seriously.

In 2020, the total amount of US student debt reached $ 1.71 trillion, the average borrower in front of 39,361 dollars. Students take out loans to continue their education in hopes of a better future, so it’s counterintuitive that so many college graduates don’t understand how their current financial decisions will impact their lives later on. Of course, the idea of ​​putting down a down payment on a house may seem distant, and retirement even further away. But, our current credit scores and debt will affect how quickly our mortgages are approved, and the amount of money we invest now can determine the age at which we retire.

Financial literacy classes shouldn’t be about stock picking or advanced Excel modeling, but rather about developing ways to deal with any money issues that are sure to arise much sooner than you expect. There are, unfortunately, so many other ways besides student loans to cripple debt. The sooner we are taught to make informed financial decisions, the more equipped we will be to deal with all the unknowns that life throws at us.

Ten, twenty, thirty years later, I will probably forget the exact definition of an eigenvalue or the temporal complexity of sorting by insertion. Unlike that fleeting information that wears out over time and becomes obsolete, money management is something that lasts for the long haul. If that isn’t a sign for colleges to start educating students on best practices for a financially stable future in this changing world, I don’t know what is. Maybe Cornell can reinstate his personal finance class and show that the school cares about its students’ success long after we’ve left Cayuga waters.

Katherine Yao is a student at the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected] His chronicle, Hello Katie, takes place every other Monday this semester.


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Momentum, a Calgary-based nonprofit, teaches financial literacy to youth

CALGARY –

Momentum, the agency that works with low-income Calgarians of all ages, offers a youth program that aims to educate them about money.

It’s called the Youth Fair Gains program and it’s a chance for young people between the ages of 16 and 21 to learn the fundamentals of finance.

“(It’s) a great opportunity for young people to get a really solid financial foundation and make money along the way,” said Carolyn Davis, director of community engagement at Momentum.

It’s a free nine-month program where participants are in class twice a month. They learn financial basics like budgeting, credit, how the banking system works, and assets.

Since the program was introduced, it has seen 600 graduates.

“Imagine you are 16,” Davis said. “You just got your first paycheck from your part-time job and you’re walking around the mall and there are offers for free phones and instant credit card enrollment. Our program gives young people the tools to think critically as they move through these types of environments to make more sustainable decisions that will prepare them for their future. “

The program has a matching savings component for participants to help them save for tuition, books or tools to start their own business. If they are able to save $ 50 per month for nine months, that adds up to $ 450.

The program will match the money saved four to one. So that’s $ 1,800 of Momentum funds that translates into a combined savings of $ 2,250 for their future.

“A lot of youngsters will say I came for the game, it looks like free money, I thought I would give it a try and I’m grateful for this matching asset, but I learned a lot that goes help me prepare for my future and I’m really grateful, ”said Davis.

Raegan Reiter is a graduate from a low income family.

“My parents weren’t the best with the money,” Reiter said. “They got me when they were 17, so they didn’t have a lot of time to figure that out on their own, so I didn’t learn too much from them.”

Reiter says that before class she made a bad credit decision that cost her $ 1,000. Now she is equipped with tools to help her avoid making the same mistakes. She used the money she earned from the course to fund her post-secondary education and a laptop computer for school. Reiter enjoyed learning about taxes and financial investments through the program.

“Someone came over and explained the different types of investments to me and I just created a TFSA and an RRSP,” Reiter said. “I actually got to have a conversation with my financial advisor because I knew some of the things she was trying to explain to me. “

Today, the 24-year-old is a social worker in a group home and cares for teenagers.

“Young people have so much potential,” Reiter said. “The greatest potential of all of us, so it would be great to be able to influence their lives in a positive way, like mine was when I took the program.”

The next Youth Fair Gains program starts in January 2022 and has open places. Find out more here: www.momentum.org


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Digital financial literacy protects us from cyber fraud

Conventional literacy has gradually turned to digital and financial literacy and the pandemic has helped a lot to change people’s habits. It was a game changer when lower and middle class people started using digital modes for their financial transactions.

Lockdowns and social distancing have accelerated the use of digital financial services and e-commerce, which in turn has helped improve financial inclusion in society. Founded by the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) is an international policy institute and public policy network specializing in financial inclusion policy for unbanked and underprivileged regions of the world. -banked. the knowledge, skills, confidence and competencies necessary to safely use digitally delivered financial products and services, to make informed financial decisions and to act in one’s financial best interest according to the economic and social situation of the ‘individual.

A financially literate person who can manage their finances well but is not able to know what UPI is, online banking, RTGS, NEFT, digital wallet, online account opening, etc. ., may not qualify as digital proficient.

At the same time, a digitally literate person may not be a financially literate person because they are not aware of concepts like compound interest, insurance, retirement planning, etc. What is necessary for an inclusive development of society is the growth of digital technology. financial literacy or many of them end up victims of cyber fraud. People should have the competence to use digital financial services as well as knowledge of risk and consumer protection. According to the National Crime Report Bureau’s (NCRB) Crime in India 2020 report, a total of 50,035 cybercrime cases were registered in 2020, an 11.8% increase in registrations compared to 2019 (44,735 case).

The crime rate in this category grew from 3.3 in 2019 to 3.7 in 2020. In 2020, 60.2% of recorded cybercrime cases were due to fraud (30,142 out of 50,035 cases) followed sexual exploitation with 6.6% (3,293 cases) and extortion with 4.9% (2,440 cases).

A total of 18,657 cases were recorded in metropolitan cities for cybercrime, an increase of 0.8% compared to 2019 (18,500 cases). The rate of cybercrime also fell from 16.2 in 2019 to 16.4 in 2020. Criminal cases revealed that computer-related offenses (Article 66 of the Computer Law) (11,356 cases) constituted the highest number of cybercrimes, accounting for 60.9% in 2020. The nation’s umbrella financial institutions such as RBI, IRDAI, SEBI and PFRDA are making every effort to educate citizens on how to conduct secure digital transactions and to protect against cyber fraud.

The National Center for Financial Education (NCFE) also strives to develop a culture of safe browsing and the precautions to be taken in digital financial transactions. An attempt has been made in this article to explain various modes of computer fraud. Thanks to awareness, we can save ourselves from it.

Sometimes scammers gain access to our mobile device, laptop or desktop after we download an unknown or unverified app or software. The links look like real names, but in reality we are redirected to download the unknown application. Once the malicious app is downloaded, the scammer can gain full access to our device and all of our vital information will be stolen. Beware of third party websites that look like existing genuine and popular websites like bank website or eCommerce website or search engine etc. which are created by scammers. The links are normally spread by scammers via SMS / social media / email / Messenger, etc. ; and when a customer enters secure information without verifying the detailed URL, all of our vital information is captured and used by scammers to make us a scapegoat.

Fraudsters sometimes use online sales platforms posing as buyers of our products. Under the pretext of paying money, they send the option to request money through UPI apps and sue to approve the request to withdraw money from our account. We must remember that in order to receive money it is not necessary to give the PIN code or password.

The modus operandi most used by fraudsters is vishing / phising. They contact random people, ask for their account details masquerading as bank officials or government officials threatening to lock their accounts, in case they don’t submit the details immediately. Once the details like date of birth, account number, card number, passwords, OTPs, etc. transmitted to them, they use this data to withdraw money from our accounts. The RBI publishes messages, videos, and print notifications that no bank agent will ever ask for customers’ PINs or OTPs.

A recent mode of cyber fraud is to receive a message indicating the lump sum income tax refund to an account and the recipient will be asked to verify the account number whether it is correct or not.

In the next sentence, they ask to give the correct account number using the given link. Normally the given number is not ours and we will try to give the correct number through the link which will transfer all our confidential data to the fraudster.

Some technically sound fraudsters are installing skimming devices in ATMs to steal our card data. They can also stand nearby pretending to be other customers, accessing our PIN code as we enter. Later, they create replica cards to siphon money from the account. Another way for fraudsters to access our bank accounts and necessary OTPs is SIM Swap or SIM Cloning. By cloning, they gain access to all of our credentials and use them to withdraw money. In June, Bhubaneswar police dismantled a racket that sold around 2 lakh of pre-activated SIM cards to fraudsters in different states.

Unverified contact numbers displayed by search engines like Google can also help scammers reach the prey. When looking for a customer service number, these websites look alike and their numbers lure innocent customers to reveal their credentials and fall victim to these scammers.

Data can also be stolen by scammers when we use a mobile charging port to an unverified or unknown port. Malware or fraudulent applications are installed without our knowledge and share our confidential data with the scammers. Another common way to defraud customers is by setting up a fake social account. A fake ID is created in the name of a popular person, friend requests are sent to others, and soon after accepting the friend request they start their stuff like asking for financial help. Likewise, the lottery scam is also a popular method by these cheaters.

They send messages to phone numbers to let them know that they have won prizes or have been selected for free giveaways from a popular business. To receive the money or the gift, they have to deposit an advance on the fraudster’s bank account. The mobiles will be switched off shortly after the deposit of the amount.

As digital transactions grow, new modes of computer fraud are being introduced by the culprits. Financial literacy through financial education can only minimize these cyber frauds and the common man can protect his hard earned money.

(Dr Biswal is Head of Department of Commerce, Nowrangpur College, Nabarangpur 764063. Mob: 9437125286, [email protected])


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