Walking Dead? (Saving The Youth from Dangers of Financial Illiteracy)

It’s been a great month of August for the OFW UsapangPiso Forum, Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy, and the BurnGutierrez.Com financial literacy missionaries.

Earlier this month, I sent fellow advocate Edmund Lao (Businessmirror columnist) to attend a cocktail night for bloggers for the Sykes Glorietta branch launching. He was actually able to “preach” the gospel of financial literacy to the young event promoters during that night.

This morning, we were able to run another webinar/webcast featuring Jess Emerson Uy, a financial consultant based in Singapore, and discussed about how OFW’s can invest in other countries aside from the Philippines and their respective countries of work. The Q&A webinar sounded really like ANC’s On The Money! :D

Then last August 28, 2013, my friend, fellow musician, and advocate Joseph “Seph” Romana conducted a personal finance management talk for the students and some teachers of Saint Michael’s College of Laguna. It’s quite challenging given the fact that the Monsoon/Typhoon Maring just drowned the city of Binan and other parts of Laguna. But the show did go on as planned and the talk ended successfully. The College Dean even proposed to partner with our group Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy for our future financial education projects. Such an awesome leader and educator.

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Here is Seph’s guest blog and story about his recent experience giving talk to the youth of Laguna about the value of money and the importance of being stewards of true wealth.

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“My people perish for lack of knowledge.” – Hosea 4:6

People get fatally run over at major highways like EDSA and Commonwealth because either they don’t know a vehicle is fast approaching the direction they are walking or don’t know it was running faster than they thought. An innocent pedestrian gets fatally stabbed by a hold-upper as he fights off the crook not knowing the crook is not only armed but also willing to kill for a cellphone.

Many people are alive yet dead…the walking deads. They may be physically alive but their spirits are dead because of tremendous financial burdens. A father loses all his family’s money in an investment he didn’t know was a scam. A grandmother suffering from self-condemnation believing that she is a big financial burden to her grown-up children. A married couple divorces because of poor finances.

These and many other similar stories highlight the importance of financial literacy. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. And in this regard, it is best to start them young by teaching them the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6).

So when my friend Burn Gutierrez, founder of financial literacy groups Angat Pilipinas Coalition and OFW-UsapangPiso, gave me the opportunity to give a talk on personal financial management to students of St. Michael’s College in Laguna, I immediately grabbed it. Never mind if it was on a weekday and I’ll have to take the day off from work. Being able to educate the next generation and help them start on the right foot financially is worth it. I believe in the saying that “ang kabataan ay ang kinabukasan” and the best thing I can do now while me and my wife are preparing to have a kid of our own is to arm today’s youth with power…knowledge power.

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Just like electricity is power, financial literacy is useless if not utilized. The challenge with most seminarized people is application. Many are not necessarily lazy to apply principles…they are just perplexed as to how can it be applied to their lives.

Making the material practical for the audience is one of the major challenges for most organizers and speakers. Thankfully, we were able to relate seemingly technical principles like risk and return to their daily lives.

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One example we used to help them understand why a bank that is offering returns significantly higher from current market rate (and thereby take it as a red flag of potential bank failure) is that of guys courting women.

The audience seemed to be unanimous in agreement that the more desperate a guy is to win a woman’s heart, the riskier his moves will be. And in that light, I believe they were able to grasp the idea.

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As much as the students benefited from the talk, the one who was most blessed by it was me. The audience’s joyful spirit and hope rubbed off on me and has helped me feel more hopeful for our country in light of the major issues at hand.

Also, my spirit felt so alive being given the honor of participating in nation building through educating our country’s future: the youth.

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And as one of our pastors in church said to me, what the world needs most to make it come alive are people who are alive. Knowing that we are able to participate in nation building and people building truly makes us come alive.

Cheers to the hope and future of our country…the youth! The financially educated youth.

Joseph Gerard “Seph” Romana works as a Bank Examiner at the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). He is former Market and Liquidity Risk Officer with Metrobank, former treasury trader at United Coconut Planters Bank, and former stockbroker at All Asia Securities and Apex Philippines Equities Corporation. Seph is also a resource speaker for his church’s Biblical Personal Finance seminars. On his artistic side, Seph also sings for the band Army of One. He advocates financial literacy among artists and young professionals. He is one of the proponents of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy.

Let’s educate our youth about proper money management. Join our advocacy by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com for FREE.

Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group and Forum and the Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy Facebook group to learn how to plan your finances the right way and how to grow your money in various financial instruments and investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, UITF’s, bonds, money market, real estate, and others.

P.S. 1. Bro. Bo Sanchez appointed me last week as an investing coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at burngutierrezblog@yahoo.com.ph if you have any questions.

BurnGutierrez.Com

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