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Are you or do you plan to promote financial literacy skills in your company? What platform is preferable to achieve demonstrable results?

Answers

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Financial literacy is a broad topic. I want my managers to understand the basic economics of the business. It sounds very basic, but it is not. How do we make money? What activities do they do that are profitable and what activities are not profitable. We should do more of the profitable activities and less of the unprofitable activities. And the most important concept for Sales - not every customer is worth keeping. The platform that has worked in the past, one-on-one interaction.

Holly Pressman
Title: Co-founder
Company: FinLitTV LLC
(Co-founder, FinLitTV LLC) |

Thanks for the reply and in a business structure you are right; however, #FinLit skills are challenging for many professionals even if they are competent at their job. FinLit gets people smart with money with Financial Literacy Clips (FLiCs), Tools and Events!

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Hi Holly - just took a glance that the FinLitTV site. Nice concept.

I've never worked at a company that makes promoting personal financial literacy skills part of a formal program. I suppose it would be a nice benefit depending on the business and type of employee base they utilize.

I think financial literacy is a skill that is taught (or rather sought after) too late in life. This sort of thing should be part of H.S. curriculum. I often hear people bemoan how they've been negatively impacted by credit card debt, student loans, car payments, etc.. And they usually haven't given their personal finances much thought until they've had reason to look up their credit scores.

A lot of these decisions were made as young adults. They were beguiled by easy credit card offers, deceptively low monthly car payments, and high tuition rates. I remember when companies used to troll college campuses signing up students for credit cards.

Does FinLitTV have any partnerships with educational institutions?

John Stanhaus
Title: President
Company: GRN Edgewater
LinkedIn Profile
(President, GRN Edgewater) |

Holly,
I am embarrassed to say that when I was running a mid-sized (100 employee) business ten or more years ago, it was not a benefit I had even thought of offering. Maybe the 2008 financial crisis has raised awareness for the need, and the availability of sites like yours make it a viable alternative today.

Ken,
I agree early education is important. Chicago Public Schools have launched a financial literacy initiative. http://tinyurl.com/n46o6ub. It is only one course offered in the 12th grade but it is a start.

Raising awareness of the issue is the key. A new entry in this vein is XOBettie.com. It is a daily blog and weekly newsletter focused on promoting financial literacy among successful millennial women. A fairly narrow niche, but potentially high impact.

Holly Pressman
Title: Co-founder
Company: FinLitTV LLC
(Co-founder, FinLitTV LLC) |

Hi John,

Thanks for the link to the Chicago Public Schools #FinLit initiative. This should be a role model for all States! Have you seen Champlain College Financial Literacy Center just released 2013 National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools:

http://www.champlain.edu/Documents/Centers-of-Excellence/Center-for-Financial-Literacy/National-Report-Card-Champlain-College-CFL.pdf

The report isn't pretty and the need is well known. As you correctly state:
"Raising awareness of the issue is the key."

I checked out XOBettie.com and looks interesting too!

Holly

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

We promote it as part of our culture through one on one interaction.

Holly Pressman
Title: Co-founder
Company: FinLitTV LLC
(Co-founder, FinLitTV LLC) |

Hi Mark,

That's great to promote #FinLit skills "as part of our culture" but I'm not sure what you mean by through "one on one interaction." Is the interaction a discussion or an online experience? I'm assuming it is the former. Thanks for your reply!

Christine Russell
Title: CFO
Company: Evans Analytical Group (EAG)
(CFO, Evans Analytical Group (EAG)) |

Our CEO asked me to prepare a brief Understanding Finance for Non-Finance Employees slide deck and present to employees. It was quite basic and used the example of inheriting $12,000 and starting a little company called "Doomed". It illustrated the difference between cash and profit and a balance sheet and P&L. I guess you can figure out what happened to the company when they made some nice sales and failed to collect the receivables. We also hold quarterly meetings and share the financial performance with all employees on a confidential basis .

Holly Pressman
Title: Co-founder
Company: FinLitTV LLC
(Co-founder, FinLitTV LLC) |

Hi Christine,
That seems like a clever way to get non-finance employees of Analytical Group engaged about their basic financial skills. I would be interested to see the PPT if you would be able to email it to me at hollyatFinLit [dot] com. Thank you!

Randall Bolten
Title: CEO
Company: Lucidity
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO, Lucidity) |

Holly--
All of these are great suggestions, but remember that "literacy" applies to the people who PRESENT information as well as to those who consume it. Does your finance team communicate financial information and other numbers clearly, with a sense of narrative flow and with respect for their audience's time and level of understanding?
I would encourage you and your staff to think of presenting numbers in the same way they would think of writing a memo, or giving an oral presentation. It's important for professionals to take responsibility for how well they're understood.
Randall

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Randall - great point.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

How can we teach "financial literacy" when those who use sound financial skillsets are discriminated against in the name of political expediency.

Example: The mortgage debacle. Without being verbose, I choose one small area which makes no sense. You have a mortgage at a higher (+2 pts above current rates, using the rule of thumb) and you want to negotiate (in good faith) with your current lender to reduce the rate. You are and have been and will be on-time with all payments.

They refuse.

You stop paying your mortgage and they are more than happy to discuss.

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