In December 2019, MBB launched a Call for Submission of Opinion Pieces that answer the following questions: “Why do you think financial literacy is important? What steps should be taken to improve the level of financial literacy, especially amongst young people?”. This was issued as part of INVEST+ Project which is being led in collaboration with HSBC Malta Foundation.
The authors of the top submissions have been chosen.
We have received a high number of incredible entries for this competition which made it difficult for us to narrow it down to only the top 5, as originally announced in the call for submissions. For this reason, we have decided to choose 7 top submissions!
Congratulations to Christoph Schwaiger, Claire Bezzina, David Muscat, Marcus Sammut, Maria Mizzi, Melanie Vella and Thomas Camilleri.
Read through their Opinion Piece summary below.
“Why is this important? Buying a car, getting a student loan, purchasing a home – all important decisions in themselves. The common factor here is the financial planning which goes into making such a decision. A solid financial literacy background would enable someone facing a similar choice to make better real-world financial decisions. Financial literacy isn’t only about facts and figures. Controlling one’s own finances leads to a boost in confidence – something everyone benefits from in various aspects of life.”
Read Christoph’s full submission here.
“I used to belief that financial literacy is something that is figured out as one grows older. It turns out that financial literacy is actually something that one has to learn. Financial literacy is a crucial life skill for today’s world in order to properly live, thrive and be independent in the modern economy. Young adults should have a firm grasp of how to manage their own finances. However, awareness and proper education on financial literacy has to be provided in an accessible and comprehensible way. This is the role that banks, and financial institutions have to play in order to build generations capable of taking effective financial decisions that best suit their life and way of living. Once young adults acquire this knowledge, they can build a strong foundation for both their personal and professional goals.”
Read Claire’s full submission here.
“Did you know that tax rebates are simply an interest-free loan to the government of a country? Neither did I, which is surprising considering I have spent a third of my life studying Economics and Accounts, in addition to enrolling as an ACCA student. It fascinates me how even young adults who have studied subjects which intertwine with finance, are still so financially illiterate.”
Read David’s full submission here.
“If we want to be financially literate, we need to stop viewing our parents as if they were an on-demand ATM machine, who supply money in abundance whenever we need it. When we are young and money seems infinite (thanks mum and dad!), our definition of it becomes flawed, and our ability to use it wisely gets hindered. In a society where you can get the phone you really want for just a €25 payment per month, a society that is littered with easy payment schemes that allow you to buy now and pay later, it is evident that we are valuing our today more than our tomorrow, and this is exactly what financial literacy is not.”
Read Marcus’s full submission here.
“Putting “Financial literacy” and “youth” in the same sentence is like a glass of orange juice after brushing your teeth – they just don’t go together. The OECD defines Financial literacy as a “combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions and achieve individual financial well-being”. While I am sure there exist young individuals that are mindful of how they use their money, I believe that many are short-sighted and fall-victim to instant gratification.”
Read Maria’s full submission here.
“With better financial education, individuals are more likely to succeed in their financial prospects. Recognizing the importance of budgeting, saving and investing, is crucial to accomplish long-term financial goals. Financially illiterate individuals may find managing their finances problematic and may be unaware of services offered by financial institutions. On the contrary, financially literate individuals should be able to understand the importance of good financial management and the services offered by financial institutions. Such individuals, should also be able to understand how one can grow their wealth through investments which correspond to their level of risk aversion.”
Read Melanie’s full submission here.
“As students in Malta are given a stipend, initiatives on how to manage such funds are a must. Should teenagers already have a concept of why it is essential to save money, the upcoming generations would collectively struggle less with financial issues. This would implement the ideology that money is not there just to be spent as soon as it is credited into our accounts, a perception many young people have due to their overenthusiasm for their first monetary reward. Frequent spending might not be done intentionally, as it mostly happens because teenagers feel a sense of liberty in their expenditure, after having to be dependent on their parents for all their lives. Certain parents, for this exact reason, start a Savings Account for their children with restricted access, allowing them only to withdraw money from it past a certain age, for example. The money is there, but not available to be spent, allowing it to accumulate without interruption from accustomed spending.”
Read Thomas’ full submission here.