It’s an amazing fact that the largest economy in the world has little to no financial education for its citizens compared to other western nations. Yes, public schools offer courses from basic math to advanced calculus, but not a course on balancing your checkbook. Even private parochial schools don’t teach how to handle debt, or save for college and retirement. But this vacuum of financial literacy could and should be filled by financial professionals as part of their “giving back” to their communities.
Promoting your practice as a premier provider of financial education and services can push your business to the front of the line in the minds of consumers. It has to be altruistic and educational at its heart. It has to be about learning and not selling. It exists to offer a benevolent education to those in your sphere of influence, i.e. entrepreneurs, friends from your places of worship and those you interact with in financial sectors, like CPAs and attorneys. Even human resource departments experience difficulty in finding financial professionals who will offer mandatory 404c compliant education for their participants in their employer sponsored retirement plans.
Many consumers in or near their retirement years attend multiple seminars a year. Most of the presentations are product centered and not holistic center planning. Offering products to the public is a myopic approach when you are suggesting one product fits all. But not only is this approach antithetical to planning, it smacks of steering the prospect to a product and not first to a solution. That’s not to say that product fulfillment doesn’t have its place, but in the end it should be the last item to be broached.
People like learning about money. They like to be successful with their earnings. They desire to live an enjoyable retirement and not live check to check in their golden years. Financial professionals who educate their clients on the matters of money will contribute an enormous to society who lacks the fundamental knowledge their economy.