Horizontal links

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Can Financial Literacy Be Taught?

My spontaneous view is that teaching "Financial Literacy" makes as much sense as teaching "Entrepreneurship".

Of course there are certain aspects that can be taught - those housekeeping stuffs. But that's already "taught" in our schools or in our homes as part of growing up.

The secret desire that most people seek when they use the term "Financial Literacy" as a cover, that I don't think it can be taught - its something we have to discover or learn on our own.

Before I go on and put my foot in my mouth, I would like to hear your opinions and views on this topic. 

What do you think?

Convince me whether I am completely bonkers, or you have similar ideas like me. 


  1. I think it can be taught, but it is complicated.

    First, who?
    I believe young kids will benefit more than adults as they are not HEAVILY influenced by their surrounding and experience yet.

    2) What
    When I first experience finacial Literacy programme by a NOt for profit organization, the lower primary learn it somewhat like Maths, and the uppe Primary learn about the successful entrepreneurs.

    During review, I said the topics should include concept of delayed gratification and spending below means, needs and wants etc.


    I think chalk and talk, which include games, CLS and whatever u have, and only give u the cognitive understanding, for FL, we need affective conviction.

    Just like ICT skills, it cannot be mastered through listening but through application and practice. But if it can be learned, it can be taught, just that the platform of transmission might differ.

    If children has the time in the world with not other competing needs for academic excellence etc, and all the resources in the world is available, some of the platforms can include understudy of adults, projects, programmmes of monitoring, and many others which I can't think of right now, but convinced it can be done

  2. Are you saying investing can be taught?

    Trading can be taught. Right?

    Ninja turtle trading course. The name was developed while in Singapore. Many of us know the true success story. Right?

  3. Now now...when is the time i started to be interested in financial Literacy?
    When I was 13, my father told me abt stocks and he showed me how it works. This planted a seed in me. I become very interested during 1997 AFC when i saw my dad lost millions and gain back more a few more yrs later which piqued my interest further.
    Imo It takes both hand to clap.Financial literacy cannot be taught blindly and you need to be interested in it to learn it well.

  4. Hi SMOL

    For me , more appropriate term would be "self-learn" or "self-discovery" , like hunting for treasures. In the process of hunting treasures , potential dangers such as environment ( fighting against the nature ) occurs and that's where observation of the environment and decision making comes into play ( whether to fight or retreat ) . It's very much a personal level . hmmm

  5. Hi SMOL

    Many people have this micconception that entrepreneurshio is about idea and no one ever needs to go to school or be taught about it.

    In fact if you are going to make big for entrepreneurship theres a lot of business acumen you need to have. Marketing raising financing exiting etx is just one of those things you need someone with the capability to execute it out. So I think there is always something to be taught something to be learnt.

  6. Hi SMOL,

    In secondary school science, we always learn theory and then we perform experiments. Same for driving, basic & advance theory then practical lessons. I think it pretty much applies for "Financial Literacy".

    Reading from books is best start of learning, "real person" interaction is next stage, then personal experience is what you start to realize lots of "discovery/ problems" and if "it is easier said than done!"

    Talk is always easy! But when you do, you need planning, perseverance, sustainability, strength to pick up from where fall, and guts too!

    Now as ask ourselves, do we talk more or do more?


  7. I really like and agree with the comments above.

    I just believe only that smol was only particular with the syntax and choice of words in: financial literacy can be taught.

    after all, if a person learns financial literacy, isn't he self taught?

  8. all taught in the school of hard knocks, mate

  9. You can talk all the financial principles to your child or children but how you live financially will be so much more impact than even commercial advertisements and peer's pressure trying to convert your child to keep up with the Joneses.
    That's my experience with bringing up my only child.
    Do you think is there any difference now how i treat my son?

    1. But really some people are just not suitable (or not interested) to invest in the market even some of them got above average IQ. So can you teach these people? It's a NO for me.

  10. Can we teach culinary skills?

    To become a Michelin Star chef?


  11. Depends lor....see if ppl hv any motivation to learn. Recently, my friends are buying flats. I'm also buying flat.

    The amt of research and financial sense and sensibilities placed into it is vastly different.

  12. Hi SMOL,

    My take: it cannot be taught, just like most things. You can try telling a person how to do this step and that step, but that is only knowing, not understanding. Only experience, temperament and circumstances can make a person live the talk.

    I think u can inspire, but u cannot teach financial literacy ;)

  13. Hello everyone!

    Keep the comments coming!

    I will draft my post on this topic to answer everyone of you by next Tuesday.

    Monday I need to go to HDB to start the process on my SERs :)

    1. answer everyone of you by next Tuesday.

      Hee hee. Now got goal. Got target. Got plan.

      Our gap is really closing up.


    2. CW,

      I am so happy for you!

      If "by next Tuesday" meets your definition of SMART goals, its either you are lowering your standards of goal settings; or you are starting to "let go" of what's holding you back.

      Our gap is indeed closing up ;)

      (My lips curve up)

  14. SMOL,

    My view is financial literacy can be taught but as to whether the receipient can absorb the same knowledge/skill and internalised it (apply it) for himself/herself, that's different story.

    That explains why some people view personal finance course/seminar as expensive/redundent while other find it a "life-changing" event ;-)

  15. can i teach you how to love your mom?!

    1. or can you teach your granson how to love your daughter, just becos you have many years of loving mom experiences?

      if the answer is yes, then trading can be taught.

    2. Coconut. You are the man. Living trader!

    3. Got dead trader trading meh?

      Oh! Got!

      Using a dead trader's algo?


    4. ya what, how to teach a person love his mom?

      however we can learn or copy others how to express it, like buying her favorate cakes for her birthday, thats just a way to express it or feel it. it did not change a bit on the loving side.

    5. if you bot a cake for your mom on her birthday, there is only one thing will happen, that is she will gives you a big huge or something like that and you know it.

      but if it is mr market that you gives the cake to, then mr market might just gives you a tight slap on the face instead of a kiss.

      thats what a trader must face in his everyday life, not the normal kind of experience and expectation we have in our lives.

    6. coconut,

      I understood you perfectly the first time.

      But I am glad you made it clearer for those who are more into the "letter of the word" than "spirit of the word".

      For eg,

      When you ask some people, they can explain the the meaning of dollar cost averaging. But if you ask them have they done it....

      Knowledge is knowing WHAT it is.

      Competence is knowing HOW to do it.

      In school, you get points for knowing. In the markets, if you don't know what you are doing...

    7. talk about it, i think i will graduate with colour if i enroll into a astronut school if they have one!

      but to be one, shoot me in the head please haha.

      we are on the same line in this topic, if can teach, i will teach everyone i know about trading liao. but if someone is passion about trading or investing, then we can learn from each other through our own experience, there are much common ground, like how you go about celebrating your moms birthday hr?

    8. Can consider partnership with Snake Oil man who is passionate to teach? Why no?

    9. is smol passion to teach? i don't think so le.

      even he is, i'm not. actually i hate teaching haha.

    10. CW and coconut,

      I don't teach; I facilitate.

      I am not a bleeding heart. By sparring with you all, I sharpen my saw too. This way, I benefit too from the exchange of ideas.

      I give and I take.

      Those who give and give burn out quickly....

    11. coconut provide the System. smol facilitate. attendees learn themselves at a fee

    12. cannot la, but can share ideas, the idea of a trading system is this, think of as role a trader is in the market,

      a seller (short)
      a buyer (long)
      a market maker
      an option trader (long/short/put/call)
      a trend follower
      a contrarain.....

      any parcicipants including share holders, big boys, flash boys etc...

      when constraucting your system, try to incorporate as many roles as possible, within your risk tolerant, into your trading system, very much like a role play.

  16. Financial Literacy is actually being taught in school, some schools (not all) at both Pri and Sec level.

    And Financial Literacy is not about teaching the advance level like how to invest, what to invest, how to evaluate good business and companies etc.

    Financial Literacy is taught at the fundamental level, which is about spending less, saving more, delay gratifications, budgeting etc.

    Financial Literacy is not financial training, but financial education.

    Yes, Entrepreneurship is also taught in school as well.

    1. There are games, application and quizzes in these lessons.

      More importantly, it is for the students to apply it to their everyday life, rather than a one of workshop and lesson, and forgetting it at the end of the week.

    2. numerology.

      I guess "sg" is not powderful enough so you switched to "global"?

      That was quick!

      Fundamental? OK, that's a more sugar-coated way to mean low level skills. Of course that can be taught by anyone who studied business at any of our tertiary institutions.

      Entrepreneurship training? That's managing business 101 masquerading...

      I was a facilitator before and I know some things can't be taught. My role is just to inspire and be a catalyst.

      I can't do the walking on behalf of my trainees.

    3. I am not sure about your experience and length of time you have facilitated, but it does show from what you have written, that it was probably one-off or one time effort.

      My personal experience is that the majority of the students do have a lack of the Fundamental, which is in money management skills. So the basic is necessary, just like all babies need to learn how to crawl before they can walk, then run.

      The pre feedback and post feedback shows the difference esp. for those who took part actively.

      Yes, I too can't do the walking on behalf of my trainees. So, the learning doesn't stop there, so it is important that it is being practice on in their everyday life.

    4. globalnumerology,

      Ah! I sense vested interests. LOL!

      Part of my 4 years in Shanghai was to develop people; not just business ;)

      I think you know that taking "feedback" after a class is bullshit. Most of it is just "courtesy replies" or under the influence of "adrenalin rush".

      If you want REAL feedback, we take the survey 6 months AFTER our workshops. You may want to try it sometime if you interested to know the real impact we have made as facilitators ;)

      By the way, we don't have to teach babies how to crawl, walk, or run :)

      My personal view is that schools now too rich anyhow spend money
      on "good to have" stuffs.

      I would rather prefer young students learn to play a musical instrument, pick up a new language, or play sports, or do arts.

      That would make our lives more enriching; and Singapore less of a cultural desert....

    5. SMOL, you do have a bad sense if I have to correct it. LOL!

      No, I don't have any vested interest nor am I related to the company providing those forms of programs.

      However, having taught and trained as a freelance in the program, I do see that those students who participated actively, do benefit from the program, though the measure will be more accurate a few years down the line esp in their late teens or early adults.

      The feedback is not simply "courtesy replies", as it is a measure of their knowledge before the learning, and after the learning. And the feedback do give a true reflection as well, since the background and experience of the individual students are reflected in their replies and answers.

      You are definitely not in touch with the current educational system, and definitely without kids of your own, you don't really understand that the incorporation of more lifeskills programs in the learning process of the students are definitely worth much more than simply academic learning, or the usual CCA of sports, games, or the arts.

    6. Global Numerology (still undecided what to call yourself?)

      This is fun!

      On guard! Now for some parry and thrusts!

      1) " having taught and trained as a freelance in the program" - this is not vested interests? LOL!

      2) Try it once. Don't do the survey immediately after one workshop. Do it 6 months later ;)

      a) See how many trainees bother to reply.

      b) See how many of those who replied can still retain what they have been "taught".

      For commercial reasons, everyone is into collecting "testimonies" - just look in the papers and books. It's all marketing.

      As for us "arrowed" to do training in the corporate world, we are more interested in actual results as in productivity. Trust me, there are lots of weird KPIs and none are more important than how much we saved or made for the company ;)

      3) You are right. I left school 30 years ago and no children.

      And your point is? You mean you have children and you still in school?
      (Sorry, sorry. I just can't help myself. LOL!)

      4) "incorporation of more lifeskills programs in the learning process of the students are definitely worth much more than simply academic learning, or the usual CCA of sports, games, or the arts."

      You may want to review what you have said above.

      I can understand if you view other coaches and trainers for the arts, sports as "competitors"; but to put down academic teachers? Now now. You don't want to piss off the principal who hired you!

      How would you react if your trainer upon seeing what you have written, suggest you take up a course on "How to improve your EQ"?

      (Just a gentle poke)

    7. SMOL, I am not sure if it is an IQ problem or otherwise, haha! LOL!

      So here's to reply to the list above:

      1) From the training company stand point, yes there is definitely a vested interest since it is their business and profits from justifying the program and doing more of it so to grow their revenue and profits.

      From my stand point, I am not even paid for my time (more like pro bono work), other than a token sum to cover transport cost, and kopi money at best.
      So where is the vested interest, when I definitely can better utilize my time doing revenue generating work, and profit generating piece of work in my business?

      I view the time and effort spent as a freelance as giving back to society as well as helping and hopefully inspiring the younger generations, esp. in lifeskills.

      Hopefully this clarifies the "vested interest" issue?

      2) I agree to a certain extent that the measure can be more useful 6 months or more, but it is very much for the training company, if they are willing to put in that extra bit.

      a) The students will do it when the schools allocate that time for it, but it is more important that they do it truthfully and have actively participated.

      b) As said previously, if the students put into practice what they learn on a regular basis, it will have a positive effect. But if it is a one off listen and forget, then anything taught will have the same effect.

      It is not simply a collection of testimonials, but from the training company and schools, it can probably be a justification to show the effectiveness of the program to justify more of it. That I cannot answer on behalf of the company.

      But again from my stand point and interactions with the students, those students putting effort to learn and apply them, you can sense and see the difference and hopefully they continue to apply it in their daily lives.

      3) My point is maybe you can also "volunteer" your time and inspire students with your experience and knowledge.

      4) I don't view other coaches and trainers as "competitors" since I have no vested interest in this arena.

      And I am not against the other CCA such as sports, games, or the arts, since they are useful and helpful in other ways.

      But I do notice that the single minded pursuit of academic excellence and results is not the way to go, but lifeskills can provide a form of life long learning and skillsets.

      I definitely do not need your EQ program since I am doing it freelance and not hired by any principals, rather I chose the meaningful programs to give of my time, and not in competition with any other trainers and coaches.

      Maybe, it helps to not AssUMe (Making Ass out of U and Me), LOL!

    8. globalnumerology,

      I hope it was fun for you as it was for me! LOL!

      I'll let you have the last word ;)

      Free must come back and play hor!

  17. Wow!

    Long time no watch wrestling.


    1. CW,

      It's all your fault! You have gone soft on me....

      Or maybe we are too used to each other?

      Hmm... Maybe we should start seeing other people?


  18. I'm coaching students to get As for their exams. The goal is definite and measurable. I teach the same things to different students with varying results over 10 yrs. Then I realised that I mattered less than what I had thought.

    The key thing to effect long term changes is to inspire students. If you can inspire them, you metaphorically start their idling engine and they run on their own after that. Effective tutoring, for me, is more about motivation than skill based (learning how to do) training. The skills based training can easily be done by themselves - they just need to open any textbooks and it is there. But how to make them open the textbooks and search for info themselves? That's the question.

    Honestly, maybe out of 10 students, only 2 or 3 will be positively changed (maybe by me, maybe not.). The rest might get their As, but they might end up hating the subject so much that they will never touch it again. Is that another goal?

    If I can make a person change from disliking a subject to not hating it, regardless of whether he/she can get an A, I think it's a small victory. At least I found the key to start the engine...Now, I just need to know where to insert the key and how to turn it on....

    1. I'm no great artist, but my art classes have taught me to appreciate beauty when I see one.

      I've just witnessed a beautiful sunset.

      Whack! Knock on the head by my Zen teacher.

      Just admire the sunset in silence. Talking about it ruins everything ;)

      Radio silence....

  19. Wow wow comment 45th.

    Can financial literacy be taught? This is good topic because it invited so many comments.

    This is not a good topic because there is no right nor wrong answers!

    What matters most is "what is right" for you.

    Different people different! Most important, we accept each other differences, and focus on our own strength and likes.

    1. Rolf,

      Stop counting and close your mouth ;)

      Those who prefer to be taught will be "taught".

      Those who seek to find the answers themselves may eventually :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...