New Delhi: Young people are increasingly signing up for financial literacy classes, which are conducted by India's leading financial institutions and are fueled by social media influencers who give financial advice but are often untrained to do so.
There was a time when Indian youngsters received financial guidance mostly through popular novels such as 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad.' Despite the excellent concepts, the text was unrelatable to the Indian reader, and the counsel was impractical. Professional guidance, on the other hand, was out of reach due to the high expense of engaging a financial planner. As a result, the Indian retail investor was mostly absent. That was back in the day.
Today is different.
Financial independence and financial freedom have grown widespread in today's world, thanks to a growing culture that values entrepreneurs and wealth producers. It is being promoted by young people who no longer consider employment as their only source of survival and development. Instead, an increasing number of people believe that their money should work for them.
Change in the way we look at investing
These youth understand that investing is crucial to wealth creation and are not afraid to try out different modes. A case in point is the huge interest generated by the IPOs of new-age startups, the growing clamor for access to cryptocurrencies, and more.
The social media pull - pros and cons
A huge community of influencers who routinely discuss wealth creation and personal finance management is fueling this interest. They use social media to share their wealth-building experiences, voice their views, and offer advise. They've steadily increased their clout.
Experts in personal finance are concerned about their recommendations because a big proportion of influencers lack the professional skills required to give guidance. There's also the issue of entrenched interests in promoting a specific viewpoint. Small-time investors with insufficient knowledge are frequently forced to pay the price for a decision that does not pan out in the market. They could be acting under the guise of counsel posing as knowledge.
Taking control of one's financial future
As a result, a growing percentage of young professionals recognise the need of financial literacy. This has resulted in an increasing trend, thanks in part to the ability to learn remotely. Many institutions and specialists have teamed up to give financial literacy and awareness courses that include content that is relevant to Indian customers, well-researched, and objective. There are classes that are specifically designed for entrepreneurs, small company owners, and women.
Getting the message across to non-finance folks
While financial literacy is a hot topic right now, organisations like the National Stock Exchange have been offering such classes for over a decade. So far, they've primarily catered to major corporations. "Financial literacy and management is a significant gap left in our education generally," says RehanaD'Suza, Vice President & Head of Business Development, National Stock Exchange of India Limited, on the need to broaden understanding. It causes a complete lack of confidence in young professionals, making them vulnerable to fraud and poor financial judgments. Popular advice gained from the media or social media is frequently skewed or inaccurate. Corporate clients rely on us to offer accurate, up-to-date, objective, well-researched, and successful material."
The majority of their audience is made up of non-financial persons who find it difficult to grasp the foundations of finance. As a result, these organisations frequently collaborate with communication experts to convey their message through innovative means.
People who used to find financial literacy seminars uninteresting - because they found the topic scary and difficult to relate to - are now interested in seeing 12-minute long street dramas. Using an artistic medium to demystify such a subject helps us catch the audience's attention before a facilitator begins serious discussions on themes such as savings, investments, and other topics."
Such measures contribute to a more favourable investment climate, encouraging young people to increase their participation in the economy while benefiting from overall growth.