Financial education is not a silver bullet for financially irresponsible individuals

By | CYH

A pawn shop executive was interviewed on TV. She observed customers often redeem their pawned items during periods where the government has given out the handouts. But they subsequently return to pawn their items one to two months later.

I feel discouraged whenever the thought of financial education being a service for the converted. The people who are actively seeking out information about personal finance are not the ones who need help. Those who are oblivious or don’t care about personal finance are often those who need financial education the most. But at the same time you cannot force the disinterested to be interested as the advice would simply fall upon deaf ears even if it is mandated.

I remember making a remark to two staff working on our national financial literacy campaign. I was asked how to reach out to more people who needs financial education. I said one of the best places could be the lottery outlets. But I know it is also quite inappropriate and ineffective to do it in that setting. Hence, I am not confident that financial education is going to solve financial problems for the most needy individuals.

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