By Teresa Leno, CEO and Founder of Fresh Finance
Financial literacy is a vital life skill, much like reading or writing. In a world dictated mainly by fiscal decisions, we must empower everyone with a fundamental understanding of how money works. Pair this paradigm with the undeniable increase in the complexity of financial markets, amplifying the critical need for financial education. Due to their position, wealth management firms and their advisors have the capacity and duty to provide financial education.
Wealth management firms have vast knowledge about complex financial systems and investment opportunities that the average person may not know. Due to this, one of the primary duties they hold is to navigate their clients through these intricacies. However, it shouldn’t stop at guiding clients. Empowering clients with knowledge and understanding about finance and investing is as important, if not more important. There are numerous ways firms can provide financial education:
- Client newsletters
- Social media content
- Website blogs
- Investor portal articles
First, a primary reason why wealth firms must provide financial education is because financial literacy is foundational for wealth creation. Various studies substantiate that individuals who understand finance basics – saving, investing, and borrowing – stand a better chance at wealth creation. Knowing and comprehending finances allow people to make informed decisions that aid their financial growth, effectively bridging the gap between income generation and wealth creation.
Moreover, wealth firms have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, which implies putting the client’s best interest first, even before their own. Providing financial education should be a natural extension of their fiduciary duty. Educating their clients ensures they understand the risks and potential rewards of their financial decisions. By doing so, wealth management firms safeguard their clients and promote fair and transparent practices in the financial industry.
In addition, a lack of financial education may lead to numerous social issues, such as high debt levels and lesser retirement savings. When wealth firms take up the task of providing financial education, they contribute to the well-being of the larger society. Their contribution can help reduce socioeconomic disparities, enabling more people to make suitable financial decisions that improve their lives and foster a healthier economy.
Financial education also benefits wealth firms by building trust, rapport, and long-term client relationships. An educated client may appreciate the value of the firm’s services and are more likely to view their relationship as a partnership. Financial education also fosters client loyalty and promotes the firm’s reputation, positioning them as trusted advisers in the financial industry.
In conclusion, financial education is an important life skill, particularly in today’s complex and globally interconnected economic landscape. Wealth firms, with their profound influence, unquestionably must provide financial education. Their duty extends beyond client guidance to actively promoting financial literacy, forging stronger client relationships, and contributing positively to financial well-being and economic health. By undertaking the role of financial education, wealth firms can elevate their position from wealth managers to wealth enablers, catalyzing a brighter financial future for all.
Teresa Leno worked as a financial advisor and experienced firsthand the importance of financial education to help clients make more informed decisions before a crisis. Through her experience, Fresh Finance was started as a financial content marketing solution to help advisors validate their expertise through sharing content.