The Wealth Academy is a member of ASIC's consumer and financial literacy experts panel.  This newsletter provides news, research, support, hints and tips for those who strive to support the financial learning of Australian youth.

Newsletter: April 2015

The Wealth Academy assists parents, teachers and professionals in the financial services industry to help their children, students and young clients to improve their financial knowledge and skills. We look forward to providing news, research, readings, hints, provocations, and some humour, to help younger generations become financially capable.

Helping children to understand financial safety

All parents remind their children of safe behaviours and practices; so too do all teachers while those same children are at school. One ‘safety’ that is often missed, by both parents and teachers, is financial safety. 
Children need to understand this concept because it nurtures better financial decision-making, a greater awareness of when, and when not, to trust, and improved mindfulness in financial situations. Financial safety conversations change as children grow because their financial situations, responsibilities and awareness change.

Look for our article on financial safety in the next issue of Teenfinca®.

Could financial planning be the career for your students?

Financial planning is about developing strategies to help people manage their financial affairs and meet their life goals. People often turn to a financial planner to help simplify their finances and set achievable financial goals, providing greater confidence when planning for their future. In order to achieve financial goals, a financial planner will help with advice and strategies on budgeting, cash flow, savings, superannuation, tax planning, home loan repayments, debt management and reduction, insurance, investments, and retirement planning. Financial planners can work anywhere from large financial institutions to smaller, boutique financial planning firms, and often start their careers in these companies in client service and administration, and paraplanning. [Paraplanners perform administrative and support services for financial planners (such as research, and preparing plans and reports):]
Financial planning could well be a career for students who are passionate about helping people, are analytically minded, enjoy problem solving, have strong communications skills and a good head for figures.

Teens talk more about economics, but no better informed?

In Australia, the study of economics seems to be declining in schools. Is this a cause for concern? The following article, based in the USA, gives Australian educators, business people and parents something to think about.

Since the financial crisis and recession, American teenagers have become more aware of economics but are not more informed about the subject.
The nation’s ‘Report Card in Economics’ found no improvement in high-school seniors’ economics knowledge from six years ago, on the eve of the global financial crisis. The US Department of Education project surveyed and tested nearly 11,000 Year 12 students in 480 American public and private schools.
“More students say they’re talking about economics with their friends and family,” than before the downturn, said Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. “Economics is more a part of their lives than it was in 2006.”
Read more

Teens, travel and financial planning

Many teens enjoy international travel soon after leaving school. Whether it be a gap year, or just travelling with friends during holidays, young people benefit greatly from travel.
One benefit, not directly recognised, is the financial decision-making associated with the planning and enactment of a trip of any duration. Saving, budgeting, planning, decision-making, insurance, work, pay, tax etc. are all financial concepts that are part of that planning. Many schools explore such topics with students in a business course, but other students may miss out. All students should have this opportunity. Lessons learned from such an activity will carry over into other aspects of that teenager’s life in later years.

Video feature 1: Young entrepreneurs

Teenfinca® 2015 Issue 1: This video slideshow introduces students to four teenage entrepreneurs — from the United States, England, New Zealand and Ghana. The slideshow encourages students to consider the challenges of entrepreneurship, but also the sense of passion and purpose of these young entrepreneurs.


Video feature 2: What is tax?

This innovative video, provided by Taxpayers Australia, introduces students to basic taxation concepts.
A Teacher Module will soon be available to support teachers wishing to use this video.


Video feature 3: Wealth does not mean having a lot of money

This video slideshow is based on an interview with one of Australia's greatest female athletes, Layne Beachley.
Layne shares the financial learning experiences she had from a young age, through her years of struggling to make a living as a pro surfer and her more recent experiences as an investor. She talks about the importance of attitude, saving and learning. Lane has a lot to share, from which all students can learn. 

The Wealth Academy has developed over 40 videos and video slideshows on a range of topics that relate to financial learning concepts. All video materials are linked to the Australian Curriculum.
Video series overview

Apathy to action: The answer is education

The following findings are a result of research commissioned by the Financial Services Council and Metlife and undertaken by GfK Australia. Any analysis of these findings would consider the effectiveness of prior financial education programs across the Australian community. More importantly, we should be considering what financial education is currently happening in our schools and the broader community.
  • Three in four Australians think life insurance is ‘death cover’.
  • Most Australians don't understand what life insurance cover they should have.
  • Two thirds of those who own a life insurance product don't know how much they are covered for.
  • Having enough money to pay the bills and to live comfortably is the top concern for half of Australians.
  • 1 in 3 working Australians say they don't know enough to provide any advice on life insurance.
  • 1 in 10 policy holders don't know how to identify a good product.
  • Most working Australians don't know how to choose a life insurance product.
Financial education is important!  Read more

How do your financial service providers support financial education?

There is a lot of 'talk' when it comes to financial education, but very little 'walk' by some financial services providers. 
Accountants, planners, and financial institutions of all sizes will often talk up the importance of financial education, but most will say it is someone else's responsibility... usually a school! (The good old flick pass!)
Remember this: Information about football on a website will NOT make students skilled in the game of football. Information on a website about financial concepts will also not make students financially capable. There has to be interaction, discussion, debate etc. — engagement — for deep learning and skills to develop, in this case, the skills of making good financial decisions.
If you have a family accountant, financial planner or broker, or are a member of a local community-oriented bank or similar organisation, suggest they help their local schools and their existing client base by supporting or facilitating a proper education program. Such a program will help their business and, most importantly, help younger people to develop deeper understanding of financial concepts.

Reserve Bank of Australia

'Learning About Banknotes'
‘Learning About Banknotes’ is an online primary school education resource developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC). It is aimed at educating Years 2 and 3 school students about Australia's banknotes through interactive games, activities and stories.
Read more

Teachers: An open invitation

The Wealth Academy values partnerships and relationships that will ultimately help young people become more financially capable.

Teachers can support this cause by:
  • contacting us with ideas to improve their financial education program (What do you need?)
  • contributing resources or articles for us to consider for publication
  • participating in our research program. 
We want to help, as do our partners. Help us to help you.
Contact us 

Activity Book

Work Studies Years 9–10 & Financial Education
1. Learning financial life skills and attitudes
2. Careers in financial services
3. Entrepreneurs today and tomorrow
4. Financial services career information
5. The nature of work in financial services
6. Gaining and keeping work.

This activity book is available for registered schools. It includes 18 financial life skill activities related to Work Studies in the Australian Curriculum.
Find out more


Register your school here.
Need help registering. Contact us.

School-community sponsors

Does your school need a school financial education sponsor? We can help.
Find out more about sponsorship on the home page.


Please share this newsletter with fellow parents, teachers and financial service professionals committed to the financial education of Australian youth. Financial capability does not happen by accident or by default—it requires effort. A united effort will bring greater benefits.

Yours in learning
Ken Swan, Director The Wealth Academy

Help your network: We are proud to consider ourselves lifelong learners, so please send us information, ideas and comments that you think we should share with our network.All inquiries and submissions for publication should be directed to the Manager using the contact options on our website .

Information provided is for educational purposes and does not constitute financial advice. You should obtain independent advice from an Australian financial services licensee before making any financial decisions. Although The Wealth Academy (TWA) has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, TWA does not give any warranty or representation as to accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information. To the extent permitted by law, TWA and its employees, officers and contractors shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising in any way (including by way of negligence) from or in connection with any information provided or omitted or from any one acting or refraining to act in reliance on this information.

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