Learn how increasing your client’s financial literacy can help you build your business
In an ever-changing world where people rarely use cash anymore and are living longer, the need for financial literacy is vital. Today, financial institutions are overwhelming customers with credit cards and chances to transfer balances with enticing low interest rates, making the opportunity to spend (and amass debt) quick and easy. Plus, with the popularity of online shopping, how we shop is evolving. In the past, carrying around money and physically having to count and hand it over when purchasing an item was a constant reminder of how much money you had available. Before the growth of credit cards, not having the cash meant you most likely were not making the purchase. With the overwhelming amount of credit card options and financial loan institutions that have flooded today’s market, spending habits have changed.
The unfortunate reality today is that many consumers are not well educated on financial matters, whether it is balancing a checkbook, how credit cards and interest rates work, making a budget, saving for retirement, or how long it truly takes to pay down debt once someone has overextended themselves. As a financial advisor, you have the opportunity to not only increase a client’s financial literacy but also take that teachable moment and create a long-lasting relationship – a win-win for them and your business.
So how would one define financial literacy in today’s world? Think of it as a convergence of various types of debt management, credit and financial information. This would include aspects like how to avoid debt and making a retirement savings plan to funding a major purchase. Much of it boils down to knowing how to make sensible choices on a daily basis when it comes to various financial matters.
Surprisingly, a common misconception is that financial literacy is low when it comes to developing countries, or individuals who are not well educated or come from lower economic backgrounds, but this isn’t the case. Studies have shown that even in developed countries, and among people with high salaries and education levels, there is still a lack of understanding, ignorance, and a low desire to be educated on the topic of financial literacy. In fact, a recent survey from Canada’s Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shared that people felt less stressed about going to the dentist than having to choose an investment for their retirement plan.
So why is the subject of financial literacy coming to the forefront today, and why is it crucial to intertwine it into your business? Here are a few reasons to consider:
- People are experiencing a different retirement savings dilemma than their parents and grandparents. Past generations typically relied on Social Security and some savings to get them by during retirement, but a recent Social Security report from the Board of Trustees shared that the fund may be washed-out by the year 2033. Because of this potential decrease in government aid, it is crucial that financial advisors speak to their clients about creating a retirement savings plan.
- Lifespans are continuing to increase, making the need for a retirement savings plan critical. Healthcare and living costs are also rising – another factor to considering when creating a savings plan.
- Consumers are also being bombarded through traditional and digital media with an overwhelming amount of financial services and products. From banks and credit card companies to insurance and mortgage options, increasing a client’s financial literacy in these areas can help decrease confusion and build a stronger relationship between you and them.
As consumers continue to take on more decisions regarding financial investments, and wade through a never-ending stream of products and services, financial advisors have an opportunity to help ease the burden and increase the financial literacy of their clients.
To learn more about financial literacy and how to grow your business, visit www.SummitBrokerage.com. Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit https://www.summitbrokerage.com or call us at (800) 354-5528.
To experience how Summit is working with its Advisors to grow their business, visit https://www.summitbrokerage.com/grow-your-business
About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit www.ceterafinancialgroup.com.
*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, The Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services.