Financial Literacy is very low among Filipinos. Compared to our neighbors in Asia and the US, our country has the least number of people who are financially literate, and secure. Many would attribute this to a lack of knowledge or awareness, but the sad truth is that even though Financial Literacy advocates are everywhere and offering FREE Financial Literacy Seminars and talks across the country- even abroad for the OFWs, a lot of Filipinos still cannot be bothered to attend these seminars.
So why is it that Filipinos don’t like attending Financial Literacy Seminars? We asked one of our friends in Dubai- Pablo Santos Jr. for his insights on the matter. Pablo Santos, Jr. is a Registered Financial Planner, a Core Team Member of INVESTHUSIASTS, co-founder of King Dragon (a dragon fruit farming venture), and Sales and Marketing Manager for Sony Middle East. We asked Pablo what he thinks are the Top 3 Reasons why Filipinos are not interested in Financial Literacy Seminars, and here are his thoughts.
1. Fear of getting scammed
Most Pinoys presume that the organizers of such workshops (esp. free seminar) would eventually sell them some fraudulent investments or products by the end of the event. Another common misconception is that most people think that the topics discussed in such seminars are too complicated for the common Juan or Juana to understand. Nothing could be further from the truth. The organizers and speakers make sure to breakdown the big words into easy to understand concepts. So easy that you don’t even need a degree to understand what they’re talking about.
2. There is no clear and defined goal.
They have not yet identified their so-called magic number or retirement amount and the purpose of their investment. Without these goals, no matter how big or small, the motivation of investing would not be there. Most Pinoys believe on “It’s too late for me mentality” which only makes them less motivated to achieve financial freedom, or attend seminars that could help them find ways to become financially secure.
3. Not their priority.
Pinoys do not prioritize investing, and that includes investing in knowledge and in themselves. They are too busy with other unproductive endeavors that do not get them any closer to achieving their life goals. They give more importance to their wants over their needs. Spending over Saving. Luxuries over long-term investments. Media and ads aggravate the situation as they focus mainly on promotion of gadgets, beauty products, etc. Unlike other developed countries like Singapore where they focus on media ad awareness for various financial instruments (i.e. insurance, pension and mutual funds, etc.).
While we can’t really blame a lot of Filipinos for thinking that Financial Literacy seminars are only being used as a way to lure them into scams or buying various financial products, we would also like to point out that there are a LOT of ethical and professional Financial Advisors and advocates who really have the heart to help Filipinos achieve financial freedom. Groups like IMG (International Marketing Group), RFP Philippines (Registered Financial Planner), Money Talks UAE, Investhusiasts are mission-driven and cause-oriented organizations whose sole aim is to educate Filipinos on how they can achieve Financial Freedom through proper money management and investing by conducting Financial Literacy seminars and campaigns.
If you’re a Filipino in the UAE, and you’re serious about learning how to achieve financial freedom and how to invest properly, feel free to get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help and guide you.
The authors of TWOKuripot.com are avid supporters and members of Money Talks UAE, Investhusiasts and IMG (International Marketing Group). Please refer to the ABOUT US page of this blog for more info.