The basic knowledge of finance is an important tool for children everywhere to grow into financially responsible adults. Professor of Finance at University of Piraeus and President of the Hellenic Financial Literacy Institute Nikolaos Philippas has written a new book for children entitled Planning for Our Future!published by Papadopoulos Publishing will help children, parents and teachers tackle the finance basics. The publication and the free distribution of the book are supported by Interamericanin the series of relevant corporate responsibility initiatives for the development of financial education. The book, available in Greek, is a standard tool for introducing economic concepts to young people. A presentation for Planning for Our Futurewas held on July 27 at the Electra Metropolis Athens hotel.
In the presentation, Prof. Philippas, Gina Thanopoulou- Consultant-Educational Psychologist from Harvard University, Olga Bornozi- Managing Director of Capital Link Inc., Yannis Perlepes- General Manager of the Naftemporiki newspaper, and Markos Fragoulopoulos- Vice-Director of Sales and Marketing of Interamerican, discussed the phenomenon of financial ignorance and its consequences, which affect individual and social well-being. The speakers pointed out, among the most serious reasons for the inability to understand the financial system and controlling money management, the relative gap in compulsory education, as well as factors such as the speed of developments brought about by financial innovation, individual and group behaviors illusion of knowledge, herd behavior, etc., contribute to the problem.
In his book, Prof. Philippas illuminates, in a simple and comprehensible way for children, concepts such as the budget and its usefulness, effective revenue-cost planning, financial goals and how they are achieved, and the difference between goods and services. Easy answers and interpretations are supported by examples from children’s everyday lives with expressive illustration by Natalia Kapatsoulia.
“The long-term goal of the Hellenic Financial Literacy Institute is to create a new generation of financially informed and responsible citizens in order to make the best decisions on their financial issues,” said the author, proposing the introduction of relevant courses in primary and secondary education with equal learning opportunities for all children. The professor underlined the importance of digital technology in financial education, as well as the need of parents’ parallel training.
Thanopoulou focused on the psychological and the moral extension of financial literacy, linking it to life values and actions of social significance and contribution, which develop emotional intelligence and smooth socialization of children.
Bornozi, transferring the consequences for older adults, talked about the gravity of the relationship between retirement literacy and financial prosperity. Retirement illiteracy is defined as the inability to prepare and understand the financial, investment, and insurance obligations and needs faced by the citizen during his retirement. This is of particular importance for both financial security and financial prosperity, since the post-retirement age is now particularly high. She also pointed out that retirement illiteracy leads to the inability to prepare – from youth – for the needs a person faces after the end of his working life.
Perlepes supported the necessity of “economic programming” from the early school age, pointing to the expansion of information to parents and teachers and the media’s role and responsibility. “Economic education is a key factor in the development of critical thinking, as mathematics was once,”he pointed out, observing that “when citizens are prosperous with broad economic consciousness, including taxes, the state prospers.”
For Interamerican, as Fragoulopoulos noted, fighting financial ignorance through the support of books like Planning for Our Future!is part of its broader strategy for creating and giving value to society. Interamericanalso sponsored Philippas’ first book for younger children about saving money.