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You can benefit from Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week starts today at the Bermuda Library on Queen Street. The week-long event will provide information for individuals and families to make help them make better decisions regarding their financies.

There will be documentaries and guest speakers on hand to impart knowledge. Money Smart Week runs until next Saturday, April 27. It is sponsored by the library under the initiatives of head librarian Joanne Brangman and assistant librarian, Adult Library Services, Daurene Aubrey. Both have Masters in Library Science graduate degrees and are champions of the value of utilising library resources to research and build knowledge.

“I first learned of Money Smart Week reading a librarian professional journal and thought that it would be a great idea for our library to offer Lunch & Learn sessions that would be of interest to the public,” said Ms Brangman, who expressed her gratitude to Ms Aubrey for bringing the idea to fruition.

Ms Aubrey is “excited to volunteer to coordinate Bermuda National Library's first Money Smart Week initiative because it makes so much sense in these difficult economic times to make the community aware of the kinds of expert knowledge and financial literacy resources which exist in our island and on our library shelves.”

She added: “Libraries are undervalued entities, and their worth is often determined by how well we promote our services. Money Smart Week was started in 2001 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has been adopted in many countries around the world, not just by financial institutions of all types, but also by libraries as a means of educating and informing its clientele.”

Guest speakers lined up are Nathan Kowalski, Leslie Robinson and Zuri Darrell. The library has expressed thanks to then for partnering in the effort, as well as for the creative library’s own teamwork in helping to bring everything together, thanking Keith Caesar, Nikki Bowers and Fredrina James.

I assisted in promoting this new Bermuda Library initiative. As you all know, I am seriously committed to providing understandable financial information that will help individuals (and their families) make Money Smart decisions to increase personal financial security and success.

Programme Features

Saturday: Documentary — Life and Debt, 2001 directed by Stephanie Black shown at the library at 11am and 2pm.

According to Wikipedia, the film examines the economic and social situation in Jamaica, and specifically the impact thereon of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's globalisation policies. Its starting point is the essay A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid.

These loans were conditional on structural adjustment policies, which required Jamaica to enact major economic reforms, including trade liberalisation, privatisation, and deregulation. However, the reforms were not successful; the film claims the reforms left Jamaica with $4.6 billion dollars in debt ($90 Jamaican dollars equal to $1 US dollar).

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: Bring Your Own Brown Bag Lunch — Sessions 12.30-1.30pm.

Tuesday: Presentation — Teaching Children to Save: Presenter Nathan Kowalski, CFO, Anchor Investment Management and weekly financial columnist for

The Royal Gazette.

A few years ago, our young grandson solemnly assured me that when his Mummy needed to buy him “toys and things”, she just went to the money machine and it gave her money. Children have trouble connecting the dots between what a job (human labour) represents, what a pay cheque means, and whether or not there actually would be enough money in the money machine.

Children learn what they live, and are intelligently-quick in their formative years at adapting to their world. Parents not only have the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a child emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically, but they must somehow (implicitly) teach through their every day actions, their value system. The imparting of financial life lessons is never, ever an easy task, often complicated by differences in each parent’s money attitudes, saving or spending habits, job responsibilities, and their own parents (grandparents) perspectives on managing money. Statistically, we know that building good money management habits early in life will help that individual save successfully throughout his/her adult life.

Come and hear Nathan Kowalski present a money manager’s expert perspective on “Teaching Our Children How to Save.”

Wednesday: Presentation Presenter Leslie Robinson, “The Role of the Bermuda Monetary Authority for the Layman”.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is the integrated regulator of the financial services sector in Bermuda. Established under the Bermuda Monetary Authority Act 1969, the BMA supervises, regulates and inspects financial institutions operating in or from within the jurisdiction. It also issues Bermuda’s national currency; manages exchange control transactions; assists other authorities in Bermuda with the detection and prevention of financial crime; and advises the Government and public bodies on banking and other financial and monetary matters.

And these tasks are only some of the services that the BMA provides to our country. Attend this presentation to learn more about how the Authority works diligently to protect our interests and stellar reputation in the world of international finance.

Thursday: Presentation “Investing 101: Zuri Darrell, relationship manager, Butterfield Asset Management”.

Readers have often mentioned to me over the 13 years of the Moneywise financial articles that they do not want to invest, or that they are not comfortable with their investments. They feel intimidated because the topics are complicated, and not easy to understand.

My answer has always been that the investment knowledge is there, it is available, but in order to understand, you have to start with the basics. Then set a regular goal schedule to learn everything you can about your invested personal finances. Your pension is invested in capital markets, unless you designated cash only. Your employer’s firm probably owns and trades stocks. Three of Bermuda’s four financial institutions’ shares are publicly traded on stock exchanges. If you don’t know what you own in investments, how will you know where you are going, financially?

Thursday’s presentation is another great opportunity to learn the basics of investing with Zuri Darrell.

Saturday: “Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay”, produced by filmmaker Bermuda’s own Lucinda Spurling and the Coalition for the Protection of Children, will shown at the library at 11am and 2pm. In personal interviews and narratives, the Bermuda documentary explores the widening gap between the wealthy and poor with families struggling to provide bare necessities, while crime continues to increase in the community.

Bermuda, this is your library, established for you. You paid for it. Use it — as much as you can. Come and meet the dedicated staff — they are committed to serving the knowledge generation.

Money Smart Week, April 20-27 at the Bermuda Library.

Don’t forget.

Compliments of Martha Harris Myron for the Bermuda Library First Annual Money Smart Initiative.

The final article on Young Women and Their Money will be featured Saturday, May 4.

Martha Harris Myron CPA PFS CFP (USA) JP is a Bermudian journalist and cross border financial planning specialist. Email her at martha.myron@gmail.com

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and not The Royal Gazette.

This article is intended for general educational purposes only and cannot be used for specific individual tax, investment, or retirement advice, nor can this article be relied upon for any personal financial planning purposes.

Money Smart Week at the Bermuda library, starts today. The week-long initiative will feature documentaries and guest speakers. Money Smart Week aims to help individuals and families make better financial decisions.

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Published April 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm)

You can benefit from Money Smart Week

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