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Here is a wonderful opportunity for Bermuda residents to enhance your financial literacy with the CFA Society Bermuda.

For the second year, the CFA Society Bermuda in partnership with Bermuda College is to offer a four-session series on building financial literacy.

Robin Masters, CFA, the series co-ordinator, said: “Our informal surveys tell US that people's biggest financial worries tend to be around managing debt, concern about not having enough money to live comfortably in retirement, coping with education expenses and generally trying to figure out how best to have some money left over at the end of the month.

“Everyone, regardless of their age and income level, shares these same concerns.”

She added: “We believe that financial literacy education is the best way to help people overcome their fears about money and help alleviate concerns associated with financial insecurity.

“There is no shortage of financial literacy content to be read in the local news and online. However, in our course, which we designed specifically for Bermuda, we take the basic concepts and explain them using real-life practical examples that people can then apply to their own personal circumstances.”

Classes begin September 30 and will run for four consecutive weeks. The cost to take part in the series is $80, and registration is now open. Details can be found on the Pace website https://www.college.bm/pace.

There are numerous reasons to consider taking this course series:

1, Bermuda CFAs (chartered financial analysts) are volunteering their time to help you

Who are these amazing finance professionals? Chartered financial analysts are the most highly respected finance professionals in the world, more than 167,000 worldwide with more than 100 charterholders in Bermuda alone, comprising both Bermudian-grown superb CFA talents and guest workers.

The CFA certification awarded by the American-based CFA Institute is highest level of global legal and regulatory recognition of finance-related qualifications. The designation entails hard work and a consistent commitment to excellence, generally four years and successfully passing three tough qualifying exams.

CFA professionals understand finance from the very basic budget and savings concepts to incredibly sophisticated levels of finance, law, and economics.

These are the very people who work in the management of pensions (even yours), mutual funds, investment portfolios, economics, corporate finance, statistics, and much more. CFAs work incredibly hard, long hours managing and protecting your money.

Years ago, seeing investment staff members knocking off right after lunch at a local bank, dumbly, I asked, “how come you lot leaving so early?” The reply, “we've been here since midnight investment trading Asia time zones. We're done for the day.” Embarrassment!

2, An incredibly reasonable learning experience

Four classes at $20 per class is so affordable and convenient. Many of US spend more than that each day on lunch, parking, and just getting to the job.

According to The Royal Gazette article, using Zoom and the Bermuda College's remote-teaching environment, all classes will be delivered online. No rushing up to the campus, finding a babysitter, anxiety about social-distancing exposure, or the other distractions at end of the day that can torpedo good intentions.

Further, you've been provided a tailored curriculum that specifically addresses our local environment, not any of our neighbours, or fact-laden investment books that while interesting can be incredibly tedious, and are not applicable to our time and our financial needs.

As Ms Masters said: “However, in our course, which we designed specifically for Bermuda, we take the basic concepts and explain them using real-life, practical examples that people can then apply to their own personal circumstances.”

3, Increasing your finance knowledge to better manage your own finances

In turn, it allows you to utilise this new knowledge in the workplace. You can become a more competent, confident employee and a better contributor to your community.

4, Bermuda is a premier international finance centre

Where else in the world could you find a tiny island with 60,000 inhabitants and four banks that offer all locals foreign exchange transactions in up to nine currencies (for instance), while touting an international and local stock exchange (BSX) that operates within, and hosts global investment products that compete with the best on the planet.

Bermuda needs every single one of us to continually upgrade our skills, particularly in finance and money management.

5, Education, both formal and informal is critical for any society to prosper

Recent OECD media headlines echo these facts as global Covid recovery statistics indicate that individuals with more formal and informal education are less likely to lose jobs, and more likely to continue on an upward job (and education) trajectory.

Google offers courses free online and recently announced Grow with Google OnAir — free virtual workshops, events and one-on-one coaching sessions to help you get the most out of digital tools and more.

Continuing learning is a matter of life survival in today's economic environment.

It is not enough to have an education (or even if you don't) you absolutely must continue to grow intellectually with knowledge upgrades. Keeping up, all the while utilising learning to move ahead in a career, is the way of the world.

Ms Masters shared highly positive notes from the first financial literacy course in 2019

At the conclusion of the course, previous participants shared that they had developed a budget, had adjusted their spending, and had started or increased the amount that was going towards savings.

Most importantly, after taking the class, they reported an increased level of confidence in their ability to manage their day-to-day expenses.

Ms Masters added: “Our goal is that people come away from our course having learnt new behaviours that become part of their overall lifestyle, that will better position them for the future.”

Take advantage of this marvellous opportunity to upgrade your financial knowledge, take control of your personal financial planning, and to position you and your family for increased financial success in the future.

Financial literacy series returns at college. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y49ngf7u

Martha Harris Myron, CPA JSM, a native Bermudian, is creator of Pondstraddler Life Financial Perspectives, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Bermuda, and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette, Bermuda. All proceeds from these articles are donated by The Royal Gazette to the Salvation Army, Bermuda

Giving assistance: the CFA Society Bermuda in partnership with Bermuda College is to offer a four-session series on building financial literacy (Photograph by Pixabay)

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Published September 12, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 11, 2020 at 9:53 pm)

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