Allianz Malaysia helps children to improve money management skills
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Allianz Malaysia understands that money management skills are important for young people. By learning how to manage money from a young age, children can become more financially responsible adults in future. With this in mind, Allianz Malaysia introduced the My Finance Coach programme in 2012.
“My Finance Coach aims to improve the financial understanding among children aged between 11 and 18 years. Familiarising this age group with financial issues will help them make sound financial decisions now and in the future”, said Ng Siew Gek, Head of Allianz4Good of Allianz Malaysia.
A survey by Dr. Mohamad Fazli Sabri, Head of Resource Management and Consumer Research Department, Human Ecology Faculty of University Putra Malaysia (“UPM”) revealed that even children are already starting to provide and ask for loans amongst each other. The survey revealed that children seem to have low understanding on differentiating between needs and wants. My Finance Coach addresses this very issue from the core1.
Under the My Finance Coach programme, employee volunteers trained as Finance Coaches pair up to conduct class visits in schools and non-profit organisations. Classes are interactive and engaging, where children learn about topics such as the importance of differentiating between needs and wants, the history and evolution of money and basic investment options. By using real life examples, economics and money management is taught in a way that children can relate to.
“My Finance Coach provides teaching materials prepared in Germany under the guidance of economics and education experts. These materials are adapted for the local context, and our employees are specially trained as Finance Coaches to conduct financial literacy classes in schools and non-profit organisations. In Malaysia, we now have over 200 Finance Coaches to teach young Malaysians basic money management skills such as shopping according to their needs and wants,” added Ng.
The idea of setting up My Finance Coach sparked in Germany following the 2009 financial crisis. A survey which was conducted there indicated that young people had poor awareness of financial matters. As financial knowledge and expertise is one of Allianz’s core competencies, harnessing this knowledge as part of its corporate responsibility initiatives seemed the right thing to do. Thus, the non-profit My Finance Coach foundation was set up by partner companies Allianz, Grey and McKinsey in 2010. Just over a year later, My Finance Coach was recognised as a project under UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. As a not-for-profit foundation, My Finance Coach is totally independent of the corporate strategies of the three partners; serving as a rational expression of Allianz’s desire to be a proactive member of society.
My Finance Coach in Malaysia is implemented under the Allianz4Good banner of Allianz Malaysia which has taken up many positive initiatives in giving back to the society. In just a short time, My Finance Coach in Malaysia has cooperated with various partners who helped to enhance the programme. My Finance Coach works with the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (“FOMCA”) and Bank Negara Malaysia to boost the expansion of the programme nationwide. It also collaborates with Dr. Mohamad Fazli Sabri of Universiti Putra Malaysia to localise and adapt the modules for Malaysian students.
“Although we have conducted 117 classes and reached out to 4,600 students so far, we are looking forward to holding even more classes and educating more young people. We hope that through the My Finance Coach programme, we can help to create well-informed children who can handle their money prudently and hopefully, continue to do so into adulthood,” concluded Ng.
“Kanak-kanak sudah pandai berhutang?”, Harian Ekspress KK, Page 9, 30 October 2014