The need for effective financial planning information and guidance for all South Africans has never been greater than it is today, says Godfrey Nti, CEO of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI). He says many people still have the wrong perception that financial planning is the exclusive domain of the wealthy.
His comments come in the wake of on-going shocking statistics about the high levels of indebtedness among South Africans. They are even more opportune given that the Festive Season, which often sees too much credit-fuelled spending, is almost upon us.
“For our country to achieve the sustained economic growth and socio-economic upliftment of its people, all our citizens need to be equipped with the specific financial knowledge, understanding and tools to transform their current situation and create their own, self-sufficient and financially secure future. This is the challenge that the recently released FPI pro bono paper, Skills-based Volunteering: The mark of true professionalism, seeks to address.
To provide pro bono opportunities for professional financial planners the FPI has introduced the following key initiatives:
· MYMONEY123 – These basic financial literacy workshops are aimed at the broader South African community and offer individuals, employees and members of church or social groups the knowledge and tools they need to have a better understanding of their finances and a basic knowledge of how best to manage them from month to month.
· Financial Planning Clinics – This programme will be open to all South African consumers and involves one-on-one consultations with professional financial planners to offer guidance and information about any aspect of the individual’s finances or financial management.
· Student Career Days – FPI members have the opportunity to share their passion for financial planning as an equally rewarding profession with high school learners and students thus helping the profession to compete for talent.
The FPI is set to embark on a journey of community service –or pro bono work – which it considers an important component of true professionalism. The FPI believes the professional financial planning community, has a moral imperative to contribute to the upliftment of communities, families and individuals all across South Africa” added Nti. Beyond being a moral imperative, it also makes business sense to uplift communities.
This Pro Bono paper further explains that professional financial planners, given the financial training and insights, are equipped to not only offer remuneration-based financial planning expertise to those who want to increase or protect the wealth they already possess but also to offer hope and guidance to those who need to achieve even a small measure of personal financial empowerment.
In line with its mission to promote good financial planning among all South Africans, the FPI will use the upcoming Financial Planning Week, from 26 November to 30 November 2012 across the country. The main focus is to introduce professional financial planning to consumers. Many CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals have volunteered for free consultations with consumers during this week. A list of participating practices is available on the FPI website. This will afford consumers the opportunity to get free financial planning guidance from highly-qualified CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals, all volunteering their time and experience. They will meet with consumers to answer their questions about financial planning, the benefits of professional financial planning, and other related topics.
The FPI activities at shopping centres will be held on 24 – 25 November at the Waterfall Mall, Rustenburg; Cresta Shopping Centre, Randburg and at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, and Canel walk Shopping Centre, Cape Town The sessions will come to The Pavilion, Westville, on 1-2 December. In addition FPI will also conduct a few consumer Clinics with community groups, churches and employees who saw the benefits of independent financial education.
Employers and other community groups can contact the FPI if they want to celebrate Financial Planning Week by being part of a consumer clinic. For more information visit the FPI website www.fpi.co.za