While the country is starting the gruelling process of rebuilding our economy, and thousands of New Zealanders are feeling the financial pinch of Covid-19, it’s crucial that Kiwi students have greater access to financial education to ensure that we are more resilient in the future.
Kendall Flutey, CEO of five-year-old local start-up Banqer, says a large portion of the Covid-19 financial burden will be passed down to the next generation, and that we have a duty to financially educate New Zealand’s youth so they are fully equipped to make sound financial decisions in the future.
“Financial literacy has always been important but, given the huge disruption to our economy after the Alert Level Four lockdown, we need as many people as possible educated on how to recover, rebuild and strengthen our economy.
“Starting this education piece as early as possible means that when these young adults come to make essential financial decisions they are more prepared, confident, and can make better choices.
“We believe Banqer can be leveraged as a quality remote learning resource that teachers can use to introduce their students to new financial concepts. Their students can engage in these financial concepts in the simulation created by Banqer High, our recently launched online financial education platform for secondary schools, just like how they will in the real world.”
Since launch in February, Banqer High has been used by more than 5,000 students throughout secondary schools across the country, with ambitions to support 20,000 students to use the platform during 2020.
As schools around New Zealand grappled with remote learning challenges during lockdown, Banqer offered Banqer High to secondary schools free of charge until the end of May. This was alongside its flagship primary school platform, Banqer Primary, that could be accessed at no cost, thanks to Banqer Champion Partner, Kiwibank.
In response to the continued disruption caused by Covid-19, Banqer is working to ensure the platform remains financially accessible to secondary schools nationwide, with the Support Partner of the Banqer High Stock Exchange, Jarden, supporting 3,000 students at schools who couldn’t otherwise afford to access the platform, to do so for the remainder of 2020.
Banqer High builds on Banqer’s primary school platform, Banqer Primary, providing the opportunity to engage with an older cohort of students and present more complex financial concepts, such as investing in the stock exchange.
The Banqer High Stock Exchange (BHX), which is supported by investment and advisory group Jarden, has already seen almost 250 Kiwi students access the fictitious exchange to invest over $65,000 in various fictitious companies. Students gain a first-hand understanding of the realities of investing through simulating real investment activities. Students place buy/sell orders, earn dividends, face share price changes, and engage in IPOs.
Banqer COO, Simon Brown, believes that “through simulative experiences, like those the students get to experience on the BHX, students can not only increase financial literacy, but also develop their financial capability and confidence. After a term of investing on the BHX, students feel as though they are experienced investors. The leap to investing on the [real] markets isn’t daunting, it’s a natural next step.”
The future might belong to the youth, but apparently the share market does not. Local research shows that Kiwi investors over 60 are the group most likely to invest in shares, alongside those who felt knowledgeable about the share market.
On the contrary to reality, research also shows that the best time to invest is while you’re still young. With time on their side, an appetite for risk, and the ability to ride through market movements many Kiwis are missing out on the potential of the share market altogether, however Banqer and Jarden want to change that.
Jarden CEO James Lee says increasing access to financial education, at an earlier stage, will undoubtedly benefit all Kiwis across New Zealand in the long-term.
“Jarden is proud to support Banqer in equipping young people with the financial tools they need to succeed, now and into the future.
“The Banqer High Stock Exchange gives students the opportunity to build confidence with financial concepts. Investing time and effort now will pay off for students in the long-term, by allowing them to make an educated move into the real world of investing sooner.” - James Lee
Brown says through financial education Banqer believes New Zealand could see a radical shift in the face of investment, with more diverse people investing younger and more often, and will play a crucial part in our Covid-19 recovery.
“We’re here to ensure financial education is accessible to more Kiwis, acknowledging investor confidence and education as the first, and for some, the final barrier to investing. We see the next generation as the natural place to start this movement, and have been blown away by their appetite for the stuff.
“As a nation of DIYers, this philosophy holds true even when it comes to investing, however this approach can result in expensive lessons. Through financial education, in particular simulative financial education, students experience investing as they self-educate, which could translate into a more prosperous New Zealand in years to come.
“The extreme market volatility we have witnessed in the wake of Covid-19 reinforces the need to educate our young people so that they have a sound understanding of financial concepts and are well equipped to handle a broad spectrum of financial decisions in years to come.
“We want to help create a cohort of confident investors.”