The effectiveness of seminars in educating adults in financial literacy
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Aiman Abousher, Bruce Clayton, Michael Kerry, Marc Olynyk
In Australia, financial literacy is not given prominence within the education system, and it is a general view that financial literacy is gained through ‘hands on’ experience in earning and spending money; further, financial education seems to occur only when people take a loan or experience financial difficulties (Hajaj, 2002). This is not sufficient if people need to make informed decisions about their investments and, because of a number of social factors, it has become necessary to educate the majority of the adult population in Australia in Financial Literacy over a relatively short period of time. Given the large numbers requiring such an education, the seminar approach is being widely used, however is it effective? Drawing on the adult education literature, this study examined the effectiveness of the seminar approach by surveying adult participants in a Financial Literacy seminar. The survey found that while a majority of participants (50%) expressed none or weak financial knowledge prior to attending the seminar and 45% expressed that they only had a moderate rate of financial knowledge, a majority of 63% strongly agreed or agreed to the seminar improving their knowledge of the need for retirement savings. Furthermore, 58% of participants were either confident or very confident of being able to apply what they learned in the seminar to achieving their retirement savings goal. These findings suggest that the seminar approach was effective in educating adults and improved their level of financial literacy. Future research could investigate whether the level of financial knowledge gained during the seminar is retained over a considerable period of time.