Advice group in fight to boost financial literacy



From
Peita Diamantidis

Peita Diamantidis

A leading financial planning firm has joined the Australian government in the fight to boost the financial literacy of Australians, as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission prepares to release the government’s National Financial Literacy Strategy for 2014-17.

Sydney-based financial planning firm Caboodle Financial Services has developed a range of educational tools which will be launched on May 1 and features a new book called Finance Action Hero: Basic Training

The book forms part of the Zaptitude range of consumer products, which includes seminars and coaching clinics, smart phone apps, webcasts and a support group made up of financial planners, bloggers and ordinary people called the Zaptitude Tribe.

According to Peita Diamantidis, author of Finance Action Hero: Basic Training and managing director of Caboodle Financial Services, financial advisers are in a unique position to help raise the financial knowledge and skills of Australians, and positively influence their attitudes and behaviour when it comes to money.

“So many people we encounter as advisers work hard and earn good money yet they have nothing to show for it,” she said.

“They need to be compelled, prodded, zapped and stirred into action but the minute they decide to try and take control of their finances, they’re overwhelmed by all the information out there. They know they should do something but like a deer in headlights, they’re mesmerized by the oncoming catastrophe. They simply don’t know where to start.”

The Zaptitude range is one small part of the solution, Diamantidis said, urging other advisers to get involved with financial literacy initiatives including the national program, which is set to be unveiled imminently.

In 2013, ASIC undertook an extensive public consultation process to review the existing financial literacy strategy which was set in 2011. A new and updated strategy is currently in draft form and is expected to be released soon.

“Zaptitude is the ability or knack to sort out one’s money stuff and it is the cure for financial paralysis, which more than 50 per cent of Australian adults suffer from according to our proprietary research,” Diamantidis said.

The firm’s research also found two thirds of Australians don’t understand the messages being communicated by the financial services industry.

Diamantidis said her book was a training manual not another personal finance title focused on investing.

“Financial literacy and Zaptitude is about helping people get their financial house in order and meeting people where they are at,” she said. “We want to provide full encouragement and inspiration to people and keep pushing them along.”

Finance Action Hero will be available at selected retailers and online at Amazon, iTunes and www.zaptitude.me .

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