When asked if they could come up with $2,000 for an unexpected expense within 30 days, some 48% of millennials said probably not, according to new research from the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) by George Washington University.
Another 30% of those with bank accounts had overdrawn their account in the prior 12 months.
“What young adults don’t know about money can hurt them,” said Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE.
With the help of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board, Cassidy Little plans to change that by first educating herself and then helping others.
“Finances is an area where people need the most assistance but financial literacy is a luxury in this country and almost a secret,” Little told Newsmax Finance.
The 19 year old originally enrolled at Delaware State University (DSU) in Dover to be a social worker but two years later, she plans to combine a degree in social work with the certified financial planner (CFP) designation.
DSU is among more than 360 programs at some 225 educational institutions nationwide that the CFP Board partners with to offer financial planning as a minor.
“The mission of the CFP Board is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning,” said Mike R. Greene, CFP®, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.
In May, five are expected to graduate from DSU with a minor in financial planning and will have met the education requirement for the CFP® Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board.
“I felt that I had to do something to increase awareness of career opportunities in the financial planning specialty,” said Nandita Das who launched the pilot program in September 2016. “There are already five students signed up from the university’s various degree programs like social work and business administration that start in the fall of 2017.”
Das, who works as a financial advisor at Waddell & Reed in the greater Philadelphia area and also as a professor at DSU, is among the concerned industry professionals who are worried about a severe talent fall-off that’s incurring in the financial services industry overall. She’s launching an open house called Doors Open at DSU on March 17 to raise awareness in the Longwood Auditorium of the Bank of America (BOA) Building in Dover.
“If we don’t do something now to groom younger workers, in ten to 15 years there won’t be enough people available because currently there’s not enough young workers in the pipeline,” said Monica Ningen, chief property underwriter with Swiss Re Americas.
Like Little, Raven Wainwright switched her minor to financial planning after discovering the curriculum existed at DSU. Originally, she was pursuing a degree in finance with a minor in banking.
“I didn't want to be behind a desk dealing with stocks all day, which is analytical,” said Wainwright who moved from Philadelphia to study in Delaware. “I switched my minor to financial planning because I have a people oriented personality. With a financial planning specialty, I will be more likely to deal with the public and their finances on a daily basis.”
After Wainwright graduates in May, the 23 year old plans to take the CFP exam.
“I am really happy with the direction that this financial planning course of study is taking me,” Wainwright told Newsmax Finance. “Last summer, I interned with my state senator in Philadelphia, where researched how to incorporate financial literacy into the Philadelphia school district curriculum and I was offered a job at Vanguard Investments that starts in June.”
Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York.
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