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Financial literacy is best served fresh

On this episode

What would you do differently ten years ago if you had understood your finances the way you do now? Budgeting has such a big impact on people’s lives, yet we rarely talk about it and it is still not part of the school curriculum. In this episode, host Nina Mohanty chats with CEO of P.F.C., Sweden’s first neo bank, Kevin Albrecht and Conversation of Money founder and financial expert Peter Komolafe about the value of budgeting, saving, and investing.


Kevin Albrecht

Kevin Albrecht

Cofounder & CEO, P.F.C.

Kevin heads up Sweden's first neobank, P.F.C. He has 20 years of experience in software engineering, product management, and leadership, including 10 years in finance. Before starting at P.F.C., Kevin led teams and products in fintech including at Klarna and Rikskortet. Kevin also mentors startups at the Founder Institute.

Peter Komolafe

Peter Komolafe

Founder, Conversation of Money

Peter has been on a journey from foster care and being homeless to the executive team of a multinational Fortune 100 company in Canary Wharf. He is qualified as a Financial Adviser, Mortgage Adviser and has held key roles at RBS, MetLife, St James Place and Investec Wealth & Investment. Peter now runs a financial education YouTube channel, highlighting why financial education is so important for today's society.


Nina [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to another episode of Architects of Change brought to you by Mambu, the cloud banking platform, to help you evolve your business. I'm your host, Nina Mohanty, founder of Bloom Money. In this episode, we will be discussing financial literacy and all the things you should be thinking about when it comes to understanding its importance and how it can impact your life. This is our second regional episode of the series pivoted around Europe, the Middle East and Africa, known to most of us in the fintech industry as EMEA. So we'll be using several examples from these areas that relate to the subject. One of our brilliant guests, who's in a perfect position to help with this is Kevin Albrecht, CEO of PFC, which is also Sweden's first neo bank. And I'm delighted to say we're also joined by the founder of Conversation of Money financial expert and influencer Peter Akomolafe. Thanks for joining us, guys.

Nina [00:01:07] So for those of you listening who may not know. Financial literacy is very, very popular to talk about at the moment. It feels like it's on everyone's lips. Everyone is building businesses around it. But in short, when we're talking about financial literacy, we're talking about a set of skills that apply to one's personal financial management, budgeting, saving and invest it and investing. And even those pesky little things like tax. So Peter, I want to start with you. What trends are we seeing around the world at the moment that show that we still need to aim to become more fluent when it comes to understanding financial literacy?

Peter [00:01:48] I think there's a few things in domestically here in the UK, and I guess this will be prevalent across the western world as well. Simple money management. We're in the middle of a cost of living crisis right now. And one of the biggest, I guess, concerns that I finding with people is how do I make my pound my dollar to go a little bit further? And that hot back to the basic premise of money management being at the core and the foundation of all financial well-being is still very much a mess, and that is accentuated even more so now with the fact that all prices are going up, energy prices are going up. Inflation is an all time high, you know, so those are some of the things that I'm certainly noticing speaking to people that I work with and also within the media space as well. It's a very, very big concern right now.

Nina [00:02:38] Kevin, would you agree? Are these themes comparable to what you're seeing in Sweden or across Europe?

Kevin [00:02:44] I think so. I mean, financial self-confidence and understanding how what, how far your money is going to go is a constant problem. I think not just now, but obviously it's even worse now than it has been, or if more top people's minds now than it has been in a long time. I think that the thing that's the same is that people always want to understand their money, better understand how to use money better. And now it's just it's more of a it's more of a timely problem because of the increases in prices, things like that. So I definitely agree with Peter.

Nina [00:03:21] World events definitely shape the way that we end up thinking about our own money in our own pockets. So to start, I want to break down the topic with something that most of us have, which is a bank account often referred to as different things, depending on where you are in the world. I'm American born, so we call it a checking account in the UK. We call it a current account. But when we reach a certain age, we're very keen to open an account. And I remember that first trip to the bank where I opened my first ever bank account. I think many of us of a certain generation probably remember that. But what are the primary considerations we should be thinking about when it comes to different types of accounts and especially at this time in our lives? So Kevin, maybe you can lead us through that.

Kevin [00:04:12] There's obviously the kind of standard account you pay your bills from. In Sweden, we call it a salary account, anti-American myself. But living in Sweden, I've come to call it a salary account. But I think that one interesting thing that's happened because of fintech is that the the traditional set of accounts you had that everyone had 20 years ago, everyone over the salary account was your current account or checking account, and then you had a savings account and you may have had an account to do investments through. But now the concept of an account is much more vague is what is an account that you have with a with a debit card use to make international transactions with? So I think it's a lot more complex in some ways because the personal accounts you had aren't the same as they used to be, but at the same time. The accounts, or the equivalent to accounts will have options with no access to. They are they really solve a concrete problem much more directly. So I think modern companies are speaking more to consumers directly instead of saying, here's a whole bunch of complex financial products that you can choose amongst. We're saying we know a problem that you have. We're going to help you solve that problem and we're not. It doesn't matter what the count is called behind the scenes. But here's the problem we're going to solve for you.

Nina 1 [00:05:27] I really like that that solving a particular problem with a particular account. In fact, I was talking to a friend the other day and we were talking about how many bank accounts we have. And she was shocked to know that I have more than five, not least because I'm an American citizen. So I also have an American bank account, but I also have multiple here in the UK for different purposes. So Kevin, on your point about solving different problems, should we be considering specific criteria when we're opening these accounts? And what would you say are the benefits to thinking about this from your point of view in Sweden, as an American,

Kevin [00:06:07] as an American living abroad? There's a whole set of problems that I won't go into here. But basically, if you're an American living outside the U.S., you know, very complex financial life. But I think speaking to the average person who's not an American living abroad, I think that the. The choices you have are are are much greater now than ever before, and like I said, I think that the companies are speaking more towards your problem, right? So if you want to to invest in stocks now, you can choose an app that helps you invest in stocks and it's going to choose. It's going to basically guide you the process of finding the best, the best set of accounts to use, whereas before you might have had to have a financial advisor or a financial adviser to get these kinds of advice. Right now, these these there's apps that help you directly solve these problems without having to get a private financial advisor.

Nina [00:06:59] Now I want to switch gears and talk about that very taboo word, and I'm actually reading a book about money because I'm a very cool person. And in the book, they talk about the fact that the word debt is synonymous in many languages with the word for shame. I know this is true in Dutch, but I've heard similar things in other cultures as well in other languages. So that is an interesting thing because at least in the western world, many of our countries were built on debt. It's a fascinating part of financial services, and it continues to develop and change all the time. It is reborn in different ways. So Peter, I wanted to ask you about this because you're quite open about the fact that you dealt with your own debt when you were in your 20s. So what are the headlines when it comes to people understanding debt and why is it so important for us to have debt as a part of our financial vocabulary?

Peter [00:07:58] Yeah. So I think you're right. There's a lot of taboo shame stigma attached to the word debt all the way through my 20s. Halfway through my 30s, I was in debt overdrafts, personal loans, credit cards, you name it. I had it. And I think fundamentally, people need to understand the difference between good and bad debt. There is a good debt, there is toxic debt. Things like, you know, your credit cards, which are open ended credit facilities, that's bad debt. It takes a plan and discipline to be able to manage that appropriately. You've got things like overdrafts here in the UK, which has now become one of the most expensive forms of debt that you could possibly have that's tied into your checking account or your current account, your salary account and the apps for that all circa 40 percent here in the UK, it's insane. So people understand that as good debt and bad debt, so bad debt aside, good debt is things like mortgages, things that you can leverage acquire assets that will then grow in the future. Understanding the fundamental difference between the two is one thing, but I think with technology and we're talking about fintech here. Debt has become a mechanism that is easier for people to access. I mean, we've got buy now, pay later services here in the U.K. and across Europe. Klarna Clear Pay just mentioned a few. They play a role, but if they're not used responsibly, that becomes an issue. And fundamentally, I think we just spoke a little bit about financial literacy and the ability for you to understand what you have coming in and going out. If I look back over my journey, I got into debt because I had very, very poor financial controls. I would earn money to spend it and because something would then come up, I haven't got it any more money. So I need to go borrow something. And because I don't have a stable or strong financial footing with budgeting, well, I've got to be paid back that one debt that I've just taken out. I don't have enough money to do that. So now I go to another one and it's a big, big cycle. And I think, you know, it's quite a complex subject to approach, but it's an important one that we need to have an open conversation about. But it really does come back to the point of if we have that basic foundation in place around budgeting, debt becomes avoidable a bit later on.

Nina [00:10:15] So you mentioned Klarna and I want to I want to bring this up because Kevin and I are both alums of Klarna. So we're seeing huge innovations in the way that debt is lent out these days. And I personally believe there's nothing new under the Sun because I remember back in the day going to the department store and it was called layaway back then. So, you know, we buy a new washing machine and we put on layaway or a bicycle for Christmas, and you would pay towards that thing and then buy it at Christmas in small instalments. We've kind of flipped the script now, and you do have these buy now, pay later players like Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, Clear, etc.. So Kevin, how have how have these companies changed the way that we use debt today?

Kevin [00:11:05] I think the most visible way they've changed how we use debt is that, like you mentioned to yourself, the way that these kind of debts for making purchases to happen was done through the the store you went to to buy things right. So the store had some kind of agreement with a credit provider to give people credit and. These modern companies are going directly to consumers and helping the average person get get loans. It can be better in some ways because it means that the customer is the one who is working directly with the credit provider, which means they can get more direct information. But there's also a risk, of course, that it can be. It's easier to to to misuse as well because it's not as closely connected to the the store which you bought it at, right? So this becomes really important that the US, as people in the finance industry, treat customers smartly and respectfully and don't give out bad debt debt that is guaranteed to put someone in a position that cannot pay back. I think when fintech companies in these modern finance companies do it well, they're really transparent with pricing and help help consumers understand the cost of these kinds of tools better than they would have previously. So some companies show dollar amounts or, you know, the money amount you're actually paying in fees instead of a percentage because it's really hard for anyone to understand what has in the eye of sixteen point seven percent interest rates. But it's much easier understand, Oh, I need to pay twenty five dollars per month on paying back this, right? So I think there's ways to be much more transparent with customers. It can help reduce the the chance of going into a situation you can't get out of.

Nina [00:12:44] Absolutely. And it is something that, you know, we see people in general misconstrue that this is free money and it's just widely available. And therefore, you know, perhaps I don't actually need to pay it back. And I'm quite open about the fact that I myself landed myself in a bit of debt when I was in my uni days, you know, just kind of going, well, zero percent Apr without reading the small print that said for the first 12 months. So this is something that we see often and you alluded to Kevin about, maybe we need to be more transparent in the way that we approach this as we're building these products within the financial services industry.

Peter [00:13:22] I will add on to that, Nina, that I think when we think about debt, I think there's a parallel conversation to be had around credit scores and credit ratings because obviously, as you know, financial services institutions, the credit rating is your digital footprint as an individual around your financial behaviour and your financial record. And I think for anyone looking at debt or looking to use debt, it's really, really important that they understand what that does for your credit rating. Because when you start to make more important decisions on a financial footing later on in life, like buying your first property or getting on the property ladder, looking at raising capital, all those kind of things, your credit rating really comes to play. So how debt and your credit rating interact is a really interesting dynamic for people to explore as well.

Nina [00:14:11] And definitely one that people might not be aware of, either. So one of the things that I think we can all agree on is we'd all like more money. But one way we can do this and accumulate more money, perhaps, is by reframing the way we look at our existing money. And by that, I mean by budgeting. So, Peter, I know this is something you're very passionate about. Why is budgeting so important when it comes to managing and eventually saving your money?

Peter [00:14:41] For me, I get really passionate about this. People say budgeting is the B-word. It's so boring, but really it is the foundation to everything. So within what I do, the biggest question and the most common question that I often get is, you know, I want to be able to use my money to make more money and generate an income and so on and so forth. I'm like, OK, that's great. Social media gets us into this mindset about using income to create wealth, to invest that kind of stuff. Fifteen years ago, these conversations weren't happening when I was in my 20s. No way. Right. So we moved into a new era now, but I always say to people that, you know, it's foundations, right? If you look at the Shard in London, any big skyscraper is built on solid foundations. Your budgeting is the solid foundation that allows you to move on and actually invest and do things that generate more income. But fundamentally, it's it's important to have in place to begin with because if you can't get that right and this is the funny thing one ought to be to twentysomethings these days, you know, they talk about, you know, I only own a small amount of money, so it's difficult for me to budget. And I'm like, I can probably say this with a little bit of experience in life now, but that doesn't change if you earn twenty five thousand pounds a month. It's exactly the same thing. It's the small amounts that matter and what you do with a small amount and creating habits. Financial habits are really, really, really important. And I could be as simple as, you know, sitting down, understand what you've got coming in, going out. If you do have disposable income investing or saving 10 percent of that or 20 percent of that, it might only be two three pounds to start off with. But as you earn more, that 20 percent becomes a bigger number. So the habits are really important to

Nina [00:16:22] to build a cycle so obvious. We're not here to give anyone financial advice. Absolute disclaimer on that or, you know, necessarily advice on how to budget, but there are a lot of tools these days, so I know that you've personally reviewed a lot of them. Peter, where is a good place to start when there's so many options available?

Peter [00:16:43] So for me, if we look at an app specifically, there's a number of and there's a whole host of them out there. I always go for something that I guess is easy from an interface point of view to actually use a lot of these apps will now allow you to plug in things like your current account, your checking account, and it would do the analysis for you. So it would tell you you're spending money in this area, that area, and because people don't often look at how they're spending money, it's funny. I just finished filming a show for Channel four here in the UK and we went in to have a look at people's spending habits. And when I sit there and go through their budget and say, Did you know that on a monthly basis, you spend 24 percent? I had a couple that spent 44 percent of their monthly earnings on just shopping takeaways and just luxuries. And when you sit someone down and actually point that out, it's a real shock and surprise. So these apps that have these interfaces where you can tie in your bank account and it does that analysis for you, I guess, is the first place for me to start. Obviously, you have to understand and be able to decipher that information. But for me, that's the first first port of call. What are the functionalities? First and foremost, do they give you the tools to be able to understand what each of those things mean and the ones that are able to give you, you know, a few nudges suggestions because nudges are always very, very important around how you can perhaps work towards shifting and changing that behaviour. The habit is always a good,

Nina [00:18:11] good feature to have. I mean, I'm a pen and paper kind of girl, so I'm smart and I work in fintech, so I'm still drawn to that.

Peter [00:18:19] I use Excel

Nina [00:18:20] sheets. Oh my gosh, an excel sheet is my dream. But obviously there's so many more options now. We talked about budgeting, Peter. You're also very, very passionate about investing. In fact, you've dedicated your life's work to getting more people investing. So what do we need to know when it comes to being financially literate in terms of investing? Because I think, you know, we've talked about this a lot. Everyone wants more money, and there's so many options now to invest in various things. You've got a lot of people who are kind of shilling. These get rich quick programmes. For me, I was I always go back to what my grandmother said. There's no such thing as get rich quick, but there's so many people offering that today. So what does it mean to be financially literate in terms of investing?

Peter [00:19:06] I think the first thing is to ensure that you understand the language. So what? One of the biggest frustrations that I find consistently every day is this interchangeability between the use of the words investing and trading that was in Wolter part, a universe apart. But they're used interchangeably and people believe that they're the same thing. You know, if you look at trading, that's one skill set. Investing is a completely different thing. You know you're investing for the long term. You're buying companies with the view that the companies are going to be worth more in five, 10, 15 years time, whereas with trading is very much that short term. So understanding the language first and foremost is really, really important. My background is I'm a qualified financial advisor, so I've I've worked with people to build investment portfolios and some of the things that we would go through as fundamental building blocks to get people started on the investment journey is understanding book. What are you and intending to invest for? There has to be a reason behind that. So for many young people, it is well, I want to get on the property ladder, so I need to save for a deposit or invest towards a deposit. The next question is, OK, now that we know that, that's clear, what does that look like in terms of your timeframe? Are we looking at a three year period of five year period is a seven year period and understanding based on what period or timeframe you're working with, what options you have now, obviously the market are very, very volatile, and this is something again that goes amiss on social media. The downside to the markets aren't highlighted anywhere near enough. You can make money. This stock will 10x 100x. That's the kind of stuff that you see all the time. I've got over 200 videos on my channel at the moment, why I tell people this kind of stuff and the amount of messages that I've got, particularly now where the markets are quite volatile, where people come back and say, You know, I started investing eight months ago. A goldfish could have made money in the stock market over the last 18 months because it wasn't going up. And they have this realisation to say, Well, actually, I didn't think that the market could turn this quickly. Now I'm sitting on the loss and I really don't know what to do, and they're in that position because they weren't prepared for the potential downsides. So understanding your time frame is really, really key because that then dictates how you invest in. What you invest in, so understanding these fundamental steps are the building blocks to have any successful investment journey. I do what I do now because one of the things that I I would like to get people to avoid is having a bad experience, particularly being the first one that they invest today. More like, I lost 10 20 per cent, so therefore I never want to invest again. You know, these building blocks, they sound boring. They sound old man. But they are fundamental logical steps that we all need to consider.

Kevin [00:21:54] That was really true to me, said about the trading versus versus investing. I also heard a called speculating. It's like, Are you investing for long term? Are you? Are you playing a game? Are you gambling? And they're very different kinds of activities, right? I've actually watched several your videos, Peter and I really liked them. I learnt a lot from himself. One thing I was thinking about is how social media right now is doing a lot in this space, both positive and negative. You have people who are advocating safe and well, well thought out ways of investing. But a lot of the glitzy things, the shiny things that you see on social media are talking about these speculative trading promises of one hundred and 100 x 10x.

Peter [00:22:36] What they do, though, is actually quite interesting. They feed into human psychology and that fear of missing out. They lead with that quite a lot. And it takes, I guess, a certain level of disturbance to be able to identify it. It's done very, very cleverly, very, very subtly. It's tying into social media themes into people's interest based on what they're seeing on social media. And I've seen all of this change very briefly. It used to be very, very blatant. Now it's very subtle. They give you the risk warning. They use phrases like, you know, your money could be at risk here. So that tune in into the language that someone like myself would actually use in their shift in and tweaking their message. But fundamentally, it's still the same thing underneath. And my fear is that for particularly for young people who are easily influenced by this kind of stuff because, you know, social media will have people think that if you're not a millionaire, you then you're you're failing in life for some reason. And it's like, it's not about the money, necessarily. It's what you actually want you because people are telling you you need a million quid because it might buy this kind of lifestyle. The reality is, you probably don't need that amount of money if you really think about what it is that you want. So I think the landscape is changing. It's an interesting space. But certainly, when you talk about investing, people need to be mindful that you almost need to have eyes in the back of your head because it is. It is a jungle out there.

Nina [00:24:02] I'm going to pick up a thread that you mentioned just there, Peter, about younger people in social media. We've seen, you know, there's many companies, many people out there talking about financial literacy, but we're also increasingly seeing young people, particularly, you know, young millennials, because actually millennials span a whole host of ages. But young millennials Gen Z supplement their incomes with side hustles. People have Depop stores where they're, you know, churning out vintage clothing. They're doing illustrations and selling them on Etsy. Or, you know, everyone's got something beyond their nine to five. And so does this actually mean that the younger generation is more financially literate and that they have more income streams? Or that they're less worried about finance because they think they have more, more streams of income? Kevin, I'm curious for your thoughts on this in particular because I know that you're looking at this at PFC.

Kevin [00:25:07] I think what you said is is very true about how people are trying to find good information and they're in this situation now where they're living very different lifestyles than their parents lived, right? And they both have different ways of earning money. They also have a different set of tools in which to live their financial life through. So, you know, our parents' generation, they had one bank, probably. And if they needed to get advice, they would go to a physical location of their bank and pay a financial advisor, giving them some advice. And now that's not the way that people, anyone under, let's say, forty five isn't doing that anymore, right? They are getting their advice through apps or through TikTok or YouTube to the good and bad. Right. And I think with that with these apps can do and what if we do it well as we can help people spend intentionally like spend the way that they want to spend versus being pulled to spend things like do they want to spend money on buying coffee every day? That's OK, if that's what they actually want to do or they just find themselves surprised, Oh, I spent this much money on coffee this this this month and can't afford to pay my my the credit card bill I have. Coming in now. So I think it's I think what all of these kinds of apps can do is help people spend intentionally and that can be budgeting as part of that. Ways of visualising your how you spend your money, bringing them good information, trustworthy information, too.

Nina [00:26:40] It's interesting that you brought up tick tock because I'm friends with a founder who actually has built a business which allows young people are not just young people. Anyone on tech talk to basically get cash back. So if they like wear a pair of Nike airs in a TikTok video, they can get cashback on that purchase. And so we're actually seeing revenue streams come from all sorts of directions. But what really fascinates me is sometimes probably more often than I'd like to admit. I go down the rabbit hole on TikTok or I'm scrolling through Instagram. And the way that we talk about money is so different now, and that's something that is both good and bad. So we are probably more open about money. You know, Peter and I in this episode alone have discussed our own debt. But then there's also the language that some people use where you see some very dangerous things like we've discussed about, you know, get rich quick 100x your investment. You know, I've seen videos where people are like, Well, it's really easy, buy low, sell high. And you know, they're not talking about the fact that this doesn't always go up and what happens with your capital gains taxes and everything like that. And so, Peter, you know you you spoke earlier about language, and I think that's a really important thing for us to hammer home here, which is the language of this matters. But but is the language actually evolving? And do we need to evolve with it so that it's more accessible so more people can be financially literate? Or should we be still quite strict in the way that we speak about things in the language that we use for such a highly regulated industry?

Peter [00:28:24] So this is the beautiful thing about fintech and apps. I mean, I've spent 16 years working in financial services, opening bank accounts for people in retail banking. Working with businesses in corporate banking. Then last eight years in wealth management. Where we were is no longer where we are. But unfortunately, the bulk of financial services is stuck in where we were. And if you really think about it, you know, back in my day, if I wanted to begin investing, I needed five, ten thousand pounds. I needed to go to the bank to find a financial adviser to invest for me. That is no longer the norm. You can invest with an app with £1 if you want to. You can set up monthly. It's easy access accessibility so easy. However, this generation right now is the first generation right that has this unprecedented access to the stock market, but not just the stock market. Crypto Web3 Metaverse, right? The tools and the options are boundless right now, and we're moving. It feels as though we're moving into a completely different era. And I think the language needs to be adaptable to where we are right now. And as an industry, yes, we are highly regulated. Regulation is well behind, particularly when you start looking at things like crypto and the application to where that is. I mean, I think if you look at it from a governmental point of view internationally now, governments are acknowledging that they have to make some strides towards finding out how crypto, cryptocurrency and crypto assets can integrate with our industry. I mean, just look at the applications when it comes to defy the idea that you could buy a house. Potentially you buy an NFT for the mortgage so you don't have to do conveyancing fees and legal fees. It's huge. But he has to be able to plug in. And so the language needs to evolve, it needs to be adaptable moving forward. And currently the financial services currently isn't quite yet up to date. So we have to do a lot of work there.

Nina [00:30:25] I think about my own parents are both immigrants and, you know, from Asian culture. We just never spoke about money. It was just absolutely taboo. And it's something where it was like, you know, we're not going to talk about what we have, how much we have, where it is. And now it's only as my parents have gotten older where they're realising, Oh, actually, we probably need to point out where things are and how much there is and that sort of thing. But it's so interesting that my friends and I are so much more open and will literally send each other funny tech talks about, you know, someone talking about negotiating their salary or, you know, being skint for those that don't know British slang being broke at the end of the month, right? I think it has move the dial for us to speak more openly about it and has given us more opportunity to learn should we want to. So aside from awareness, we're we're talking about financial literacy, but sometimes there is a barrier in access, right? And part of financial inclusion is actually being able to get to where you're trying to go. So, you know, you've both approaches in different ways in the way that you're approaching accessibility. Kevin, how how do we how does this topic fit in in terms of education for your customers, but also the industry and more broadly, everyone within this ecosystem?

Kevin [00:31:55] I think this is actually one of the the biggest advantages and changes of technology's bringing to finance is that, like I mentioned before, in the past, when you wanted to find financial advice, you had to go to a physical location or hire someone, a real person to help you out. And that means it's very expensive and not affordable for the average person or a big barrier just to just mentally to try and do that. But what we have now with these technology tools let anyone get that kind of financial advice, maybe not as customised, but broadly available to everyone. I mean, every time you open up a budgeting app that tells you how much you spent on different things in a month, that's financial advice. Or or here's which set of mutual funds you should invest in. That's that's financial advice. And those things are a couple clicks away in an app versus a huge spending of money in the way it used to be done. So that's the big, big way that we can. These tools can bring inclusive financial advice to people.

Nina[00:32:55] And Peter, you've definitely taken a route for accessibility, which is really open to anyone that has access to the internet, right? You've got your YouTube channel, you've got your podcasts, you've got your courses. So how do you think about accessibility, not just for people who seek you out, but maybe more broadly?

Peter [00:33:15] When I approach this, I, I try to look at it from a number of different angles. So my podcasts, YouTube, people go seek me out, which means that there isn't a requirement or a need at the time. I think that's a certain subset of the population and people, and this is the problem, I guess, when you look at financial services. If you're seeking something out at the point when you need it, there's likely going to need, there's going to be some pressure in some way, shape or form at that point in time. I think in order for it to be more effective, you need two to zero out to really take a step step backwards. And I think that there are there's a couple of things that that could be done. First and foremost, education really, really important in schools. I mean, I can speak specifically to the UK curriculum. It's pretty much non-existent. The fix to this financial education issue with our schools is a relatively easy one to fix. You use fintech use technology to be able to deliver the curriculum in an engaging way for kids across different age groups and and peer groups, right? But that needs governmental change. That's slightly harder. The other angle that I look at is actually within the workplace, and there is a lot of research which has gone into this now to say, Well, where do people mostly spend most of their time? They spend most of their time working 9:00 to 5:00 at work. And what we do know is that people are one and a half times more likely to be looking for a new job. If they're under financial strain or financial pressure, they're more than likely not going to be able to finish that daily task if they have financial worries, financial stress, so on and so forth. So we know through absenteeism and presenteeism the cost that the the workforce, the private sector quite a bit of money on a yearly basis. So doing things within the workplace around financial well-being is a clear solution to that for years now in employee benefit schemes. We've had a lot about mental wellbeing. Well, mental wellbeing is impacted by poor financial well-being. So those two things have a clear connection and doing things more in the workplace around workshops, giving people the understanding of what does that pension contribution, that water improvement? What does that actually mean for your future, not just giving people the option to say this is what happened to me, even when I worked for IBS? We've got a pension. No explanation as to what it was. We can pay in this amount or we can give you the money. And me being 23 24, I thought, I'll take the money because it's beer money. I never understood what it was. Lo and behold, it's a defined benefit pension that I wish that I kept and I would have kept if I know what it was all about. So Workplace has a significant role to play around workshops, having information that is accessible to their employees, just around the basics, around financial well-being and as a whole. And I think the key areas are crucial.

Nina [00:36:14] I think this this brings us really nicely to the last question that I want to ask both of you in turn, and this is something that I ponder often because it's something I care a lot about, which is to say, and Peter, I'll start with you. Does financial literacy equate to financial freedom?

Peter [00:36:34] This is a really good question. It does, unfortunately. I mean, the thing with financial freedom is that it depends on your interpretation of it. Financial freedom from me will be very, very different to yours. Probably need and probably different to you, Kevin. So being able to have healthy financial literacy in terms of knowing how to spend your money, where to allocate it, how to manage it, that doesn't necessarily equate directly to financial freedom, but it is a key tool in the arsenal that you need in order to create financial freedom. It's one of those stepping stones to it, for sure.

Kevin [00:37:09] I agree with what Peter says. I look at it in a kind of a different way around is financial freedom. The having unlimited financial resources you don't need to work anymore or is it, which is probably an unrealistic goal for most people, obviously. Or is it about not worrying that you are unable to live a normal life? I think I think that to me, is a realistic goal toward financial literacy and new financial risk help you attain is not living paycheque to paycheque. So you're afraid bill to pay your bills, afraid to be able to eat or unable to buy a house if you need to buy a house, right? So I think it's about finding balance. I think that financial literacy can help you find that balance so that maybe your money's not going to give you complete freedom. Do you want to all the time? But does it give you the freedom to live your life the way you want to live it? And that's that, to me, is financial freedom, and I think that is attainable thing through financial literacy.

Nina[00:38:06] Well, we'll leave it on that note. Thank you both so much for joining us today.

Peter [00:38:10] Thanks for having us. Thank you.

Kevin [00:38:11] Thank you.

Nina [00:38:12] What a conversation. Today we have delved into. Financial literacy is a topic that I am personally so, so passionate about, but it was wonderful to share this conversation with Kevin and Peter and discuss what even is financial literacy. We talked about everything from bank accounts and debt and the way that debt manifests in different ways today, like in Buy Now, pay later options. But we also talked about financial well-being, about budgeting. And maybe if I can borrow from a great analogy. Agree that Peter had. He talks about building a great foundation for yourself to build wealth, and he talked about the Shard, which is a large skyscraper here in London, where, you know, a large building like that needs a strong foundation. And so financial literacy, as he put it, was the tools that help you build that strong foundation. And I think that's a great way for us to think about the importance of it in our everyday lives, the way that we manage our own money. But the way that we talk about money with our employees, with our friends, our colleagues and even our families. That brings us to the end of this regional architects of Change episode, which we hope you've enjoyed whilst adding to your knowledge around financial literacy. Thank you to our two brilliant guests, Kevin Albrecht and Peter Komolafe. If you wish to follow more of Kevin's work, please head to get PFC. Com. And for more information on Peter's work, please visit Conversation of Money Economy. For more Mabu podcasts, head to wherever you get your podcasts. I've been your host, Nina Mohanty. See you next time.

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