VANCOUVER — You can do well in your practice by doing good.
That was the chief take-away of a Sunday afternoon workshop on financial literacy hosted by the Million Dollar Round Table at its 2010 annual meeting.
“Most young adults have little understanding about basic financial concepts and products, including life insurance,” said Michael Weintraub, who holds the Chartered Life Underwriter professional designation. “That’s reflected in the fact that 68 million Americans have no life insurance. And most people who are insured have far less coverage than expert thinks they should have.”
Enter the financial literacy program, a joint initiative of the MDRT, Park Ridge, Ill., and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Falls Church, Va. The two organizations have endorsed a curriculum, dubbed Smart Money, that was developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., for financial literacy outreach.
The Smart Money program consists of 10 teaching modules, each with a prepared 1-hour script, presentation and suggested exercises for the class, as well as participant hand-outs to ease the presentation of the material. Most of the modules have separate versions for both young adults and adults.
Among the 10 Money Smart Modules are Bank On It, which covers available banking services and how to build a positive relation with a financial institution; Borrowing Basics, which shows how credit works and how to determine readiness to apply for credit; and Money Matters, which shows students how to prepare a personal spending plan and indentify ways to decrease spending and increase income.
A central aim of the program, said the workshop speakers, is to bring young adults up to speed on key financial concepts and risk-based products, including life, disability income and long term care insurance; and to learn how to manage money responsibly.
Advisors participating in the joint program are trying to achieve that aim by bringing the FDIC literacy modules to the communities they serve. A number of producers, for example, are presenting the material to teenagers in high schools and colleges. In most cases, the audience is largely uninformed.