AUK Associate Professor of Finance Hosts Webinar on Financial Education for Youth
Dr. Wafaa Sbeiti, Associate Professor of Finance at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), hosted a webinar in collaboration with Kuwait Banking Association to discuss the importance of financial education for youth, including the challenges posed by financial illiteracy and its solutions.
Dr. Wafaa started the webinar by introducing herself and sharing statistics with the audience that highlight the severity of the issue at hand, “Seventy percent of the population is financially illiterate,” she stated. Examples of famous and prominent figures who were great at making money but not at managing it were also given. “It is not enough to have money, it is about how to protect this money, how to keep it, how to manage it, and how to grow it,” she explained.
She discussed how the two main driving forces behind this worldwide financial illiteracy are the “lack of financial education in our educational system” and “lack of financial literacy in families.” Drawing upon her 20 years of experience in the financial field, she commented on how alarming this lack of education is, “I can say with confidence there is no formal education when it comes to financial literacy and personal finance.” She also talks about how “most young people rely on their parents to teach them money skills” and very few parents discuss money with their children.
The webinar concluded by Dr. Wafaa encouraging the audience to be active members of society by seeking to become more financially literate. “I recommend you take responsibility and educate yourself. Take full responsibility for your life.” She reassured everyone listening that they are not alone, “Start having a conversation and get support. Connect with your bank. Attend workshops and try to benefit as much as you can.”
Through her lecture, the audience thoroughly understood the importance of organizing spendings and savings, having financial goals and being consistent. Most importantly, Dr.Wafaa Sbeiti made sure everyone in the audience—which included students and bank employees alike—understood that financial literacy is not impossible because, after all, “you do not have to be a genius to take part in this process, you have to be ready, take action, and be willing to learn.”
AUK Associate Professor of Finance, Dr. Wafaa Sbeiti