Friday, 1 August 2014

How much do you understand about money?

In Australia, recent discussions have continued around the need to improve the quality of financial planners.  This is in light of a number of high profile cases in the banking and superannuation industry.

Constantly we hear, the financial literacy of our community is low. Therefore the solution always seems to be, to improve the training of the financial  planners, better governance and stronger consumer protection regulation.

However, the longer term solution is cited as improving the financial literacy programs in schools.......
See the article in The Age on 22 July 2014.

mmmmm this may help those students with financial and numeracy skills in 30 -40 - 50 years time when they are at retirement age . This is the age when most people have their largest amount of money, and may  need to talk with a financial planner about their retirement financial plans. 

Why is it always the reader who has the problem?

There is another solution. And it is not a solution that will take 30-40-50 years to show improvement.  What about writing and producing numerical information for the current level of literacy in the community?  Then, individuals can go to a financial planner with a greater understanding of their own finances, and engage with meaningful questions about options. 

Additionally, professionals in the industry, do need to learn to unpack and stop using the lingo of their profession, and talk to the person in a way the person understands. This is in no way restricted to just this industry.

Evidence has shown in the development of insurance information, and even more significantly in medical, technical and IT, emergency, and social areas of life, when information is written at the level the person who is expected to use the information is reading there is 
·         greater persistence to engagement with the material;
·         greater reading;
·         greater understanding;
·         greater change in behaviour.

This use of everyday language, rather than professional or business or corporate language is further beneficial to all industries and businesses, as research has shown there are fewer calls to Call Centres requesting information, fewer angry  and confused customers and greater numbers of return customers. Reason: the customer has a greater understanding of what they have signed up to.

The technique referred to is Easy English.  Cathy Basterfield, who owns and operates Access Easy English, is recognised both nationally and internationally in the original and ongoing development of Easy English. Cathy would be pleased to talk with you further about how to improve the engagement of customers, by improving the written communication between you and your customers.


Cathy Basterfield
Access Easy English
Consultant Speech Pathologist

0466 579 855

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