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JM | Jan 25, 2023

FHC encourages early financial planning

/ Our Today

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Young Jamaicans to take charge of money matters

Dr Sara Lawrence Lewis, obstetrician and gynaecologist, makes her debut as FHC Investments Limited’s (FHCIL) first brand ambassador in an official signing ceremony alongside FHCIL’s Investment & Pension Advisor Keleen Osborne (left) and General Manager Karlene Mullings on last November at Charis Women’s Wellness Centre.

Dr Sara Lawrence Lewis, newly appointed Brand Ambassador of FHC Investments Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC), has encouraged young investors to break free of fear-based approaches to investing and instead harness the powerful tool to assist with wealth generation.

While hosting the first of the three-part FHC ‘A Fireside Chat With…’ webinar series, held last month, Lawrence Lewis shared: “There are so many ways to make your money work for you! I want Jamaicans, myself included, to break out of some of the narrow-minded ways of thinking when thinking about money and investments.”

She added: “You can make the most of the money you earn in order to take care of yourself, put your children or yourself through school and pursue other dreams. You may also be thinking about ensuring that when you get to retirement, there is enough to sustain you with a comfortable lifestyle. Or maybe you haven’t thought about it, but you should.”

“What we do at FHC to make it holistic, is to focus on the individual. Any plan that is developed is tailored to your needs. Each goal a person may have is considered in financial planning.”

FHC CEO Roxann Linton

Stressing that efforts to deepen financial capacity will have a far better chance of succeeding if they go hand-in-hand with efforts to raise financial literacy, FHC CEO Roxann Linton said: “Seeking out knowledge is the first important step needed to grow. Next is partnering with a qualified financial expert. What we do at FHC to make it holistic, is to focus on the individual. Any plan that is developed is tailored to your needs. Each goal a person may have is considered in financial planning.”

In her discussion on bridging the investment divide, FHC Investments General Manager Karlene Mullings acknowledged the hesitancy among some individuals to start investing citing a common misconception that investing requires hefty sums of money.

Mullings encouraged viewers to be wise about their money and not be intimidated by the useful option. 

She added: “I always tell people, it [investing] starts with the right mindset. Investing requires commitment and discipline. Irrespective of what stage you are at – a new saver, advancing in your career or a pensioner – it is important to have a good balance of financial products to support you. Saving is important, but investing is what will allow your money to increase in value. The compounding effect in investing is important. The benefits of the returns, such as fighting inflation, are beneficial.”

Noting the concerns of young professionals, especially in relation to affordability, Mullings went further by providing key tips on determining a budget, exploring various financial products requiring different capital investments such as the nuances of stocks, collective investment schemes, bonds and pensions.

Sanya Goffe, president of the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica.

FHC is unique in being the only credit union with a standalone investment company. 

‘A Fireside Chat With…’ turned the discussion up a notch during the pension segment led by guest panelist Sanya Goffe, president of the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica (PIAJ). 

With questions ranging from the legality of contributing to multiple pension funds to the various investment options that can supplement a pension, part two of the hour-long segment was a topic of much interest for viewers across FHC’s YouTube and social channels.

Said Goffe: “One of the things the PIAJ has recongised is that financial literacy is important, programmes like these [A Fireside Chat With..] are vital, but the reality is that we don’t see financial literacy in Jamaica moving the needle in a sufficiently powerful way. So, we need to think about changing the choice architecture and choice landscape to put people in a pension plan. Pension coverage is low and has been low for a very long time.”

Dr Sara Lawrence Lewis, host of FHC’s A Fireside Chat…, speaks with Karlene Mullings and Sanya Goffe.

In closing, Mullings appealed to viewers to adopt more open, healthier approaches to money matters and start investing at the earliest age possible, age 18.

‘A Fireside Chat With…’  features three strategic panel-style discussions held once per quarter and will be aired virtually through Zoom and FHC’s social media platforms to include, Instagram @fhcinvestments, Facebook @fhccreditunion and YouTube channel @fhccu. The remaining two discussion sessions will be aired later this year. 

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