Hi my name is Thulashika and I’m a year 11 student. Following the completion of my GSCE exams I did an internship at a NatWest branch for a week and then the marketing department at Kurtosys the following week. Both experiences gave me valuable and varied insights into the financial services industry. The team at Kurtosys thought it would be interesting to ask me a few personal finance related questions. Here are my responses.
Q1. Do you think practical financial skills should be taught in schools?
Well in a way this is already taught in some schools through General Studies and Critical Thinking AS and A-levels. These optional subjects provide sixth form students with knowledge of global issues, and processes or simply decision making which could potentially aid them with being able to manage their finances. Some students may be discouraged from taking these subjects as they are not considered ‘real subjects’ by universities and seen as not academically challenging enough. But we’re taught in our chemistry lessons about the random colours of flames that are given off when we burn bits of metal, yet why are we not taught the basic and vital information for life?
So if teaching practical financial skills as a part of school curriculum may not be suitable, I think running ‘managing personal finance’ workshops for young people will improve their financial literacy. I think we would benefit from learning what financial terms mean, tips on budgeting and finding out what services are available.
In my opinion, handling money is a valuable art. I think it is necessary for students to be educated, so they can focus on their studies and free time without any hassle.
Q2. What do you think of financial planning tools and calculators?
As I am still in school and supported by my parents, I have the joy of not having to deal with mortgages and loans. I looked at a few online financial planning tools that were listed in this Kurtosys blog article. In my opinion, I think it’s the self-service digital tools like this that make financial planning accessible and help young people, the next generation to become more money savvy.
Q3. What do you think the financial world will be like in the future? What effect will technology have on the industry?
During my internship at the Natwest branch I shadowed the Customer Advisors. Their job was get to know their customers, find out their needs, and suggest suitable products and services. I think people value this face to face interaction, so I do not think we would feel comfortable with receiving financial advice from some sort of robot advisor. Perhaps meetings will be be virtual and advisors would appear as holograms in peoples living rooms and offices.
I think the technologies in Minority Reports will be widely available in a few years time, so ‘gesture-based computing’ will be used with analytical tools to manipulate market data. I also like the idea of augmented reality, therefore I think we would ‘enter’ websites again in a virtual space and use iris recognition to access secure portals. Plus, I think predictive analytics would play a big part in finance e.g. ‘optimally pricing assets against the degree of risk.‘