10 Things to Look for In a Financial Education Provider
Once you’ve decided that your teen needs to learn about money and how to make smarter money decisions, you’ve got to gear-up for the next step:
How do you choose a great financial education provider?
While we would love to be your provider of choice, we recognize that there may be time or geographical constraints that would preclude us.
With myriad options of providers available, how do you choose one that you can trust to teach your teen this vitally important lifeskill?
This is a crucial question, one that deserves a fair bit of deep thought & research.
We can help with the first bit. We’ve done some of the deep thinking for you and we’ve put together a checklist of things to look for in a provider that that will increase your odds of success, and your teens’ too.
1. Specialists in Financial Education:
It is imperative to ensure that they are specialists in the field of financial education. Many companies just jump on the bandwagon and tack on financial education to the range of other subjects they teach like stock trading, public speaking, yoga or karate.
This then results in trite advice and generic tips that don’t do much in furthering your teens financial knowledge or mindset.
Choosing a provider that specializes in financial education would ensure that your teen gets deeper knowledge and insights. It also ensures they get a balanced view and one that’s not biased to a particular philosophy.
2. Market Experience
It helps enormously to ensure that the provider has market experience and has been in business for over 3 years.
This weeds out the Johnny-come-latelies who may not have the learnings or experience to know what works and what doesn’t.
Choosing a provider with over 3 yrs of market experience would ensure that the provider can draw on their learnings and knowledge of the market to deliver a truly remarkable program.
3. International Clientele
It’s beneficial to check whether provider has a good mix of international clientele as many financial education providers are only focused toward a particular nationality.
This narrows the focus of their teaching and well as the experience of the students.
Having an international clientele tells you that the provider is great at dealing with students from different nationalities. This also bodes well for the student experience as they get to experience and consider diverse perspectives on the topic of money.
4. Integrity & Reputation
This one’s a no-brainer. Especially on topic as emotive as money, it’s essential that your teen is learning from a brand that is backed with deep integrity and a spotless reputation.
It’s reckless to leave out this important consideration. Teens are very impressionable and it’s important that they have the right principles and mentors to model their thoughts and behaviors on.
It also safeguards your teen from being sold any financial products that the provider is affiliated to.
5. Parent & Student Testimonials
Testimonials from students and parents give a fair idea of what to expect from the provider.
It’s important that there are many examples of these to go through and that this repository is regularly added to. This ensures that the provider is consistently delivering a great outcome.
6. Independent Media Coverage
While testimonials are important, what is even more essential is to look at the independent media coverage the provider has gotten over the past years.
It might be easy to fake testimonials on a website but it’s really hard to constantly engineer positive press around their activities, so it’s a more authentic indication of their business reputation and ability to deliver on their promises.
It also showcases their thought leadership in this area, which should be an interesting read.
7. Available Resources
Resources like blogs, articles & publications should be available on the provider website, giving readers an understanding of their principles & methodology.
Not having resources or having resources that are filled with waffle may warrant a deeper look into their credibility and effectiveness.
The right resources showcase thought leadership in the area of financial education for teenagers and should provide deep insights in the field.
8. Partnership with Reputed Brands
Partnering with reputed brands & organizations is another very good indication of a provider’s credibility and effectiveness.
This is usually displayed quite prominently on their website and should be easy to look up.
These organizations/ brands are very carful about the partnerships they enter into and it’s easy to benefit from the due diligence they have conducted.
9. Trained Educators
The program should be delivered by educators that have been trained not just in personal finance, but also in teaching this to teens in a way they find interesting and engaging.
Anyone who has teens, or has ever been a teen can appreciate how important this is.
While is relatively easy to find educators who are proficient in the former, it’s a combination of both that truly unleashes the power of a financial education program.
10. Live Interactive Webclasses
Whereas there are a profuse number of financial education providers that offer pre-recorded programs, it’s helpful to think about the best way that teens learn.
Teens learn best by discussing, debating and asking questions. Ideas and brain circuits come alive in conversation. This isn’t possible in a pre-recorded/ asynchronous program.
And while an asynchronous program might be more convenient, it cannot beat the accountability, peer interaction and mentorship that a live/ synchronous program offers.
As Dr. David Rock states in his book Your Brain at Work, there are additional benefits to harnessing the power of social interactions.
There is a memory network that gets activated when information is social that turns out to be more robust than a memory without a social element.
That concludes the checklist of things to look out for when choosing a financial education provider for your teenager.
Now all that’s left, is for you to do a bit of research and see which one fares best on the above mentioned criteria.