Box Story 9: MoneySENSE - Reaching Out to More Singaporeans Amidst the Financial Crisis
Learning about financial prudence through interactive board games
MoneySENSE continued to collaborate with its many partners to promote financial education to more Singaporeans. In the past year, MoneySENSE has delivered more than 73 talks at various organisations, libraries and schools. Conducted by volunteer speakers from industry associations, the talks provide information and tips on basic money management, financial planning and personal investing. MoneySENSE also introduced a new talk titled "MoneySENSible Tips to Stretch Your Dollar" to share tips on what consumers can do to better manage their cash flow both in the short and long term. This talk was delivered at various libraries as part of the series of activities under "Surviving the Economic Crunch", a public outreach effort organised by the National Library Board.
In addition, MoneySENSE co-funded financial education programmes, including interactive board games for over 13,000 students from 38 schools. MoneySENSE continued to partner the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to share key messages on the importance of being prudent and spending within your means, through an interactive skit for primary school students.
To further financial education outreach to working adults, MoneySENSE, the Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) and the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) announced a two-year tripartite collaboration to bring financial education programmes to NTUC members and the working population. The aim is to equip working adults with the necessary knowledge and skills to become more self-reliant in managing their financial affairs and plan for their longer term needs. We held two educational seminars on money matters for over 900 participants and launched the new financial education portal, IM$avvy, jointly with the CPF Board. Targeted at young adults, the IM$avvy portal includes a quiz for working adults to find out how they fare in their knowledge and management of personal finances. Going forward, MoneySENSE will continue to partner NTUC to arrange more programmes in the next two years.
To reach heartlanders, MoneySENSE worked hand in hand with Southeast CDC (SECDC) to organise a one-day financial education carnival for residents in December 2008. Through fun-filled activities, such as the SECDC MoneyWISE interactive board game challenge, talks, skits and a musical, we reached out to over 12,000 residents to reinforce the importance of financial prudence.
Reaching out to residents through the Southeast CDC financial education carnival
The recent financial crisis has also highlighted the need for MoneySENSE to step up efforts on investor education. To this end, MoneySENSE collaborated with the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (SIAS)
to issue a list of 10 important questions investors should ask before buying a structured product. MoneySENSE partnered the ABS and SIAS to launch a quarterly series of "My Money" seminars. Conducted in English and Mandarin, the seminars provide information on the features and risks of various savings and investment products. Panel participants from the Singapore Management University (SMU) Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics also share their views on the various products, and highlight the risk-return trade-offs. To enable these facts and tips to be shared with a wider audience, recordings of the seminars are available online. Educational messages are also broadcast on radio programmes.
These initiatives complement MoneySENSE's ongoing programmes for different segments of the population. Since its launch in October 2003, MoneySENSE has organised talks, seminars and workshops that have attracted more than 53,000 participants. We have published 27 consumer guides and these are also available online. To reach the masses, MoneySENSE has also published info-advertorials in newspapers in our four national languages and contributed articles to several magazines. These achievements would not have been possible without the strong support and commitment from the MoneySENSE partners, comprising the Financial Education Steering Committee1, industry associations2, community bodies and the media.
1 The MoneySENSE Financial Education Steering Committee consists of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Manpower, the Central Provident Fund, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the National Library Board and the People's Association.
2 The industry associations that work closely on MoneySENSE include the Association of Banks in Singapore; the Association of Financial Advisers; the Consumers Association of Singapore; the Financial Planning Association; the General Insurance Association of Singapore; the Insurance & Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore; the Investment Management Association of Singapore; the Life Insurance Association of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange Ltd.