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Finances is a sensitive topic and people often don’t feel comfortable admitting they don’t have sufficient knowledge about the financial world to manage their finances more effectively. South Africans scored 55 out of a 100 on the financial literacy index proofing that we have a very average understanding of basic financial terms and principles. If you don’t have sufficient knowledge about a subject, are you able to make the best decisions? Can you build maximum wealth for yourself and your family?

Not understanding the financial markets can result in buying or selling at the wrong times and making losses. If you don’t have a good understanding about financial products, you will not be able to select the best products for you. Financial advisors might suggest a policy or product that don’t suit your needs or that you don’t really need without you realising it. To base your financial decisions on what your friends or colleagues say, is dangerous. What might work well for them, might not work for you, because your circumstances and financial position might be totally different. They might have invested in a product when the markets was starting to rise and made good profits, but by the time you are investing in that same product the market might have turned negatively and you might have a negative experience. Lack of knowledge can also make you more vulnerable to become a victim to scammers.

You are not illiterate or a bad person if you don’t have decent financial knowledge. We are not taught about financial management at school or university. Take ownership to improve your financial knowledge. Attend seminars, read financial articles, do research, learn from people who have a financial background or get yourself a financial coach. Nobody can take better care of your financial wellbeing than yourself.

During the next few weeks I will be discussing the 10 financial concerns many South Africans face in more detail – subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow all the discussions.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA), Financial Consultant and Coach, Blogger and Speaker

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For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website.