THE Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, has outlined some goals that should underpin financial literacy and financial education campaigns in the country.
He said to create a pool of resilient investors, financial literacy campaigns must have an overarching goal of producing responsible and informed investors.
“People must be responsible for the decisions they take. We need to get to a point where we have investors that are responsible and informed and are responsible for planning their finances and investment decisions.
“We need to educate people on the need to plan and the need to follow the plan and not the crowd,” he stated.
Mr Ogbarmey Tetteh said that when he delivered the keynote address at the ‘Ring the Bell’ for financial literacy’ event which was held by the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
He said the campaigns must also have the goal of producing investors who were responsible for conducting some minimum due diligence about the products they were signing on to and the service providers.
“People many times just follow the word of mouth and invest but it is necessary to do your checks to find out if the providers are even licensed,” he stated.
The director general also pointed out that a good financial education campaign must be aimed at creating investors who were knowledgeable about the risk-return characteristics of various products.
“We have people who do not appreciate this and you sometimes get investors asking you what is the best return, forgetting that the returns were based on the risks,” he noted.
Mr Ogbarmey Tetteh noted that investor education was a shared responsibility that involved the financial sector regulators, the market operators and even the investors themselves.
“Market operators are also responsible, as well as the investing public, who also have a responsibility to access the sources of financial information available to bolster their awareness.
“This means that everyone should step up to the occasion in achieving financial literacy and driving illiteracy out of the sector,” he stated.
He also noted that the issue of investor education must be sustained and must not be limited or restricted to an event.
“It’s nice to have this event but beyond having events, we must have a sustained approach to achieving knowledge and awareness about the financial market and how it operates.
“We must also make sure the education is simplified so that the target audience can understand,” he said.
Ring the bell
As part of activities to mark World Investor Week, the GSE has joined over 80 stock exchanges across the world to mark the occasion.
This will see the GSE, together with the Central Securities Depository (CSD), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and market players educate the public and investors on the investment opportunities available to them and also raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection.
The Deputy Managing Director of the GSE, Abena Amoah, said financial literacy had become more important than ever to help investors navigate the challenges and uncertainties surrounding investment options.
She said the theme for the World Investor Week, ‘Building investor resilience’ was very relevant, considering the current economic challenges confronting the world and the uncertainties in the investor space.
Commitment to financial literacy
In his closing remarks, the Managing Director of GSE, Ekow Afedzie, said the exchange was committed to financial literacy and it had been so since it was first established.
He said although the ring the bell for financial literacy advocacy had been going on for the past six years globally, this was the first time the GSE was taking part.
He assured the public that going forward, the GSE would continue to participate in this global event each year.
“As an exchange, we will continue to do it because it will have a great impact on the development of the capital market. Without investments, there is no way the country can develop and without savings, there is no way people can invest.
“Financial literacy is, therefore, very important at this time, especially at a time when investors are having challenges and don’t know what to do,” he stated.