Other services offered
Retirement Planning – Many people are not aware of the importance of planning for retirement as soon as they begin their career. It is important that employees who have just started work understand the need to start sooner rather than later. Additionally, it would be necessary to mentor those persons who are about to leave the workforce soon so that they are well equipped to transition easily from being a salaried individual. Participants will be exposed to the various retirement planning tools, such as annuities, tax incentive saving plans, insurance and mutual funds.
Budgeting – Most persons are aware of the concept of a budget, but most have never actually budgeted and most times, some who do, rarely stick to it. This will act as a refresher on the importance of a budget, and will reinforce simple techniques such as the advantage of using cash over plastic, writing down expenses, being aware of bank fees, how to read and understand a bank statement and managing credit cards
Savings and Investment – There is a misconception that there is no difference between saving and investing. Participants will learn the difference between the two. Also, participants will be made aware of investment opportunities available to them in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the laws, treaties and governing bodies that directly affect them, such as Deposit Insurance Corporation, Financial Institutions Act Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Securities Exchange Commission and Anti Money Laundering frameworks. Participants will also learn which funds are insured by the government and to what value. Additionally, they will learn about mutual funds since, all commercial banks carry mutual funds (which are indeed investment vehicles, and not saving accounts), how they work and the difference between and equity and a Fixed NAV fund.
Managing Debt – The word debt seems to have a negative connotation, and unfairly so. Debt is necessary for both individuals and corporations. However, if debt is not managed, then it becomes a problem. Participants will learn how to determine how much debt is enough. They will also learn how to avoid taking on too much debt as well as how to recover from having too much debt. A major component would be understanding loans and interest rates as well as credit cards. Participants will learn about the difference in interest rates (amortization rate vs simple interest rate) Also, they will learn how to reduce overall payments on loans by making payments to the principal (this applies when the loan’s interest rate is calculated on a reducing balance)
On boarding Sessions – It is imperative that new hires are given financial counselling. In many cases, these persons are persons who never had an income before or are going to be earning a higher income. While it is expected that a higher salary should result in more savings, economics tells us that the opposite happens as a person’s taste for more expensive goods increases, thereby resulting in less savings, and there is an expectation for an increase in salary, sometimes unreasonably so (especially if spurred on by a union). Therefore, counselling will help with budgeting and will highlight the importance of setting aside savings first. Also, H.R. would find that staff who are more financially aware would be more understanding when negotiations for increases in salary come around, especially in times of financial hardships.
The Office of the Financial Ombudsman – Many persons are not aware that there exists a financial ombudsman or the purpose he serves. Participants will be made aware of his office and how they may avail of his services