Redefining financial literacy

One of the many lessons that has come out of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, if not the entire economic downturn, is the need for new thinking in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection.  As part of new program called Family Financial  Skills, MassINC pulled together a group of experts to discuss what can be done to increase citizen’s education on financial services while addressing the increased risks families are forced to undertake. 

This fall, MassINC and the Federal Depsot Insurance Corporation held a joint event called “Family Financial Skills: New Thinking in Today’s “Do-it-Yourself” Financial Environment.”  The event,  held  on October 14, 2009, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, was the launch of MassINC’s Family Financial Skills Initiative, sponsored by the State Street Foundation and the Highland Street Foundation.

Thomas J. Curry, Director, FDIC Director, gave the keynote address followed by a panel discussion moderated by Barbara Rehm, Editor and Chief of American Banker.  The discussion, entitled ”Shifting the Burden: How Enhanced Public Policies, Business Practices, and Financial Counseling and Education can Reduce Risk in Household Financial Decisions” featured Theodore R. Daniels, Founder and President, Society for Financial Education and Professional Development & Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy; Nicole Gelinas, Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute; Sheryl Garrett, Founder, Garrett Planning Network; Pamela Banks,

The event explored how the independent and complex nature of financial decisions – from retirement savings to mortgages to paying for college –  has affected American households.  It asked what role the public, private, and nonprofit sectors should take in protecting, educating, and supporting consumers and it identified potential public policy changes, enhancements to financial education efforts, and other possible incentives that could assist households. 

Audio Highlights from the experts:

Sheryl Garrett on fiduciary responsibility and being your own advocate.
Theodore Daniels on the lack of financial education and its ramifications.
Pamela Banks on consumer protection and what needs to happen in Washington.
Luke Reynolds on the role of financial institutions in educating the community.
Nicole Gelinas on government intervention and the effects of the bailout.
– Robert Tullerman on the importance of financial literacy and understanding your money.


Our sponsors