I’m on a quest to find out how wealth management firms are getting involved with their local communities – what they’re doing for charity, which events they’re sponsoring or anything else that’s a little bit different, writes Libby Ashby.
So this week, I visited Rathbones’ Winchester office to join in the financial awareness courses they are holding for young people.
Tim Bolton Carter, regional director and head of the Winchester office, told me: ‘The Your Money, Your Future seminar is designed to teach teenagers and young adults the importance of financial awareness.
‘Often, the children of our clients become clients themselves, so the day is full of essential pieces of information for their future.’
Aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds, the programme was set up four years ago in London after staff at the head office wanted to promote Rathbones’ responsibility to the wider community, especially young people.
Now most branches host similar seminars. ‘One of Rathbones’ guiding principles is responsibility. We believe educating the next generation is a key feature of that,’ said Bolton Carter.
‘Rathbones was established in 1742 and to ensure such longevity, we’re thinking of the future by educating younger generations,’ he added.
There were a number of attendees, the youngest had just taken their GCSEs and the oldest had just graduated. After coffee and croissants, investment manager Stephen Bennett kicked off the proceeding by talking about budgeting, banks, savings and investments.
He highlighted the dangers of the ‘buy now, pay later’ mentality and told us the earlier you start to save, the better, particularly with the effect of compounding.
After another refreshment break, investment assistant David Kness took us through the various asset classes before investment director Will Kendall gave an introduction to risk versus reward, investing in companies and explaining company valuations.
After lunch, Bolton Carter talked about future careers, detailing investment management and outlining a typical day for an investment manager to the young audience.
With everyone around one table, the sessions were interactive and engaging. Given the spread in terms of age, knowledge and experience, the Rathbones staff must have had a challenge to find the right level to pitch the talks at. However, it was very informative and I think everyone learned a lot and took something away.
One of the attendees, who hadn’t yet decided on a career, said the course ‘was incredibly helpful’ and they thought they might like to pursue a career in investment management.
So what does Rathbones get back from a day like this?
‘It is very rewarding to watch these young adults leave with a grounding in the complex financial world and helping them understand the importance of taking responsibility of their personal finances sooner rather than later,’ said Bolton Carter.
‘What’s more, it is in everyone’s interest for the younger generation to be financially aware, and the government is also encouraging this.’
If you would like to arrange a meeting, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org