From confusion to clarity: Sound advice can bridge the gap to financial literacy
30 Nov, 2023

Bertie Nel, Head of Financial Planning and Advice at Momentum


We should all be proud to be called South African. We have forged a spirit of resilience that is now deeply engrained in our culture. Yet, financial uncertainty and ignorance continue to erode this resilient spirit.


A recent study by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) found that most South African consumers find financial products too complex and expensive, leading to a lack of financial literacy. This struggle limits personal growth and prevents individuals from using the power of financial products to propel them towards success.


The study revealed that many South Africans find searching for financial products taxing and packed with jargon and complexities. Add to this long-winded terms and conditions, and South Africans are often left with at least one financial product they don’t fully understand. From store cards to insurance, medical aid to credit cards, and even funeral policies, South African consumers are financially confused.


The latest Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index reports that 45.7% of households deem themselves financially literate. In reality, only 15% are financially literate. In the case of the 85% of illiterate households, it points to a much bigger problem as financially harmful decisions may flow from a belief of having financial knowledge that actually does not exist – and when the damage is done the household may not understand why it happened.


Yet, the question remains – if financial institutions are meeting the needs of consumers, why the persistent struggle with financial literacy? The answer lies in the gap between offering and understanding. While financial institutions provide products that meet consumer needs, they remain difficult to understand, access, and use.


Enter the financial adviser – the unsung hero in the journey towards financial empowerment. Contrary to the belief that financial advisers are only for the wealthy looking to invest, the truth is much more accessible. Financial success is a journey and starting early with the guidance of an accredited financial adviser can make all the difference.


Resilience is not just weathering economic storms; it’s about knowing where you are on your financial journey and where you’re going. It involves understanding terms like budgeting, inflation, and the importance of a sound financial plan tailored to your life stage.


It’s time to shift the narrative from surviving to thriving, from confusion to clarity. Financial literacy will drive us on our journey to success. The financial adviser is the guide who can help light the way.


Picture this: a tailored financial plan that meets you where you are, a budget that aligns with your aspirations, and advice customised to your unique circumstances. If your journey to financial success is personal, so should the guidance you receive.


It’s time to take back your power, bridge the gap and dismantle the perception that financial advisers are only for the wealthy. Financial success is a journey that starts with understanding, and with the right guidance, every South African can embark on that journey with confidence.


Let’s not merely survive the financial maze but thrive in it, armed with knowledge, empowered by guidance, and fortified by resilience. The journey to financial success begins with one step, and the time to take that step – to a consultation with an accredited financial adviser – is now. Unlock knowledge, unlock your success, and manifest your money ambitions.






@Bertie Nel
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