Contributed by Li Bijia
|PHOTOS: Tan Song Kow|
Money makes the world go round. .. as the saying goes, but some may beg to differ. Revile it or revere it, money rules in a materialistic world. Money can be seen as power — power to fulfil not just needs, but also wants. On the flipside, having money also gives one the power to do good — to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and make a difference in the lives of others. Perhaps it is the recognition of this fact that caused the participants from different walks of life to come together over two Saturdays to learn more about money: “what it can do for you, how to keep what you’ve got and, how to get more of it.”
The instructor of the useful course was Bernard Lim, 40s, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Financial Services Director in a major UK-based financial institution with 17 years of experience. Lim is a Principal Trainer of Wealth College — an organization that was formed for the sole purpose of educating, equipping, engaging and empowering not only financial planning professionals, but also, the public in the area of wealth planning and management. When asked about his purpose for developing and running these courses, Lim replies emphatically that he wants to “empower people to make intelligent, informed decisions; taking charge of that which is important in their lives — money.”
The course began with a short introduction on the role of money in people’s lives. The participants had a chance to share some of their views on why they had decided to take charge of their finances, and enrol into the course to learn more about it. Reasons given ranged from wanting merely to enjoy the freedom of financial independence, to wanting to be able to wield the power of money so as to be able to make an impact in the world.
As the course wore on, the course delved into the technicality of financial management, financial independence and financial empowerment. The participants were given a comprehensive overview of all the components of their financial lives and also touched briefly on the finer workings of the government’s financial planning: such as, how to navigate the sometimes confusing sea of schemes and policies.
Through the course, the participants learned how to avoid the common mistakes that many make in the different phases of life. They also learned about the cost of ignorance and the empowering value of being able to take one’s finances in hand and work intentionally towards financial goals. One of the participants, Kevin Lau, a products specialist for Bloomberg, managed to put it quite succinctly when he said that “… this is an education on life.”