In a recently completed 2 year study, the stark truth about financial literacy among adults shocked even the most jaded economists and educators. Three very simple financial questions were asked of working adults - as an example, the first question was "If you have $100 in a savings account and the interest rate is 2% per year, after 5 years would you have”: More than $102, Exactly $102, Less than $102, or Don't know.
Only 33% of adult men got the answers correct which is an abysmal performance. Yet, only 22% of adult women were able to correctly answer the questions. This survey was repeated in 143 countries and the results were similar: Shocking financial illiteracy among all adults, but a big disparity between men and women. The only exceptions were Russia and Poland: in those countries men scored as low as women.
The only good news about the study was that women are more self-aware about their lack of financial knowledge than their male counterparts. Today's guest, Melanie Cabot, has seen this lack of financial literacy in both herself and her friends.
Melanie credits her family with instilling in her a rich history of philanthropic giving and active participation in making this a better world. And so she has started the Foundation for Women's Cultural and Economic Literacy in order to provide women an enjoyable atmosphere to learn and share empowering financial knowledge.
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE
I was blessed to be raised with a life of privilege and affluence. Money and finances were not discussed in our family, and I was unprepared for the responsibilities that came from an increasingly complex financial landscape. Ironic given that my father had been the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston at one time in his illustrious business career. I have not been immune to financial failures and missteps. In hindsight, I could have been spared from a serious financial quagmire if I had the benefit of crucial information and proper fiduciary guidance. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned from them, and I’m not uncomfortable discussing them. Live and learn. Fall and get back up. The truth is basic financial education and economic literacy remains rather elusive in our culture. There is a critical lack of formal education about money and finances. Women in particular are under-served. I decided to fill this void.
Kathy Rendo's professional experience includes a career in human resources and employee relations. I have overseen legal compliance (OSHA, EEOC, etc.), labor relations, compensation planning, and organizational and management development. She has also managed corporate policy formation and in-house legal services such as bankruptcy, financial reporting, licensing/trademarks and real estate. She has been a member of the New Jersey Bar since 1977. Community activities include the advisory board at FAU’s Life-Long Learning and Chamber of Commerce “YEA” program mentoring teens in business start-ups. Past board of directors memberships include the Liz Claiborne Foundation, the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce and the Leslie Fay Companies. She also teach senior aerobics.
Palm Beach SCORE
Palm Beach SCORE is a non-profit who's mission is helping local small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs grow and thrive by offering mentoring, workshops, business consulting and counseling services, networking opportunities, events and partnerships within the Palm Beach / South Florida business corridor.
SCORE-ing Your Business' host Penny Pompei serves as Chapter Chair for our local Palm Beach SCORE Chapter #224, located in beautiful downtown West Palm Beach.