Financial Planning Week focuses on household debt


Financial wellness consultancy, SCI Training is leading local Financial Planning Week activities, by offering free personal financial planning consultations as well as a free review and advice on drafting of wills.

Financial Planning Week, running from September 7 to September 11, is an initiative of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa aimed at enhancing financial literacy and financial planning among households.

In Botswana, SCI Training is focusing on helping people reduce their personal debt, which senior partner and Certified Financial Planner, James Fern described as “the devil in our midst”. “If you go into the streets and talk to 10 people, the major stress in their lives is financial,” Fern told Mmegi Business on Monday. “There’s never enough money because as soon as we get our paycheques, we have to pay for what we have already spent.” “Most people are in debt for bad reasons. They are in debt to buy ‘lifestyle’ rather than to acquire assets.” The experienced financial adviser, and Chairman of Association of Botswana Financial Advisers (ABFA) said: “I believe that’s the cause of the current slow down in the economy. People have borrowed too much money in previous years and now don’t have any spending power”. SCI Training’s experts were on call at the consultancy’s Molapo office and would be available to talk clients through a plan to get out of over-indebtedness. “We’ve seen worrying adverts from some microlenders saying ‘come and talk to us. We have no ITC or CRB checks’.”

“A lot of lenders will say they offer debt counselling, but they are actually trying to sell you another loan. “In general, most financial advisers are probably selling an insurance product or an investment fund. They are very rarely trying to help you holistically improve your personal financial position.

“This week, we offer the opportunity to book a free meeting with our finance professionals,” said Fern. He added: “We look at your circumstances, your assets and debt, incomes and expenses and put a plan together to get you out of debt. Debt is the devil among us. It’s killing and crippling people and we need to plan how to exorcise it from our lives”. SCI Financial – the group’s financial planning arm - will also offer free review and advice on the drafting of your Last Will and Testament. He said the consultancy had noted that many Batswana do not have wills - so when they die, their assets are not easily passed to their preferred beneficiaries.

He said the Will drafting service was part of holistic financial planning offered by SCI Financial, and is a free service during financial planning week.

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