Academic qualifications and financial education significantly impacts the future of the younger generation. Despite both being so important, schools are forgetting one of them. As at 2014, Nigeria had a youth population (18 – 25 years) of 29.4 million. 47% of this population (approximately 14 million youths) are financially excluded i.e. they have no access to financial services (formal or informal). Young people, regardless of their socio-economic, demographic or geographical situations, face some degree of difficulty or uncertainty as they transition to adulthood. Access to financial and social assets is a key contributing factor to help youth make their own economic decisions and escape poverty. Having the right information can make a significant difference in the type of decisions youths make at that stage of their life. Personal financial planning is no longer a concept that applies solely to members of the labour force, adults in our society or the upper social class. Contemporary society requires everyone to understand the principles of money and develop personal financial management skills that will enable them manage their finances effectively and achieve financial freedom. Financial freedom is much more than having money. It is the freedom to do what you want to do without your current financial position being a constraint. Enjoying the rewards of financial freedom is simply a matter of increasing your financial education, determining where you are now financially and where you want to be. Thisisthe decision we encourage everyone to take, and each participant present today has an opportunity to make that decision early in life. The Nigerian Stock Exchange provides a platform for investors to grow and preserve their wealth. Over the past 4 years, The NSE has embarked on several transformation projects that has positioned The Exchange as a key player in both local and global financial landscapes. As an organization and regulator of the capital market, we recognize the importance of engaging all our stakeholdersto accommodate their needs, and manage their expectationsfrom the market. In this vein, one pillar out of our three strategic objectives is to operate a fair and orderly market based on just and equitable principles. The message today is to start early to secure yourselves financially. Aside from understanding capital market products as individual investors, this programme is intended to aid the appreciation of basic investment principles, deepen your understanding of personal financial management, promote financial literacy and gradually help in restoring confidence in the Nigerian Capital Market across the youth demography, through dissemination of information about investment principles which can be used to leverage the Capital Market to grow and preserve wealth. To that end, we have assembled today a strong panel of speakers to share their expertise around key topics that we feel will influence your decision to secure your tomorrow, today.
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