Financial Literacy Tips for Young Economists

Caribbean students are encouraged to invest in the green energy sector. Associate Director, Sales and Business Development at CIBC FirstCaribbean International, Gregory Blackman, offered this advice to economics and accounting students at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, during an interactive financial literacy webinar hosted by the bank in association with the Association of Young Economists.

Blackman noted that Caribbean countries, including Barbados, have become green energy conscious and governments are introducing favorable renewable energy investment policies.

“This can be an opportunity for you to not only help the environment; it’s a source of passive income, it avoids currency outflows from our countries, … reduces the level of CO2 emissions and can be a source of intragenerational wealth,” Blackman said.

“In the case of Barbados, where there is a fixed rate of return for licenses for 20 years depending on the date of approval and where the actual return is also fixed, that means anyone with a roof should take advantage of that single investment. opportunity,” he suggested.

Blackman urged students from other countries to be alert to similar opportunities or opportunities in a similar industry.

It also gave them food for thought regarding the structure of their investment portfolio. Diversification, he said, was important and he recommended limiting the size of their investment in a single entity to around 10%; and diversify if an industry took the lion’s share of its investment portfolio. This approach, he explained, would help limit their downside risk.

In addition to green energy, the webinar discussed other assets such as stocks, bonds and land. Regarding bonds, Blackman said corporations and governments pay fixed income, but he noted that not all governments are low risk and not all governments are risky.

He said they were strong corporate bond issuers; and professionally managed mutual funds with multiple years of performance and stock data that can be considered.

Overall, Blackman advised students to be aware of economic circumstances and default history when making investment decisions. He told them to read beyond the headlines and do their research thoroughly, especially when new investment options were presented.

“You need to understand the underlying intrinsic value of an asset and consider all of the factors that impact that asset before handing over your hard-earned money (otherwise it could) go from an investment to a bet or to a speculative venture.Do your research, don’t follow fads, and ask lots of important questions before embarking on an investment.

On the subject of land, it was noted that some people viewed land as an asset that always increased in value, but Blackman debunked this myth by pointing out that, as with any asset, land prices fluctuate.

He explained that in most cases, residential land was based on comparable sales, and in the event of market events or economic downturns, market prices similarly changed. Using Barbados as an example, he said there were cases where people bought land for $20 a square foot and a few years later it was barely trading at $14 or $15 a square foot.

During the webinar, the bank manager and the students also discussed pensions and retirement plans, insurance, use of credit cards, personal emergency funds as well as issues related to starting a business. ‘a career. (PR)

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