Families need to have discussions surrounding not only saving money but also financial literacy, which would help family members, especially the youth, understand key financial concepts that would assist in the building and continuity of generational wealth among Barbadian families.
Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ryan Straughn, made those comments as he delivered the feature address at ‘A Book Celebration’ ceremony for authors, Kaye Williams and Vivian Anne Gittens, whose books address the issue of financial literacy and empowerment, in terms of building generational wealth.
“It is important for us to understand that both at the macro and micro levels, that the decisions that we make as families, within communities [and] within our businesses, impact obviously the extent to which the exercise and the building of wealth [and] how that is passed on.
“And the reality is, that we all are in this really to make sure that the opportunities that we’re creating today, not for ourselves, but it’s really for our grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to leave them a better Barbados than we found,” Minister Straughn emphasised.
He noted that understanding ownership, understanding management, understanding the difference between how much debt, how much equity and investment persons take on, is part of how they and by extension families can build and maintain generational wealth, and the Financial Literacy Bureau was set up to provide the necessary information and advice on how to improve decision making from a financial perspective.
Mr. Straughn gave the assurance that Government would continue to do its part to assist persons in being able to build not only for their benefit but also to have a financially resilient Barbados.
He stated: “You can be assured that the Government of Barbados will remain absolutely committed to working within our schools, within our community colleges, the skills training even, within the context of the social system, to be able to build and connect where people are, because in being able to move persons away from a state of vulnerability, you need the specific interventions appropriately presented, well-crafted and supported in order to help people get on their feet and remain on their feet.”
Speaking about her publication, “7 Legacy Steps to Building Generational Wealth”, Mrs. Williams, who is an Attorney-at-law and a Commonwealth Professional Fellow, highlighted that in it she explains that wealth is all-encompassing “360 degrees”.
“It’s not only about money; wealth is in our culture, our values, our societal impact, in our community. It’s not about accumulating or hoarding money that you don’t see the benefits of; it’s about enjoying what we’ve built to date and enjoying it now,” she stated. Mrs. Williams also added that building generational wealth involves taking care of what you have now and planning for your future, for example, estate planning.
Retired publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Publishing Company Limited, Mrs. Gittens, who is also a Chartered Accountant and a trained Financial Management Consultant, explained that her upcoming book, “Every Cent Counts: Your Money – Start Right”, targets and advises recent tertiary graduates, who are starting in the world of work, to set goals for their life ahead and make choices about their planned future.
She pointed out that “good personal finances underpin the choices and opportunities for success and happiness in most areas of life”.
Minister Straughn, who thanked both authors for their publications, received a signed copy of “7 Legacy Steps to Building Generational Wealth”, from its author, Kaye Williams.