FINANCIAL services provider STANLIB Lesotho (Pty) Ltd will tomorrow host a corporate breakfast in conjunction with the University of Free State (UFS) meant to equip participants with financial planning skills at Avani Lesotho Hotel.
STANLIB Lesotho is an investment business that focuses on building investment propositions, which serve the needs of its clients. It was established in August 2001 and is co-owned by Liberty Holding (SA) and Sekhametsi Investment Consortium (Lesotho) with management residing with STANLIB Asset Management – a South African based asset management company.
It is a member of the Financial Education Steering Committee of Lesotho whose role is to conscientise Basotho about the benefits of planning and investing to ensure a better future and organises the Money Week initiative.
According to STANLIB Lesotho Business Development Consultant, ‘Maretšepile Monddy Mohoanyane, the corporate breakfast would be the company’s first initiative on its own to equip clients and the general public with financial planning skills.
“All along, we have been partnering with other financial institutions and organised, among other events, the Money Week in June through the Financial Education Steering Committee, which we remain part of,” Ms Mohoanyane said.
“As a financial institution, it is our responsibility to teach our clients, and the public in general, about investing and securing their future. Our intention is to ensure that when Basotho retire, they are able to pay their children’s school fees and maintain a comfortable and sustainable standard of living. We are trying to help people to prepare for life beyond their employment.”
She said senior managers from various companies had also been invited to receive training from experts on how to improve their retirement policies and empower their employees.
“The participants will receive training from certified financial planners on financial planning skills, best practices, retirement planning and how to improve their pension funds,” said Ms Mohoanyane.
“The idea is to equip people with financial planning skills the right way. Our aim is not to market STANLIB products to them, but as part of the Financial Education Steering Committee of Lesotho, it is our responsibility to equip Basotho with the skills to manage their finances better. It is part of our corporate responsibility.”
She added: “The financial planning workshop will be facilitated by Advocate Shirly Hyland and Dr Liezel Alsemgeest who are certified financial planning lecturers from UFS’s Centre for Financial Planning Law, who also run other external businesses, including financial planning and training consultancies.”
Ms Mohoanyane said they invited the experts so that the corporate breakfast does not seem like a marketing campaign for STANLIB but serves its purpose of cultivating a culture of saving for retirement.
“We are trying to instill in Basotho the culture of investing and preparing for the future. The financial planners will deal with such topics as how to save for retirement showing the timelines from the twenties to the sixties and highlighting the fact that the earlier one starts saving the better,” she said.
“They will also point out the fact that investing does not mean putting up a large sum of money but a small portion on a monthly basis. They will also delve into the issue of opportunity costs referring to the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one option is chosen as well as the repercussions thereof.”
Ms Mohoanyane also noted that the lack of a saving culture among Basotho had created a vicious cycle of generational dependency.
“If we don’t save for the future, it means that, as parents, we are going to depend on our children. Most people are struggling to build homes and pay for their children’s school fees because they also have to take care of their parents who were not able to save for themselves on time.
“Our aim is to help cultivate a culture of parents leaving their children assets and not liabilities,” she said.