BBI of Chicago
Democratization of Financial Education in Brazil
By: André Luis Ramos Filho.
Currently, financial education is one of the most discussed topics on the national scene of our country. According to the Goiás Regional Accounting Council (2014), in a survey carried out by Standard & Poor, Brazil is placed 74th country in the global financial education ranking, under some of the poorest countries in the world, such as Madagascar, Togo, and Zimbabwe. According to the National Confederation of Commerce in Goods, Services and Tourism (2021), cited in the G1, about 70% of Brazilian families are in debt, the highest level in the last 11 years; of which almost 82% are debts arising from the use of credit cards, a form of credit that can reach an annual interest rate of up to 400%.
At first, it is difficult to understand how a topic so discussed nowadays ends up being one of the biggest problems facing our country's economy. However, going a little deeper, some explanations help understand the reason for these statistics. Currently, only a few public schools have the discipline of financial education in the curriculum; less than 10% of Brazilians are looking for an alternative to the social security deficit; less than 2% of Brazilians have a CPF registered with B3. A point of great attention is also the average number of books that Brazilians read annually: less than 3. In other words, it is noted that our country does not have a thirst, a genuine interest in knowledge, for the most part. Thus, a subject that is not learned in school, that has no incentive from any source, in a country that does not practice reading, becomes largely deficient, with few exceptions that seek this category of knowledge.
To change the scenario of our country in terms of personal finances, the main problem to be addressed must be the democratization of education, and the most popular means today is based on digital transformation. A distance learning platform, where people only need Internet access to access this knowledge. Of course, this would not be immediate, and the entire population would not be reached quickly, but, according to the Ministry of Communications (2019), about 82.7% of Brazilians have access to the internet, so the democratization of this knowledge would already be much broader. The goal is to use the agile Scrum methodology, set up the production line of this technology, and stipulate an MVP (minimum viable product) to release on the market. With an MVP, it is possible to make it available to the public and make optimizations over time afterward. Therefore, in addition to knowledge, it is also possible to provide personal finance control tools, investment monitoring platforms, among others.
Finally, note that it is possible to implement methodologies that facilitate and democratize knowledge about financial education and personal finance for a large Brazilian public based on today's technology, processes, and tools. Therefore, it is up to the Federal Government - the body responsible for the democratization of education for the population - to develop a sector for the development of this technology, with professionals from the technology area in association with professionals from the financial market, so that this democratization is carried out at zero cost, or as close to that as possible, but it also depends, mainly, on people's interest in changing this scenario, acquiring knowledge and changing the economy of our Brazil.
CONSELHO REGIONAL DE CONTABILIDADE DE GOIÁS (Goiás). Brasil é o 74º em ranking global de educação financeira. [S. l.], Nov 29 2014. Available at: https://crcgo.org.br/novo/?p=9580. Accessed on: 19 Aug. 2021.
G1 (Brasil). Percentual de famílias com dívidas chega a 70% e Brasil atinge o maior nível em 11 anos, aponta CNC. [S. l.], 19 July 2021. Available at: https://g1.globo.com/economia/noticia/2021/07/01/percentual-de-familias-comdividas-chega-a-70percent-e-brasil-atinge-o-maior-nivel-em-11-anos-apontacnc.ghtml. Accessed on: 19 Aug. 2021.
MINISTÉRIO DAS COMUNICAÇÕES (Brasil). Pesquisa mostra que 82,7% dos domicílios brasileiros têm acesso à internet. [S. l.], 14 April 2021. Available at: https://www.gov.br/mcom/pt-br/noticias/2021/abril/pesquisa-mostra-que-82-7-dosdomicilios-brasileiros-tem-acesso-a-internet. Accessed on: 19 Aug. 2021.