AFTER realising a lack of financial literacy and education in Guyana which adversely affects how people manage and spend their money, 24-year-old Matthew Gaul will be using the knowledge he gathered throughout his life to educate the population through a Podcast.
The Podcast, titled ‘Common Cents’ which is a pun intended to describe the podcast’s mandate of making financial literacy ‘common sense’ is set to be launched on September 30 and aims to equip the population with the requisite financial knowledge to enhance their decision-making skills in terms of spending and saving, among other things.
“I would have recognised a problem that exist in our society particularly among young people whereby some of our financial decisions are not always the wisest and also because of a lack of financial literacy and education in our schools there is a gap for education on financial matters,” he told the Sunday Chronicle.
“So, I thought it best to use some of the skills that I would have gained over my work life and also the education I would have gained throughout my years … to formulate a podcast whereby these financial matters can be addressed with other experience and qualified guest,” he added.
Gaul read for a Bachelor in Finance from the University of Guyana after he left the Bishops’ High School in 2015 where he completed his Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) studies.
He has compounded and supplemented his academia knowledge through extensive reading; some of the titles he boasts of are ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S. Clason, ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter and ‘How Successful People Think’ by John C. Maxwell.
“Coupled with those three books and during my final two years at UG we would have done a lot of investment topics, entrepreneurship and business strategy, and I want to bring some of those concepts that I learnt to the general public so everybody can benefit from this knowledge and level up financially,” Gaul said.
Gaul will be discussing material he gathered from various publications relevant to his topic of focus; for the first season he will be discussing concepts emerging from the 1926 book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’, which dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon.
Cognisant that his primary target audience – youths – have a short attention span, Gaul said that each episode will not be more than 40 minutes.
“It’s going to be discussions, interactions, there will be some live shows as well so persons viewing can ask questions and have those questions answered from the esteemed guests; I’ll have persons who have been in business for years, persons who are known to be successful in business,” he added.
Gaul told the Sunday Chronicle that every human’s desire is to be financially empowered and to improve their quality of life and standard of living and money is essential to those endeavours. As such, his podcast will play an integral role in delivering the key messages to enable persons to achieve financial independence.
Gaul referenced the recent pyramid scheme here which saw thousands of Guyanese investing and losing billions of dollars; he opined that with proper financial knowledge they would have been able to detect the fraudulent scheme and prevent such from happening.
The first season is expected to run from September 30, 2021 to January 7, 2022 after which Gaul intends to take a short break and return with season two. He does not intend for the podcast to air for years, but just intends to communicate his messages.
The podcast will be aired on ARMCORE VPI and Spotify from the second episode bi-weekly on Sundays from 19:00 hours. Persons who missed the live airing can also access the podcast on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms using the title, ‘Common Cents’ to search for it.
“Some of the videos will also be cropped for TikTok because a lot of young people are on TikTok so we will create nice short versions – two minutes and three minutes versions of the podcast and put it there for persons who prefer those shorter condensed messages,” he said.
Gaul extended appreciation to various corporate entities who recognised his vision and has since offered sponsorship to enable his venture, namely, ARMCORE VPI, Lucozade, Reminiscence GY, Dynamic Auto Traders and Virtual Solutions Guyana and he is optimistic that as the podcast hits the road more persons would also join.
In the future, Gaul intends to venture into communities to conduct sessions on financial literacy and to use proceeds from the podcast to contribute in a “tangible” manner.