We are somewhat astonished that the schools in our country do such a poor job in preparing our youth to handle even the simplest of financial tasks. When balancing a checkbook is considered a coup, we really must focus in on ways to elevate financial education and its relationship to life events. Students will be at a continual disadvantage until this problem is addressed; life has a nasty habit of pitching up financial surprises.

One specific recommendation is to teach students how the financial markets work in college and university. We recommend a mix of academic material with real-world experience. For example, what better way to learn the intricacies of foreign trade than to learn how to trade foreign currencies? The UK has centuries of trading history – why not let the younger generations take part first hand in this ongoing tradition. Mentoring programs would allow seasoned professionals to teach young people the knowledge and discipline needed to succeed in the trading world. Another innovative aid is the virtual trading room, where young “traders” simulate real-world deal-making in a completely safe environment. Imagine the enthusiasm unleashed by such a setup!

Unfortunately, UK also has a shortage of qualified teachers and curricula to make quick progress in financial education. Luckily, there are third-party learning programs that teach the fundamentals of trading and even set students up with trading accounts. With wise leadership, our schools in partnership with industry can correct this glaring deficiency in the UK education system.