November brought to a close a series of workshops focusing on Financial Planning organised by Bank of Valletta’s Retail Business Support Unit for clients of its network of six Investment Centres and their satellite Branches. Hosted at various venues around Malta and Gozo, the sessions saw BOV speakers discussing the importance of consciously planning one’s financial priorities at different junctions in one’s lifetime. Discussing the initiative, Grace Debono who heads the Retail Business Support function within the Bank explained, “Often people tend to procrastinate their investment decisions either because they don’t feel sufficiently confident or because they believe investment solutions to be complicated, and so they opt to for the conventional term deposit account to put away their life savings.” However, as Grace explained, “We need to plan for our financial well-being, in the same manner that we plan for other milestones in our lives, especially if we want to ensure that we can afford our current lifestyles once we reach retirement age and are no longer in gainful employment.”Pitted against the rising life expectancy age, which is forcasted to be in the region of 84 by 2050 for the Maltese population, BOV speakers explained how one’s priorities in life change depending on one’s circumstances. “Likewise, one cannot retain the same financial plan throughout one’s life. The plan needs to match one’s circumstances; probably riskier for younger investors seeking to grow their capital base, and eventually growing more balanced and conservative as one gets closer to retirement and the main focus becomes income generation,” explained Mark Vella, Head of Marketing and Business Development at BOV Asset Management. Thus these sessions served to set the scene for clients to consciously think about when and how much they should start investing at a given point in time, and what fall back measures one should adopt for a rainy day. The input of the Investment Centre and the satellite Branches was critical for the success of these sessions, explained Grace Debono. The Managers of the Investment Centre continuously work closely with the management at the respective Branches, so as to ensure that the service delivered to the individual customer reaches the desired level of expectation. Following the informative sessions, participants were able to network and discuss personal concerns with the Investment Centres and Branches’ teams present for the event on a one-to-one basis. “Bank of Valletta strongly believes that it has an active role to play in the communities in which it operates. Financial education features highly on the Bank’s agenda, and these sessions were amongst the Bank’s initiatives undertaken this year to support its clients enabling them to take more informed decisions vis-à-vis their financial goals,” concluded Ms Debono.