I wrote on why you need a Corporate Blog but for some reason I feel the need to reiterate the point once more but with a focus on the Banking sector.
Finance has always been very close to my heart. Economics was my favourite course at the University, closely rivaled by sociology. I have read books upon books on Economics, loved studying the Economic models, examined the trail of Economic crises from Chile, Mexico, Poland, Turkey to Brazil and recently globally by reading World Banks featuring the likes of Lawrence Summers and the Finance ministers of all these countries. I was a de-facto financial advisor for a couple of people at the University especially during the various IPO’s and the interesting rallies that were happening at NSE back then. My experiences back then and even today revealed such a big knowledge gap in people’s comprehension of the financial sector. And this extended from the very basic things like how to buy shares to the complex issues of mortgage financing, futures and hedge fund management.
It is not once that I found myself explaining one financial concept or another. And to date, questions still abound. It is interesting that when you Google quite a number of financial terminologies here in Kenya, the best you can find in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is the name quoted as a service in a Financial Institution’s website without any explanation of what these entail. Most of time, we only get is some general information on a term like mortgage financing. But that is not what we are looking for when we search for these terms. We are looking for information that is presented in a way that will leave us more informed and enable us to make decisions or inquire further without booking an appointment with you only to find you are not what I am looking for.
There is a real need for people to find financial information on whatever financial solutions they seek to learn more about and few are better equipped to explain these concepts than experts working in our financial institutions. When I was studying CFA, I flirted with the idea of writing a strictly Financial Blog that elaborated further the Financial Investment Terms. Reading the massive volumes of the CFA books exposed me so much to the inner workings of the Financial Markets which I thought I had already figured out. This information was so potent that it kills me it is not out there for people to synthesize as they make financial decisions on their kids college education, on their mortgage financing, and even on Financial Ethics.
There are financial bloggers out there with the most prominent financial bloggers in Kenya among them being Bankelele, Kainvestor, The Way I see it and SokoAnalyst . But I still hope to see more bloggers on the financial sector front given the vast amount of information Kenyans need but cannot find in search engines. For instance, depending on what financial institutions specialize in, they can develop blogs in-house where they comprehensively answer the FAQ’s, where they demonstrate authority, and allow us from the comforts of our homes or offices to inquire further via the comments sections and make decisions.
I would like to see a Kenyan blog on unit trusts, on hedge funding, on futures and options, on mortgage financing and how not to buy a house on a road reserve, on banking in general, on the NSE and CMA, on financial ethics, on insurance – all types of insurance, on financial advice, on how-to’s like how to choose one bank over another based on your financial needs and how to make online transactions safely etc. A blog taking apart the accounts being ran by the various banks – the charges, hidden charges, benefits, loopholes etc, basically, a blog on everything finance – from simple to complex concepts. In the end, we will have a financially savvy nation where any information needed is a search engine away. Obviously, the best people to do this are those already working within these financial sectors. For financial institutions, I have a feeling that depending on how best they utilize social networks, some will better authority rankings and win over customers than others.
Do you see a bank near you being open to blogging? Would you like to see that? Your thoughts…
Update: I merely mentioned hedge funds in this post yet I am already ranking on the first page on Google for “Hedge Fund Kenya”. This just reiterates my point on how little financial info is out there.