Engaging aim to help empower the young

Over 65s are much more likely to vote than those under the age of 24. Picture: Colin Hattersley

Over 65s are much more likely to vote than those under the age of 24. Picture: Colin Hattersley

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A study by the Electoral Reform Society found just 47 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds would definitely vote in the EU referendum, compared to 80 per cent of over 65s.

On 23 June the turnout in Glasgow, a city with a median age of 36, was just 56.2 per cent. I believe this is because young people do not feel empowered to vote. Millennials do not have a deep enough understanding of their own financial situation, the markets or the global economy to make an informed decision, so instead choose not to make one at all. Research we conducted at invstr showed over 70 per cent of millennials in Scotland are worried about their finances and don’t know what to do.

The economic ramifications that will occur as a result of the referendum are being debated widely, but young people remain unaware how it will impact them personally. This needs to change.

After 30 years in finance, I decided to undertake the biggest risk of my life and create a fintech start-up. I was foregoing an established career to devote my time and energy to a business that existed as a concept in my head. I realised that if we empowered everyone, in particular millennials, with the information needed to take charge of their financial future then we could build a much more sustainable, wealthier and engaged society, which would lead to growth in the economy. The benefits of this mission are enormous.

Millennials feel at home using mobile technology. Gamification (the concept of adding competition and point scoring to other activities) of financial education, whether learning about mortgages, pensions or investing, will make it fun while engaging young people who are disconnected from the financial system. Once they feel part of the global economy and can see the effects of it they are more likely to participate in the political process which in turn has benefits for us all.

• Kerim Derhalli is founder and CEO of invstr

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