The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

Scott Pape is bringing his spe­cial brand

of no-non­sense fi­nan­cial ad­vice to tele­vi­sion. The Sun­day Tele colum­nist

has signed a deal with Fox­tel

House­holds have a “once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity” to pay back debt while there is record-low in­ter­est rates — but they are not max­imis­ing it. Bare­foot In­vestor Scott Pape is­sued a stern warn­ing for mil­lions of adults across Aus­tralia when he un­veiled a plan to make the next gen­er­a­tion more money-savvy by rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion in schools.

Pape, who firmly be­lieves money man­age­ment should be taught in the class­room, is rolling out his grass­roots Money Move­ment across thou­sands of schools — and the re­sults are be­ing filmed for a Fox­tel se­ries.

Launch­ing the plan, Pape said it was wor­ry­ing that so many Aus­tralians have got them­selves into moun­tains of debt and urged peo­ple to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to get them­selves out of it.

“For the av­er­age home­owner this is a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to pay back debt and un­for­tu­nately not many peo­ple are heed­ing my warn­ing,” he said.

“We have all-time record-high debts at a time when rates are at all-time lows, so what hap­pens if and when in­ter­est rates start to rise?

“That’s what I worry about. It’s a recipe for dis­as­ter in my view.”

Since launch­ing the pro­gram in May, more than 2000 schools signed up to be part of it.

Pape urged Aus­tralians to pounce on the Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia’s cut the cash rate to 1.25 per cent this month.

He warned bor­row­ers not to count on in­ter­est rates be­ing low

for­ever and said “a lot of mis­ery can be had for tak­ing on too much debt”.

Many lenders are of­fer­ing mort­gage vari­able rates in the low 3 per cent range and some fixed rate deals have a “2” in front.

But for savers — many of whom are re­tirees — this has hit them hard as banks con­tinue to cut on­line savings and term de­posit rates with many deals in the 1 to 2 per cent range.

Pape’s new Fox­tel pro­duc­tion will be a four-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries ti­tled Money School.

Premier­ing on Fox­tel later this year, it fol­lows him be­hind the scenes as he works with schools to roll out his new money ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram, Money Move­ment.

The pro­gram is tai­lored for both pri­mary and sec­ondary schools and is based on his best-sell­ing books.

It teaches kids prac­ti­cal money manag­ing meth­ods in­clud­ing how to set up fi­nan­cial buck­ets, ne­go­ti­ate bet­ter deals and sell se­cond-hand items such as their un­wanted toys and pos­ses­sions.

Fox­tel’s group gen­eral man­ager of life­style Wendy Moore said it was great to work with Pape “to cre­ate such a pos­i­tive move­ment that lit­er­ally starts from the ground up”.

Money School is pro­duced by Es­sen­tial Me­dia ex­clu­sively for Fox­tel, in as­so­ci­a­tion with Screen Aus­tralia and Cre­ate NSW.

Pape’s lat­est book The Bare­foot In­vestor For Fam­i­lies has sold more than 200,000 copies. Pub­lisher Harper Collins and li­brary sup­plier James Bennett have helped to dis­trib­ute a free copy of the book to schools na­tion­wide.

Scott Pape with stu­dents from St Columba’s mba s Col­lege. Pic­ture: Jay Town.

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