Omari, 24, has been a bondholder his entire adult life.
When he was 17 years old and about to enter the Barbados Community College, his mother sat him down and spoke to him about the importance of saving and investing and of planning for his future. She followed up that conversation by going to the bank and purchasing a set of savings bonds in his name.
Senior Operations Officer at the Central Bank of Barbados, Linel Franklin, agrees that savings bonds are an excellent way of introducing children to the concept of investing. “While persons under 18 years old cannot buy savings bonds, parents and legal guardians can purchase savings bonds in trust for their minor children, and the certificate will reflect this,” she explained. “If the savings bonds mature before the child turns 18, the parent can reinvest the money and further build on the investment. If the child turns 18 within the five-year maturity period, he or she assumes full control of the investment.”
Omari’s mother’s words have stuck with him, and he has built on the savings bonds portfolio his mother started for him. When he decided to work for a few years before going to university, he made a point to invest in more savings bonds instead of spending frivolously.
Now a full time student again, Omari has nonetheless continued to buy savings bonds. His most recent purchase came after the programme was re-launched last year. He is pleased with the renewed focus on the security as he believes it has given Barbadians a chance to learn more about it. “People like to talk without knowing the facts. Now they have a chance to find out.”