When it comes to financial literacy in Canada there are three types of people. Those that get it and those that don’t.
(Sorry, old joke)
Kidding aside, November is financial literacy month. Our government and other agencies have put a significant amount of effort providing resources for those who would like to increase their knowledge.
A truism we have found in many cases is for those that claim they have a high level of investor sophistication, it’s usually not as high as they think. Conversely, for those that claim to have limited investor sophistication, it’s often higher than they think. The reality is everyone could stand to take the effort to learn a little more.
The Key Message from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (one in which we agree) is:
"It’s worth investing time and effort to improve your financial literacy, and Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time to do it."
We have dug up a few sources to provide the basics on many topics for you to browse. To start, take the “Financial Fitness – Self Assessment” from CPA Canada. If you get more than 15/20, congratulations – you are way above average!
Canadian Financial Literacy Database – Here you will find many topics of interest. They have clearly created it to be user friendly. As you click through you will be lead to many links for each topic that are useful and best of all free. Some of the subjects you will find there are:
- Budgeting and money management
- Financial planning
- Retirement and pensions
- Saving and Investing
- MyMoneyCoach – This too is an excellent resource. It is a free public service provided by the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit charitable organization. Again, there are several tabs that provide resources, such as;
GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca - This OSC website has many topics under the following tabs:
- Investing Basics
- Investing Products
- Savings Plans
- Life Events
Canadian Securities Course – Finally, if it is investing that you are most interested in learning more about, we would strongly recommend taking the CSC from the Canadian Securities Institute. It is the best primer you can get on investing. It is not just for industry professionals although it is a requirement as an entry point. If you truly want to be an engaged investor, at a bare bones minimum this is a place to start. In fact, over the years we have been advocates of having education boards offer it as a credit course for high school students. If you are truly serious about this, let us know as we can get you a 20% discount if you sign up before November 30th.
In closing, I refer to a blog from last month: “Who do you look to for Advice?”. If you feel that you may have some blind spots in one or more areas of financial literacy, lean on us. It’s not just about investing, that is one small aspect. There are many different aspects of your finances that require professional thought and input. As Advisors, we have seen dozens if not hundreds of different situations and can draw from that pool of experience to help you through your decision making. That’s why we’re here.