Issue No. 6
As you know, November 2011 marked the first Financial Literacy Month in Canada. I'm pleased to report that 72 organizations from the public and non-profit sectors joined in this new initiative designed to highlight the programs, services and tools available to help Canadians improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in making the best financial choices for themselves. We are looking forward to November 2012 as we continue to lead the efforts to highlight the importance of financial literacy across the country.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG), with whom we have collaborated to coordinate this first event and create a dedicated website to share information and engage with Canadians. FLAG members include ABC Life Literacy Canada, Social and Enterprise Development Innovations, the Investor Education Fund, Credit Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, the Financial Planning Standards Council and Junior Achievement.
I'm also pleased to report that The Future of Financial Education, the report from the FCAC-OECD Conference on financial literacy, Partnering to turn financial literacy into action, is now available on the Conference's website. The report highlights the growing recognition, in Canada and internationally, of the importance of financial literacy. It also shows how the greater availability of resources, information and good practices is helping develop strategic priorities, research, evaluation and programs. The report covers the major themes discussed during the conference:
In the article below, you'll also find an update on FCAC's partnership with Ontario's Investor Education Fund (IEF) and Québec's Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). We have been working together to develop a new financial education program designed to help Canadian adults become more capable and confident when managing their personal finances. This new education resource, called Your Financial Toolkit, will be launched this fall.
Finally, we've also been busy with several other projects, as you will see in the What's new section. We added three new life events to our website: Paying for Post-Secondary Education, Living as a Couple and Having Children and we have also released a new tip sheet on payday loans, Considering a Payday Loan? Ten Questions to Ask.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's newsletter aims to showcase financial literacy initiatives taking place across Canada in order to promote best practices and spark new initiatives or partnerships that will bring us closer to a more financially literate Canada.
If you would like to share a financial literacy success story with FCAC, please contact Martine Bélanger: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), together with its partners, Ontario's Investor Education Fund (IEF) and Québec's Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), is pleased to announce that it will be launching Your Financial Toolkit this coming fall.
Your Financial Toolkit is a new financial education resource designed to help Canadian adults become more capable and confident when managing their personal finances. The kit, written in clear and easy-to-understand terms, presents the basics of money management, covering a wide range of financial topics such as budgeting, banking, credit and debt management, savings and investments, mortgages, insurance, income tax, financial planning, retirement and pensions and fraud protection. Divided into modules and subsections, the resource enables learners to either complete the entire program, or to easily select the topics they want to learn about.
The toolkit contains worksheets, quizzes, questionnaires, tools and calculators, educational videos and case studies to help Canadians practise new financial skills and apply the information to their own lives. It also points to a variety of sources for more information.
The resource also contains a trainer's toolkit for each module, with slides and activities that can be done in a workshop setting. This makes the resource ideal for teachers and facilitators who work in community organizations, educational institutions, or for employers who wish to provide training to their employees.
Your Financial Toolkit will be free, and available in French and English in both printed and online formats—which learners will be able to use separately or in combination. Stay tuned for more information coming this fall!
Your Future Self targets the general public and focuses on what your “future self” would tell you about the financial decisions that you are about to make or have made. Would your future self tell you to save 10 percent rather than spend your entire paycheque? Would your future self encourage you to track your spending or start a budget? Your Future Self brings together a series of emails to help you explore, learn, and put into place some sound financial practices. Check out www.yourfutureself.ca for important information on saving and investing.
I'm Worth It is a financial resource program for women. The resource provides women with information and tips on how to manage their finances, focusing on the real-life stories, struggles and successes of a variety of Manitoba women. I'm Worth It covers a wide range of topics concerning money management, such as understanding your values and motivations, money and relationships, and making the most of your money—through smart shopping, budgeting, choosing a financial advisor and saving for your future. The program consists of a resource guide, mobile app, videos, lesson plans and a budgeting spread sheet. To order or download free copies of the materials, visit www.imworthit.ca.
The Autorité des marchés financiers' (AMF) website features a dedicated section for financial literacy experts. This new micro-website allows organizations working in financial literacy in the province of Quebec to share information regarding their financial literacy initiatives. The website features publications and tools, as well as research and surveys conducted by the AMF and its partners. Links to international financial literacy websites are also provided.
Partners can contribute to the monthly newsletter by writing short articles that keep the network up to date with their financial literacy initiatives.
Finally, the AMF held its third annual meeting on financial literacy in Montreal on March 21. This annual meeting allows the AMF and partners to share ideas, experiences and issues surrounding financial literacy. One of the themes discussed this year was "How to generate interest for financial education."
For more information about the AMF's mandate and activities, please visit: www.lautorite.qc.ca.
L'Académie du Trésor is a non-profit philanthropic organization whose objective is to foster young people's interest in and curiosity about finances, while striving to reduce the dropout rate. It presents a dynamic approach to teaching personal finance management to students aged 10 to 20 living in Quebec's Estrie and Montérégie regions.
Since 2010, l'Académie du Trésor has been developing and offering free training sessions tailored to young people. Its program takes the form of extracurricular activities in public and private elementary schools, high schools and colleges. The training, which varies in length from 15 to 25 hours, is given by volunteer instructors certified by the organization.
Three major themes are addressed at each academic level: making a budget, managing credit properly and learning about investing. Upon graduation, students receive a token whose value is based on the student's test score and course attendance. The token's value is then converted into Académie du Trésor investment fund units. The purpose of the token is to tangibly sustain the students' interest by allowing them to track the value of their units on a weekly basis. Students can build on the concepts they learned in class by managing actual investments.
Since September 2010, thanks to the involvement of over 25 volunteers, l'Académie du Trésor has produced 155 young graduates, offered 2,800 hours of training, and handed out $23,630 in tokens while rolling out its personal finance education program in seven schools. In June 2012, an additional 103 young people will graduate from the l'Académie du Trésor program.
The organization's mission is to help tomorrow's young adults feel more comfortable with their personal finances so they will be encouraged to contribute to society's wealth and learn the basic skills needed for sound financial decision making.
A unique and innovative concept, L'Académie du Trésor is school turned upside down—the instructors are volunteers and the students get paid! For more information about the program, visit: www.academiedutresor.com (website available in French only).
The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) has created a new website with a series of articles to help Canadians answer some of the more common questions they may have about banking. The consumer friendly articles, which are available online at the www.bankingquestions.cba.ca website, include facts and links to additional resources related to the following topics:
The articles are also available as PDFs downloads so consumers can easily print additional copies or send articles by email to their friends and family. The articles complement the existing consumer information on the main www.cba.ca website in the Banking Basics, Saving and Investing, Safeguarding your Money, Rights and Responsibilities, Resolving Problems with Your Bank, Small Business and Financial Literacy sections.
Following high-level discussions on the endorsement of its Guidelines for Financial Education in Schools by member countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will soon publish Financial Education in Schools: challenges, case studies and policy guidance.
The monograph will provide guidance on the development of learning frameworks, from the need to secure political support for these initiatives to their teaching in classrooms. Case studies will present relevant international experiences; showcasing the successful development of learning objectives and assessment measures, as well as examples of effective programs, educational materials, student monitoring and teaching practices.
The OECD has advocated for the introduction of financial education in schools since the first official OECD Council Recommendation on Financial Education and Awareness in 2005. The OECD's International Network on Financial Education (INFE), which represents more than 200 institutions from over 90 countries, has since developed instruments to help design and implement financial education programs for the formal school sector.
This is one of the most efficient ways to reach a whole generation on a broad scale, and a unique means to nurture sound financial behaviours that will last into adulthood. Young people are also effective in spreading new habits. Moreover, financial education in school is part of national strategies for financial education implemented by an increasing number of countries, including Canada.
The OECD and its INFE are currently working on a set of high-level principles on national strategies for financial education, which are expected to be endorsed by G20 Leaders in June 2012.
More information on these issues will be available at www.oecd.org/daf/financialeducation and also on International Gateway on Financial Education, currently under renovation, www.financial-education.org.
You can also contact Mr. Andrea Grifoni, policy analyst with the OECD's Financial Education and Consumer Protection Unit at email@example.com