Advocis helping Canadians build financial savvy to shape their futures

As Financial Literacy Month gets underway, Advocis is launching an ambitious initiative to help Canadian consumers build their financial knowledge so they can make sound decisions at every life stage.

“I’m very excited about what we, and our members, are doing to help Canadians build their financial savvy to shape their futures,” says Greg Pollock, president and CEO of Advocis.

Branded MyMoneySmarts™ – Build your financial savvy. Shape your future™, the initiative focuses on educating Canadians across generations about how money, credit and debt management; and saving, spending and investing, all work together.

“Canadians are very smart, educated people. But it’s our ‘money smarts’, our knowledge of what you need to know to make sound financial and life decisions, that’s lacking,” says Pollock.

MyMoneySmarts is the start of a long-term plan by Advocis to promote financial literacy in support of the national financial literacy strategy, Count me in, Canada, launched by the federal government in 2015.

“We’re starting with small steps. Over time, we’ll be developing more resources for both the public and our members,” Pollock says.

The core of MyMoneySmarts is a new micro-website (mymoneysmarts.ca), launched today. The site, which will grow over time, features articles on topics including:

  • how having joint bank accounts can make your financial life easier
  • the value of having a financial advisor to guide you
  • why financial savvy is important in the new “freelance” economy

There’s also an interactive graphic that shows consumers how all the essential elements of personal finance work together.

Across the country, Advocis chapters will be sending out a MyMoneySmarts tip of the day in public posts on Facebook during Financial Literacy Month.

“There are some key reasons why everyone in the financial services sector needs to do their part to help Canadian consumers become more financially savvy,” affirms Pollock.

According to a 2015 CIBC report, a whopping 82 per cent of Canadians age 18-34 feel as though they don’t have enough financial knowledge or investing know-how.

Household debt in this country is at an all-time high. According to an August 2017 report from Moody’s Investor Service, Canadians owe $1.69 for every dollar of disposable income.

As well, Canadians aren’t being taught enough about money early enough in school. In some provinces, financial literacy isn’t even part of the education curriculum.

Advocis encourages financial advisors to actively promote and participate in MyMoneySmarts, and financial literacy. Individual Advocis chapters across Canada have already begun taking the lead in presenting Junior Achievement (JA) Canada financial literacy programs on a voluntary basis to students in their local elementary, middle and high schools.

“Financial advisors have a critically important role to play,” says Pollock.

Advocis is also encouraging its 40 chapters to help create financial literacy networks in their local communities. The networks would bring together representatives of municipal councils, Advocis, JA Canada and chambers of commerce, to develop stronger financial literacy programs in their communities.

“This initiative is currently in the works in our Kingston, Ontario chapter,” explains Pollock. “Once the Kingston financial literacy network is established, it will be a model other Advocis chapters can follow.”

In the new freelance economy, people need professional financial advice that’s affordable and timely more than ever. Financial literacy is something Canadians need to pay attention to every day.

“Canadians’ financial savvy can affect their quality of life. It can mean the difference between living in comfort, or struggling to barely get by and not having any future financial security,” says Pollock.

About Advocis: Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is the association of choice for financial advisors and planners. With more than 13,000 members in 40 chapters across the country, Advocis is the definitive voice of the profession, advocating for professionalism and consumer protection.

SOURCE Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada


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