Ottawa, September 25, 2012
2012-110

Archived - Your Financial Toolkit: a new resource to help Canadian financial consumers strengthen their financial know-how

Archived information

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Canadians can now benefit from an objective, reliable and complete new resource to help them make sense of the everyday financial questions that they face. Designed by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the Investor Education Fund (IEF) and l’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Your Financial Toolkit helps Canadians become more capable and confident financial consumers.

“Increased financial literacy ensures that individuals have the tools and knowledge to make responsible financial decisions,” said the Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance). “Your Financial Toolkit is another way Canadians can acquire this life skill that is so critical in today’s economy. It enhances Canadians’ personal well-being and strengthens our financial system as a whole.”

Your Financial Toolkit: a hands-on and objective resource for Canadians

“In simple, non-technical language, Your Financial Toolkit covers the basic financial topics that most Canadians have to deal with everyday,” said Ursula Menke, FCAC Commissioner. “It touches upon everything from banking, budgeting and saving to debt management, fraud protection and retirement planning; providing Canadians with an opportunity to practice new financial skills and apply the information to their own situation,” she added.

The resource is divided into 11 modules and includes worksheets, quizzes, questionnaires, tools, calculators, educational videos and case studies that give Canadians the option of completing the whole program or to easily select the topics in which they are the most interested. They can also use its self-assessment tool to find modules and tools that are useful for them based on their situation and needs.

“Our research has shown that Canadians lack the financial knowledge they need to navigate today’s complex economy, but we’re a diverse group with different learning needs” said IEF President, Tom Hamza. “Your Financial Toolkit enables self-paced online learning in complement to our extensive online and in-school financial education programs. The partnership with AMF and FCAC builds on our collective capabilities to extend the impact of our financial education efforts.”

Each module includes a trainer’s toolkit which contains activities that can be completed in a workshop setting. This makes it a useful resource for teachers and facilitators who work in community organizations, educational institutions, or for employers who wish to provide financial training to their employees.

Integrating Your Financial Toolkit in our communities

Over the next six months, the Causeway Work Centre in Ottawa will be offering 11 two-hour information sessions about Your Financial Toolkit to assist those who are looking to get out of debt, buy a home or simply better manage their finances. “Causeway’s mission is to provide a bridge to economic independence,” said Don Palmer, Executive Director of Causeway Work Centre. “We help our clients work towards that goal through providing a variety of supported employment and supported education options and through operating a series of social businesses that generate jobs. While earning income is one part of the equation, the ability to manage your money is the other half. Causeway has been delivering financial literacy programs for a number of years and Your Financial Toolkit will be an invaluable resource for us to draw on as we assist our clients to increase their financial literacy. We are thrilled to be offered the opportunity to pilot this easy to use resource with our clients,” he added.

Your Financial Toolkit was developed in collaboration with a variety of financial education experts across the country,” said Camille Beaudoin, Director of Financial Education at the AMF. “Among these experts, many work with consumers on a day-to-day basis and therefore, they are well aware of their informational needs and preferences to gain further knowledge on how to better manage their finances,” he added.

Your Financial Toolkit is available free of charge online or in paper format. A printed copy may be ordered by contacting FCAC directly.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through FCAC’s Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

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Investor Education Fund (IEF)

IEF develops and promotes unbiased, independent financial information, programs and tools to help consumers make better financial and investing decisions. It was established as a non-profit organization by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and is funded by settlements and fines for OSC enforcement proceedings. IEF offers unbiased financial information to the general public via the Get Smarter About Money website and works with teachers to instill financial literacy in students through the Inspire Financial Learning website and extensive classroom programs. IEF also consistently takes the pulse of Canadians to determine habits and needs related to personal finance, money management and investing.

Causeway Work Centre

Causeway Work Centre transforms lives and fuels community economic development through an integrated network or innovative training and employment programs, one-on-one support, cross-sector partnerships and by creating socially minded businesses. Causeway began in 1977 as an organization focused on assisting people with mental health issues find employment. Over the years, Causeway has expanded its activities and impact through an ongoing commitment to innovation. Through this commitment, Causeway has been able to support a broader spectrum of disadvantaged people, pilot new ventures that address community needs, and become a recognized leader in the area of social enterprise. Causeway is a not for profit agency with a staff of some 30 full- and part-time employees. Causeway is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)

AMF is the body mandated by the Government of Québec to regulate the province’s financial markets and provide assistance to consumers of financial products and services.

Media relations:

Bram Sepers
Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
613-996-7861

Julie Hauser
Media Relations Officer
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
613-941-4168
julie.hauser@fcac-acfc.gc.ca

Perry Quinton
Vice President, Marketing
Investor Education Fund
416-593-2348
pquinton@getsmarteraboutmoney.ca

Luanne Gauvreau
Media relations
Causeway Work Centre
613-725-3494 ext.121
lgauvreau@causewayworkcentre.org

Sylvain Théberge
Directeur des relations médias
Autorité des marchés financiers

514-940-2176
Sylvain.Theberge@lautorite.qc.ca