Financial Literacy in Canada

The 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey provides some interesting insight into the level of financial literacy in our country:

  • Nearly one-quarter of Canadians were found to be weak in three key areas of financial capability; namely, keeping track of their finances, planning ahead, and staying informed about financial matters; another 8 per cent were weak in all of the above-mentioned areas, as well as in making ends meet.
  • More than one-third of Canadians said they were either struggling, or unable, to keep up with their finances.
  • While 70 per cent of Canadians said they were preparing their finances for retirement, 30 per cent were not.
  • About one-third of Canadians did not know the answer to, or answered incorrectly, a question in the Objective Quiz about what happens to their buying power when the inflation rate is higher than the interest they are earning on an investment.
  • Only 35 per cent of Canadians knew that their investments in the stock market are not insured.
  • Some 57 per cent of Canadians did not know the answer to, or answered incorrectly, a question in the Objective Quiz about the content of a credit report.

You can find the survey questionnaire here.

Some of the findings were actually better than I would have expected. The Government of Canada has the view that Canadians lack the basics when it comes to managing their money and the Minister of Finance has initiated a task force on financial literacy. You can find out more about the task force here.

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