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Improving Financial Education

March 27, 2013

I can’t help but get excited when I hear about a new program or website that promotes financial education.

Maybe it will be “the one” that really works?  The one that makes people step up and take action with their finances?

There is a multitude of excellent resources out there to improve our financial skills.  I know this because I am a finance professional and have spent much time doing my own research and reviews of many programs.  A few of my favourite websites for financial learning include Get Smarter About Money from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and Globe Investor from the Globe and Mail.  Sometimes, just finding or accessing good learning materials is a bit like discovering a needle in a haystack.

So why aren’t we all getting better with money?  If we know what to do, why aren’t we just doing it (like Nike would say)?

Let’s face it…life gets in the way and so it should!  Many of us are so busy with school, jobs, families and priorities that we feel we are barely treading water.  Maybe if we learned ways to simplify our finances, we would get our acts together?  Or, maybe if we could easily translate our financial knowledge into action, we would do better with our money?   Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we, Canadians, must improve our personal balance sheets.

What Canada really needs, is to focus more on implementing the great programs that we already have.  Until financial learning becomes mandatory in the classroom, our kids will not have the foundation needed to be successful with money as adults. Maybe adults, too, should be required to take continuing education in personal finances?  Would this education actually reduce consumer debt levels, improve retirement savings or help people stop worrying about money?

Only time will tell.  In the meantime, we financial professionals, can do our part to educate people to take action with their finances.

There is no doubt in my mind, that we would all be happier if we felt confident and in control of our money.

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