Advisors have been handled a lifeline in their efforts to educate clients on financial literacy after AGF Management Ltd launched the AGF Investor Education Hub.
“It’s really providing informative content for financial advisors so they can have good discussions with their clients and help refer their clients to tools they can use,” Blake Goldring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at AGF Management Limited said to WP
“Basically for someone coming that doesn’t have a well-developed sense of financial literacy it will help them understand basic investment concepts, saving strategies, current market events and industry trends.”
And it appears Canadians need all the help they can get.
The AGF 2015 Investor Survey
found that only 25% of Canadians consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about investing. According to the 2015 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, released by Statistics Canada, about 17% of men and 23% of women indicated they were “not very knowledgeable” about financial matters.
“Really from the knowledge side Canadians’ financial health is really not in good shape,” said Goldring. “Canadians are second only to Greece in terms of personal household debt relative to income. It’s disappointing because financial literacy is one of those life skills. Canadians spend more time planning their vacation than looking at their own personal financial situation,” he says. “More has to be done.”
While financial literacy has generally been seen as the purview of the government, with initiatives like financial literacy month and appointing Jane Rooney as Canada’s first financial literacy leader, this step by AGF is an example of the industry seeing the importance of their role.
“We believe that industry has to join forces with the government to ensure that people talk about this and that it’s relevant because it’s clearly very much needed,” he says.