According to the Financial Consumer Agency Of Canada (FCAC), “Financial literacy is having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.”
- Knowledge refers to an understanding of personal and broader financial matters
- Skills refer to the ability to apply that financial knowledge in everyday life
- Confidence means having the self-assurance to make important decisions
- Responsible financial decisions refers to the ability of individuals to use the knowledge, skills and confidence they have gained to make choices appropriate to their own circumstances.
The Heartland Institute of Financial Education (HIFE) supports and promotes the financial literacy movement by providing financial educational courses offered in government agencies, corporations, organizations as well as church groups throughout Canada.
FCAC confirms that being financially literate can help Canadians to:
- Decide how they will spend their money and meet their financial obligations
- Make sense of the financial marketplace and buy the products and services best suited to their needs
- Manage their personal finances and plan ahead for life events, such as home ownership or retirement
- Ask and understand how they can benefit from local, provincial and national government programs and systems
- Assess the financial information and advice they receive from relatives and friends, professionals or the media, and
- Maximize the use of the resources they have access to, including workplace benefits, private and public pensions, tax credits, public benefits, investments, home equity, and access to credit.
In its final report, the Task Force also called for the appointment of a Financial Literacy Leader to coordinate efforts in the implementation of national strategy for Financial Literacy in Canada.
HIFE certifies experienced Instructors to teach these classes which are endorsed by a consortium of colleges and universities across North America. The selected Instructors must attain their CFE Certified Financial Educators® designation as well as complete and pass a rigorous training program through HIFE. Instructors must be in good standing with the regulators, teach in their local community and complete their annual continuing education requirements.