How Important is Money And Investment in Your Life?
This is a simple question but it throws up any number of answers, issues and emotions. If you are not convinced just ask three friends or family members over the next week and step back and listen to what they say. It will be an interesting experiment I assure you!
I know this for a fact because for over 10 years, and in three different continents, I asked this question of at least one person a day, many of whom went on to become my clients. The follow-up meetings to this initial question were never short.
Years later, while working here in Canada, I realized that if a such a wide audience of people wanted to express their feelings about the importance of money and investment in their lives, then many of them would want to become more knowledgeable about the subject.
With this inspiration, in 2009 I founded the Financial Literacy Learning Centre Inc., www.fllc.ca – a company that is dedicated to providing unbiased investment education specifically for Canadians.
Soon after the company was formed, we launched the CANADIAN INVESTMENT COURSE (CIC) and began offering in the format of a six-week night-class delivered local libraries and community centres around the GTA.
Since it’s launch hundreds of people have taken the course. The feedback from our participants has been wonderfully. Check out Course Testimonials for more details.
In many ways we were ahead of the crowd in identifying the demand for financial education in Canada. Others have joined us since, most notably Finance Minister, Jim Flattery who set-up the Financial Literacy Task.
The Financial Literary Task Force’s finding and many other studies since then reveal what we instinctively knew – that Canadians are looking for more information and education about finance and investment and the role it plays in their lives.
Of course there is plethora of free investment information online. There is also is some good resources provided by various Canadian advocacy and not-for-profit groups. This is a noble attempt but unfortunately it some cases the information is too dry or two complex to draw in the very people it is trying to reach.
In fact the more information that becomes freely available, the more it seems that people are looking for an objective financial teacher or a coach.
There is a small number of fee-only advisors out there who are trying to provide this kind of service but there seems to be no mainstream resource able to provide the in-depth education that individual investors want. At the Financial Literacy Learning Centre Inc. we hope to meet that demand.
Without doubt the biggest noise about financial literacy in Canada is coming from the Canadian investment industry itself, including the banks, insurance firms, mutual fund groups and a whole gamut of commission-based financial planning and investment advisory groups. This is certainly not the most objective of sources.
There is still a tendency among Canadians to think that the advice given to us by our banks as being objective and in our best interest, whether you are shopping GICs, Savings accounts, mortgages, mutual funds or some other investments.
Lets be clear the banks have an important role to play in our lives, but I urge people to remember they are not registered charities. They are commercial enterprises that are trying to maximize their profits. That lesson alone can save people money every day.
Our experience with the Canadian Investment Course over the last four years reveals that many middle class, middle age, mass-affluent Canadians are seeking a form of education that will enable them to manage their money with more knowledge and more confidence. They are increasingly skeptical of the advise they are receiving from the industry and are questioning more often what fees they are paying and what they are getting in exchange. That is another good question. Is it time to for you to get smarter and more educated about your investments?
Desmond Jordan is the CEO of the Financial Literacy Learning Centre Inc. Click on the link to learn more about the upcoming dates and locations for the Canadian Investment Course and other unbiased investment education workshops that FLLC provides.