OSC study finds many investors overestimate their knowledge

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published the results of a survey assessing Canadian investors’ financial literacy. As individuals take on more responsibility for their own investing, it is essential that they have enough financial knowledge to effectively participate in Canada’s capital markets. Investors’ knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours are all contributors to having a successful investing journey.



Government grants and bonds for education savings

Saving for your child’s education can be difficult, especially if you are trying to save for multiple goals or pay down debt at the same time. The federal government offers contributions to your child’s Registered Education Savings Program (RESP) through its grant programs: the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).



4 Reasons to keep saving even when inflation is high

When inflation rates go up, it can be tempting to look for ways to grow your money at rates higher than the rate of inflation. Investing can feel more appealing than the average savings account.

While it’s important to stay the course on your investing goals, don’t neglect your savings. There are many reasons why a savings account is still worth tending to, even during tough times. If you’re making ends meet and still have extra to put aside, keep these tips in mind.



Spending habits calculator

Use this calculator to see how changes to your spending habits can impact your budget and help you save more of your money.



Make it easier to save

It pays to make saving a habit. Look for easy ways to build saving into your life and to make it automatic.



Managing debt

Managing debt doesn't have to be overwhelming. These tips and tools from the Ontario Securities commission can help you borrow wisely and pay off debt more quickly.



Crypto Quiz

Are you considering investing in crypto assets, but aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, legal or just a scam? Test your crypto knowledge and learn how to spot the warning signs of fraud using OSC's quiz. 



Fraud alert videos

Learn more about fraud in this latest set of videos by the Ontario Securities Commission. 

  • Investment fraud
  • Pump and dump scams
  • Fake government messages
  • Warnings about your finances
  • Work from home scams
  • Quick high-return schemes

 



Social influencers and your finances

Just because someone has a lot of followers doesn’t mean their advice is right for you. Social media influencers are increasingly sharing information about investing. This can be done by ordinary people or by celebrities who have taken an interest in a specific product or investment. They are often called “finfluencers” — financial influencers whose media accounts are focused on money and investing. This article will outline some questions to ask yourself before you choose to invest.



Investing and saving during a recession

If a recession seems likely, consider how your investing and savings plans may be affected. Increases in the cost of living and borrowing, combined with the overall financial uncertainty over the impact of a potential recession, can be enough to cause personal and financial stress. There is no single best way to respond to such times.



Investment recovery calculator

This calculator will help you find out how long it will take for your investment to recover its value after a market downturn and identify how long it will take to get back on track to reach your original goal.



Research study: Crypto assets 2022

This study by the Ontario Securities Commission examines Canadians’ crypto ownership and knowledge. It found 13% of Canadians currently own crypto assets or crypto funds. The study also found most Canadians did not have a working knowledge of the practical, legal and regulatory dimensions of crypto assets. Crypto assets were believed to play a key role in the financial system by 38% of those surveyed. The study provides a profile of crypto owners, their reasons for purchasing crypto assets or crypto funds, the role of financial advice, impact of advertising, and the experience of crypto owners with crypto trading platforms. 



RESP savings calculator

Estimate your child(ren)'s future education costs, and see how your planned RESP savings, including contributions and grants, will cover those costs.



Investment products

There are many investment products, here's some information about them:

Annuities: a contract with a life insurance company. Annuities are most commonly used to generate retirement income. 

Bonds: when you buy a bond, you’re lending your money to a company or a government for a set period of time. In return, the issuer pays you interest. On the date the bond becomes due, the issuer is supposed to pay back the face value of the bond to you in full.

Complex investments: these investments may have the potential for higher gains, but carry greater risks. 

ETFs: when you buy a share or unit of an ETF, you’re investing in a portfolio that holds a number of different stocks or other investments.

GICs: when you buy a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC), you are agreeing to lend the bank or financial institution your money for a set number of months or years. You are guaranteed to get the amount you deposited back at the end of the term. 

Mutual funds & segregated funds: when you buy a mutual fund, your money is combined with the money from other investors, and allows you to buy part of a pool of investments. 

Real estate: While real estate investments can offer a range of benefits, there is no guarantee that you will earn an income or profit and, like any investment, there are a number of risks and uncertainties that you need to carefully consider before investing.

Stocks: The stock market brings together people who want to sell stock with those who want to buy stock. When you buy stock (or equity) in a company, you receive a piece of the company and become a part owner.

Pensions & saving plans: if your employer offers contributions to your retirement or other savings plan, take advantage. 

Cannabis: Emerging sectors like the cannabis industry have often attracted investors hoping to be among the first to capitalize on the potential growth and high returns of what they believe are untapped markets or products that may be popular in the future.

Cryptoassets: Cryptoassets primarily designed to be a store of value or medium of exchange (e.g., Bitcoin) are often referred to as “digital coins.



Reporting fraud

A comprehensive set of articles are available on the Ontario Securities Commission website on how to identify and report fraud as well as what to do if you have been defrauded.  



Preparing for financial emergencies

Some emergencies in life can affect you financially. You could get sick, lose your job, or have a costly repair to your car or home. One of the best ways to cope with unexpected financial changes is to have an emergency fund. Ideally, this fund would provide enough money to cover your essential living expenses so you can avoid taking on debt.



What to do if you are defrauded

Financial fraud can be stressful and time-consuming experience. It can affect you both financially and emotionally.

If you are defrauded, or suspect that you may have been defrauded, follow the steps outlined in this article. 



TFSA Calculator

A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) can be used to save for any goal. You put after-tax dollars into a TFSA, but your investments grow tax-free and you won’t pay any tax on withdrawal. 

Use this calculator to estimate the value of the investments in your TFSA when you’re ready to withdraw them, and compare this amount to the value of your investments in a non-registered plan to see your overall estimated tax savings.



Types of fraud

Fraud comes in many forms. Learn about the different types of fraud and ways to protect yourself using the links below. 

8 common investment scams

Boiler room scams

Pump and dump scams

Recovery room scams

Affinity fraud

Identity theft

Romance scams

Fraudster trick (email spam attack)

Crypto fraud

 

 



Checking registration

Checking registration helps protect you from unqualified or fraudulent individuals. Always check the registration of any person or business trying to sell you an investment or give you investment advice by using the Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Registration Search.

Titles like financial advisor, financial plannerinvestment consultant, and investment specialist aren’t legally defined terms or official registration categories. Some advisers or dealers may have designations that allow them to use specific titles, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Checking registration tells you what specific products and services they are (and aren’t) qualified to offer you, regardless of title.



Debt consolidation calculator

Debt Consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into one. Use this calculator to calculate what your new monthly payments would be, how soon you could be debt free, and how much your total interest amount would be when you consolidate your debts.



Take the stress out of budgeting

Making a budget is one of the most helpful financial tools you can use on a regular basis. A budget can give you a clear picture of where your money is going. It’s easier to plan for the life you want, when you know how much money you have for saving, spending and paying off debt.

If you’ve never made a budget, or have not created one in a long time, it can be an intimidating reality check.  Don’t let stress or worry keep you from creating a budget.  The best budgeting method to use is the one that works for you.



Grandparent scams and how to avoid them

Imagine a loved one is in trouble or hurt. You get a call asking for urgent help. You’d likely want to act right away because you care about them. Exploiting family ties is the driving force behind grandparent scams — or emergency scams.

This article from the OSC can help you to protect yourself from becoming a victim of an emergency scam.



8 ways to prepare financially for retirement

This article from OSC provides 8 tips to help you plan for retirement. 

Transitioning from working life to retirement takes careful financial planning and decision-making – give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Here are some things you can do ahead of time.



Multilingual financial resources for Ontarians

Investing for your future is important. And no matter how much (or little) money you have to invest, having the right information and resources can help you make better decisions for you and your family.

The resources and tools provided here are intended to be a starting point for new investors, including those new to Canada. The information here can help you make more informed investment decisions and help you better protect your money.



Behavioural bias checker

Being aware of potential biases can help you become a better decision-maker. Use this tool to improve your awareness of different behavioural biases or “blind spots” that may influence your decisions.



Protecting aging investors through behavioural insights

This report identifies behaviourally informed techniques dealers and advisers can use to encourage their older clients to provide the necessary information for enhanced investor protection measures.



Your trusted contact person and why they matter

The Trusted Contact Person initiative has been adopted across Canada.

It is part of new regulatory measures to support advisors in their efforts to help investors, particularly older investors and vulnerable, protect themselves and their financial interests.

Canadian seniors are increasingly called upon to make complex financial decisions, with higher stakes, later in life than ever before. For many, health, mobility, or cognitive changes that can occur with age, may affect their ability to make these decisions. This can make seniors more susceptible to financial exploitation and fraud. In fact, about half of the victims of investment fraud are over age 55.



Compound interest calculator

Using OSC's online calculator, find out how your investment will grow over time with compound interest.



Emergency fund calculator

Some emergencies in life can affect you financially. You could get sick, lose your job, or have a costly repair to your car or home. An emergency fund can provide a financial safety net. Ideally, this fund would provide enough money to cover your essential living expenses so you can avoid taking on debt.

Use OSC's calculator to estimate how much money should be set aside to pay for financial emergencies. 



Introduction to investing: A primer for new investors

The resources and tools provided by OSC on this website are intended to be a starting point for new investors, including people who are new to Canada. The information here can help you make more informed investment decisions and help you better protect your money.

The information is available in multiple languages.



Retirement budget worksheet

Good financial planning starts with knowing what you spend. Try out this budget worksheet, prepared by the Ontario Securities Commission,  to see the difference in your costs before you retire and after you stop working. 



Scam spotter tool

Are you considering a new investment?
Use this tool to learn how to spot the warning signs of fraud, and to learn how to protect yourself from suspected scams.



Investor readiness quiz

Investing is an important part of planning for a financially secure future. It can battle the effects of inflation on your savings, grow your wealth, and provide sources of income in retirement. The sooner you invest, the longer compound interest can work to grow your savings exponentially. However, there are some important milestones to achieve and questions to consider before you start investing. 

Are you ready to invest? Take this quiz to find out!



Pay down debt or invest tool

If you have extra money, this calculator helps you decide whether to invest or pay off debt.



How income tax works

Filing your taxes might be one of the most important financial actions you’ll take each year. It can also feel confusing or stressful at times. 

Find out more about how income tax works, including tax deductions and tax credits using the Ontario Securities Commission's interactive chart to see what tax bracket you are in.



Living your retirement

These resources from the Ontario Securities Commission are oriented towards planning for retirement. Resources include tips on insurance planning, government benefits, RRSP calculator, and more. 

Get Smarter About Money: Financial Literacy 101 videos

GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca is an Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) website that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help you make better financial decisions. This series of videos covers different financial literacy topics., including:

  • What is an RRSP?
  • What is a TFSA?
  • What is a mutual fund?
  • Why open an RRSP?
  • What is an RESP?

 



Investing and The COVID-19 Pandemic: Survey of Canadian Investors

The Investor Office conducted this study to further our understanding of the experiences and behaviours of retail investors during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study explored several topics including the financial preparedness, savings behaviour, financial situations, changing preference, and trading activity of retail investors. Key findings include that 32 per cent of investors have experienced a decline in their financial situation during the pandemic while 16 per cent have experienced an improvement. Half of investors have not done any trading during the pandemic, but of those who have been trading, 63 per cent have increased their holdings.



COVID-19 Fraud Alerts

GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca is an Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) website that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help you make better financial decisions. This series of videos increases awareness of fraudulent activity during COVID-19. Topic include:

  • Pump-and-dump scams
  • Fake government messages
  • Warnings about your finances
  • Work from home scams
  • Signs of investment fraud
  • Quick high-return schemes



Behavioural insights: key concepts, applications and regulatory considerations

There are numerous factors that influence the decisions that people make. Behavioural insights (BI) recognizes this and, through a combination of psychology, economic and more recently other behavioural research, examines how people are often neither deliberate nor rational in their decisions in the way that traditional models, strategies and policies assume.

Behavioural insights recognize how people actually behave versus traditional economic and market theory of people as rational actors. This report discusses how leading practitioners and regulators around the world are using behavioural insights to address issues in capital markets and improve outcomes for investors and market participants.



Encouraging Retirement Planning through Behavioural Insights

This research report identifies behaviourally informed ways that government, regulators, employers, and financial institutions can encourage retirement planning.

Thirty different initiatives and tactics that could be implemented by a variety of stakeholders to encourage retirement planning are proposed, and interventions are organized around four primary challenges people face in moving from having the intention to create a retirement plan to the action of making a plan: (1) it’s hard to start, (2) it’s easy to put off, (3) it’s easy to get overwhelmed and drop out, and (4) it’s hard to get the right advice.

 

The report also includes the results of a randomized experiment that evaluated several of the approaches proposed in the report. This report was published as part of the Ontario Securities Commission’s strategy and action plan to respond to the needs and priorities of Ontario seniors.



Emergency Fund Calculator

Some emergencies in life can affect you financially. You could get sick, lose your job, or have a costly repair to your car or home. An emergency fund can provide a financial safety net. Use this calculator to estimate how much money should be set aside to pay for financial emergencies.



Compound Interest Calculator

Use this calculator from GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca to find out how your investment will grow over time, with compound interest. 



RRSP Savings Calculator

Use this tool by the OSC to estimate how much your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) will be worth at retirement and how much income it will provide each year.



TFSA Calculator

This calculator will help you estimate the value of the investments in your TFSA when you’re ready to withdraw them, and compare this amount to the value of your investments in a non-registered plan to see your overall estimated tax savings.



Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Checklist

Retirement Ramp-Up

Saving for your child’s education. Get the facts about RESPs before you invest

Savings crisis: 20 years in the making

Youthonomics: financial literacy in high school