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.



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.



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.



Beware: Crypto scams on the rise

Fraudsters often use emotions to lure people in, making a person feel afraid of missing out on an opportunity that others are profiting from.  With all the cryptocurrency hype in the media and online, it’s no surprise that scammers are taking note and trying to cash in on investors’ interest in digital currencies. Read this article for more information on the top crypto-related scams you should know.



Advancing equity: the power and promise of credit building

Credit is an essential ingredient for economic security and mobility. Without a high credit score and affordable, available capital, it is nearly impossible to get by financially, let alone get ahead. Our economic system, and the American Dream it is supposed to feed, is based on the belief that anyone has access to credit and can build economic security, wealth, and intergenerational transfer.

This brief will analyze what is not working within our credit system and identify what philanthropy can do to reimagine a system that builds economic security and mobility for everyone, especially people of color and immigrants. An equitable credit system would create pathways to narrow the racial wealth gap instead of continuing to widen it. Solutions include nonprofit organizations and community
development financial institutions (CDFIs) delivering financial products that are designed for the people who have been most excluded from the credit system, seeding their journey toward economic security, as well as systemic changes to make economic security and mobility more fairly attainable.

A webinar is also available and you can view the webinar slides here

 



Rising adoption of contactless payments and digital wallets: 3 key takeaways

Over the last two years, digital payment solutions, including peer-to-peer apps, digital wallets, and contactless payment solutions, have grown in popularity and adoption. With 125 million American mobile payment users predicted by 2025 Commonwealth sought to understand the potential for these payment apps as a channel to advance inclusive and equitable financial access.



Emergency savings preparedness and perceptions

According to Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), workers with household incomes of $75,000 or more are more than twice as likely to say they feel they can handle an emergency expense than those with household incomes of less than $35,000.

This report outlines the results of the 2022 survey that polled nearly 2700 Americans 25 and older. 



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. 



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.



How to build financial health in Native communities

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples have long faced barriers to asset building. More than half of AI/AN populations are un- or underbanked, financial services often don’t operate on reservations, and access to capital is difficult. Native peoples have been excluded from financial wealth accumulation through government asset stripping, industry redlining, and simple neglect, thanks to historic (and ongoing) discrimination, exclusion, and racism baked into government and private-sector policies. Solutions are within reach.

Recently, the Financial Security Program, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc (ONAC), and the Center for Native American Youth hosted an event featuring Native leaders representing various geographies, experiences, and tribal affiliations. The group discussed experiences in building assets and Indigenous perspectives on generational financial wealth. Finally, the speakers gave recommendations on how foundations, corporations, non-profits, and others can partner with tribal governments and Native-led nonprofits to build financial wealth in Native communities.

ONAC has produced a “List of Eighteen Suggestions to Better Support Native Practitioners Administering Asset Building Programs in their Communities”. 



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.



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.



15 percent of Canadians are ‘underbanked’ — here’s what that means and why it’s a barrier to equitable recovery

Research shows that 15 percent, or close to five million Canadians, are underbanked, and three percent are completely unbanked, meaning that they have very limited or no access to financial services within the traditional banking sector. 

Ironically, underbanked individuals often come from low-moderate income backgrounds which put them at a higher need for accessible financial services. However, factors like low credit scores, high credit card fees, and non-sufficient fund fees are major barriers that shut Canadians out from banks.

Instances of explicit racism while banking, which include being handcuffed when trying to open a bank account, have further diminished the trust in banks for many Black, Indigenous and people of colour.  



Community volunteer income tax program (CVITP)

Need help filing your taxes? You may be able to avail of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. 

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) has existed since 1971 and is a longstanding partnership between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and community organizations and their volunteers.

Tax clinic volunteers complete tax and benefit returns for eligible individuals to ensure they receive, or continue to receive, their entitled benefit payments. In Québec, volunteers prepare both the federal and provincial tax return.

The CVITP service is offered free of charge to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria, and includes doing taxes for the current and previous years.

For the 2022 tax season, community organizations are hosting free in-person and virtual tax clinics.



Making more purchases online? Beware of fake websites and phony retailer apps

Many of us have shifted some of our shopping online during the pandemic – it’s easy and very often you can have items delivered right to your door. Criminals are taking advantage of the increased popularity of online shopping by creating fake websites and apps that look authentic but are just a ploy to steal your personal information.

The Canadian Banker's Association helps you identify fake websites and apps and shares tips on how to protect yourself while shopping online and what to do if you are a victim of an online shopping scam. 



Singles in deep poverty neglected by pandemic supports

In 2020, the federal government spent over $160 billion on COVID-19 pandemic response measures. These expenses were critical in supporting recently unemployed workers and affected businesses in a time of uncertainty. However, supports through programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) were not extended to those who had less attachment to the labour market, such as a large proportion of social assistance recipients.

This pattern of exclusion has continued with the more recent Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, which was created to support workers affected by new pandemic-related shutdowns, and not people who were already living in deep poverty before the pandemic.

The pandemic benefits are intended to support people during a specific time of crisis — but what about those who have been living with low and insecure incomes for decades? This report analyzes the welfare incomes of 53 example households, divided into four types, focusing here on unattached singles considered employable, as they are the most likely to be living in poverty.



The Comeback Generation: Pandemic is inspiring Gen Z to build financial resilience

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of Canadians over the past 20 months. What began as a health crisis quickly morphed into an economic crisis, with the spread of COVID‑19 shocking large segments of the economy and leaving many without paycheques. While no generation has been unaffected by the pandemic, the economic impact was distributed unevenly. Many younger Canadians in Generation Z, or Gen Z, have had their education disrupted, career plans changed, and financial prospects diminished largely because they are overrepresented in the highly affected service sector, according to a new survey by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA).

The survey was published to mark Financial Literacy Month, which takes place each November, and found that more than half (53 per cent) of Gen Z respondents (aged 18‑25) felt the pandemic upended their financial security, with that number rising to 73 per cent for those in less stable financial situations. At the same time, nine‑in‑ten (88 per cent) Gen Zers are feeling optimistic about their financial futures, and nearly all of them (98 per cent) are actively making plans to strengthen their financial resilience.

"Gen Z was dealt a disproportionately tough hand during the pandemic, but it has also shown incredible resilience in channeling its natural gifts for perseverance, adaptability and motivation," says Neil Parmenter, President and CEO, Canadian Bankers Association. "Despite the setbacks, younger Canadians are eager to forge ahead, be prepared for the unexpected and build bright futures as our economy recovers."



Gender differences in employment one year into the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis by industrial sector and firm size

An important aspect of the impact of COVID-19 is its disproportional impact across gender. This Insights article proposes a year-over-year approach that compares employment from March 2020 to February 2021 to their March-2019-to-February-2020 counterparts. It uses the Labour Force Survey to study gender gaps patterns in employment by industrial sector (goods or services) and firm size.



Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on productivity growth in Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how production occurs in the economy in two ways. One is the full or partial closure of non-essential activities such as travel, hospitality, arts and entertainment, personal services, airlines, etc. The other is the widespread shift from in-office work to working from home. This Insights article depicts labour productivity growth in Canada and its sources by industry during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to examine the implications these changes may have had on the productivity performance of the economy.



3 Principles for an Antiracist, Equitable State Response to COVID-19 — and a Stronger Recovery

COVID-19’s effects have underscored the ways that racism, bias, and discrimination are embedded in health, social, and economic systems. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people are experiencing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, and people of color are also overrepresented in jobs that are at higher infection risk and hardest hit economically. Shaping these outcomes are structural barriers like wealth and income disparities, inadequate access to health care, and racial discrimination built into the health system and labor market.

This article discusses three recommended principles for guiding policymakers in making equity efforts.



Racial Equity In Philanthropy: Closing the Funding Gap

The Bridgespan Group is a social impact consultant and advisor to nonprofits and NGOs, philanthropists, and investors. This collection of resources discuss the barriers that leaders of color face in securing philanthropic funding.

Tax Prep Dispatch: Alternative Service Delivery Tips!

Tips and considerations for providing alternative tax filing service delivery.



Tax Prep Dispatch: The Drop-Off Process

Considerations and best practices for drop-off and virtual tax filing services.



Homeless Shelter Flows in Calgary and the Potential Impact of COVID-19

Social distancing and self-isolation are two of the key responses asked of citizens during a pandemic. For people without a home, this advice is rather more difficult to follow. This article uses daily data describing the movements of 36,855 unique individuals who used emergency homeless shelters in Calgary over the period 1 January 2014–31 December 2019. The use of emergency shelters is characterized by large flows from and into the broader community and smaller flows between individual shelters. Between admissions of new people into the shelter system and multiple re-admissions of current clients, there were an average of 43,613 movements between the community and between shelters each month. The size of these flows provide a measure of the extent to which people reliant on homeless shelters are exposed to the risk of transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 



Canadian Economic News, January 2021 edition

This module provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events, as well as international and financial market developments by calendar month. All information presented here is obtained from publicly available news and information sources, and does not reflect any protected information provided to Statistics Canada by survey respondents. This is the issue for January 2021.



The COVID-19 Wildfire: Nonprofit Organizational Challenge and Opportunity

Nonprofit organizations in Canada were significantly impacted by COVID-19, including lost revenue and needing to adjust the program delivery. The lack of technology capacity in the nonprofit sector is a key barrier for many nonprofit organizations to adapt to delivering programs online. Momentum, a Calgary-based nonprofit organization, experienced both financial and programmatic challenges due to COVID-19. Momentum pivoted program delivery to provide supports during the COVID-19 lockdown and developed innovative approaches to online programming. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Momentum was able to rapidly develop its capacity to use technology for online programming with the support of critical new funding. Many nonprofits will have to transform their business models to not only survive but thrive in the post-COVID world.



The mental health of population groups designated as visible minorities in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

This article examines the mental health outcomes (i.e., self-rated mental health, change in mental health since physical distancing began, and severity of symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder in the two weeks prior to completing the survey) of participants in a recent crowdsource questionnaire who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities in Canada.



Impacts of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities

This article provides a general snapshot of the employment and income impacts of COVID-19 on survey participants aged 15 to 64 living with long-term conditions and disabilities.



Shelters for victims of abuse with ties to Indigenous communities or organizations in Canada, 2017/2018

There were 85 shelters for victims of abuse that had ties to First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities or organizations operating across Canada in 2017/2018. These Indigenous shelters, which are primarily mandated to serve victims of abuse, play an important role for victims leaving abusive situations by providing a safe environment and basic living needs, as well as different kinds of support and outreach services. Over a one-year period, there were more than 10,500 admissions to Indigenous shelters; the vast majority of these admissions were women (63.7%) and their accompanying children (36.1%).

This article uses data from the Survey of Residential Facilities for Victims of Abuse (SRFVA). Valuable insight into shelter use in Canada and the challenges that shelters and victims of abuse were facing in 2017/2018 is presented.



We Tracked Every Dollar 235 U.S. Households Spent for a Year, and Found Widespread Financial Vulnerability


Income inequality in the United States is growing, but the most common economic statistics hide a significant portion of Americans’ financial instability by drawing on annual aggregates of income and spending. Annual numbers can hide fluctuations that determine whether families have trouble paying bills or making important investments at a given moment. The lack of access to stable, predictable cash flows is the hard-to-see source of much of today’s economic insecurity.




Poverty Reduction and Disability Income

The fall and rise of Canada’s top income earners

The Canadian student financial aid system: the case for modernization

The association between skills and low income

Barista or Better? Where Post-Secondary Education Will Take You

Where have all our nest eggs gone?

Against Financial Literacy Education

A million Canadian kids missing out on free education money

Collective Impact 3.0: An Evolving Framework for Community Change

Our Community Can Change When We Work Together Well

A Game-changer Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategy and Evaluation

Thriving but Still Vulnerable in the U.S.

Advancing Health Equity through Benefits Screening

Re-framing poverty as a matter of rights

A Random Control Trial of Financial Coaching: The Practitioners’ Overview of “An Evaluation of the Impacts and Implementation Approaches of Financial Coaching Programs”

Emerging Pathways to Transformative Scale

Nonprofit-Corporate Partnerships: A New Framework

Gender Differences in the Financial Knowledge of Canadians

Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

The destructive legacy of housing segregation

Collective Impact

The Community Cure for Health Care

A Framework for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Performance Measurement Systems

Unsteady Incomes Keep Millions Behind on Bills

The savings jackpot

Debt and the Racial Wealth Gap

Why It’s So Hard to Regulate Payday Lenders

Letter From The Guest Editor: Collective Impact

Fin Lit Fin Ed and Behaviours

End Poverty in a Generation: A Road Map to Guide Our Journey

On Policy Summer 2016

Asset-Based Social Policies – A “New Idea” Whose Time Has Come?