Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit?

On March 9th, 2018, leading American and Canadian researchers and policy makers from all sectors gathered in Toronto to explore the question: Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit? The policy research symposium was an invitational event co-hosted by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Prosper Canada. Its purpose was to shine a light on an issue that has gained prominence in US economic and policy circles but was just emerging as a topic for exploration in Canada in the context of
growing household financial instability.

This report summarizes key insights, conclusions and next steps from the symposium in the hopes that it will inform, catalyse and support further action on this issue. To view the conference agenda and links to all conference presentations, please see Appendix 1. Presentation videos can be found online at
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC0J2kAG0MZZ5gd_6ZaHjqqEcenL2jCtP



Cross Canada Check-up (updated March 2021)

Canada ranks consistently as one of the best places to live in the world and one of the wealthiest. When it comes to looking at the financial health of Canadian households, however, we are often forced to rely on incomplete measures, like income alone, or aggregate national statistics that tell us little about the distribution of financial health and vulnerability in our neighbourhoods, communities or provinces/territories.

The purpose of this report is to examine the financial heath and vulnerability of Canadian households in different provinces and territories using a new composite index of household financial health, the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index or NFHI.

This report is an update of Cross Canada Check-up: Provincial/territorial findings from Canada's Neighbourhood Financial Health Index published in 2018. 



Managing Financial Health in Challenging Times

Managing financial health is difficult during ordinary times—and especially so in challenging times like the ones we're currently facing. Guest speaker RuthAnne Corley, the Senior Stakeholder Engagement Officer with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), discusses how to manage your financial health despite external challenges.

RuthAnne joined FCAC in 2015 where she’s been instrumental in the development of Canada’s "National Strategy for Financial Literacy - Count me in, Canada" and its implementation. Prior to joining FCAC in 2015, RuthAnne managed stakeholder engagement and outreach activities at numerous federal departments and agencies.



Race, Ethnicity, and the Financial Lives of Young Adults: Exploring Disparities in Financial Health Outcomes

Young adults of color, particularly those who are Black and Latinx, have borne a disproportionate share of economic hardship, as decades of systemic racism have made their communities more vulnerable to the effects of these crises. This report shares new data on the financial lives of young adults, focusing on Black and Latinx young adults, in order to inform policies, programs, and solutions that can improve financial health for all.



Roadblock to Recovery: Consumer debt of low- and moderate-income Canadians in the time of COVID-19

Almost half of low-income households and 62 per cent of moderate-income households carry debt, with households on low incomes spending 31 per cent of their income on debt repayments, according to a new report published by national charity, Prosper Canada.

This report analyzes the distribution, amount and composition of non-mortgage debt held by low- and moderate-income Canadian households and explores implications for federal and provincial/territorial policy makers as they develop and implement COVID-19 economic recovery plans and fulfill their respective regulatory roles.



The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on SaverLife Members

SaverLife is an organization that seeks to advance savings programs, analytic insights, and policy initiatives through a network of employers, financial institutions, nonprofits and advocacy groups in the United States.

This report provides insight into the financial challenges presented by their savings program members during the COVID-19 pandemic from March to August of 2020.



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.



How Are the Most Vulnerable Households Navigating the Financial Impact of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had an unprecedented impact on the financial lives of households across the United States. During June and July 2020, Prosperity Now conducted a national survey of lower-income households to better understand the circumstances these households are confronted with and the strategies they use to secure resources to navigate this crisis.



Measuring financial health: What policymakers need to know

This report provides an overview of financial health and the policy responses around the world. Based on this, and the key questions of whether financial health measure more than income and if financial inclusion supports financial health, the report offers recommendations to policy makers on strategies for measuring the financial health of their population.



Supporting Financial Health Fintechs in Canada: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Technology can play a key role in addressing some of the financial challenges that Canadians face on a day-to-day basis. Over the last five to ten years we have seen a growing number of companies, called fintechs, that primarily use technology to change and enhance the way we do banking or access financial advice and services. Many of these companies are building products that are specifically meant to help Canadians improve their financial health.

The purpose of this report is to explore the existing financial health fintech landscape in Canada, the challenges that these companies face, and how an accelerator program that provides mentorship and resource supports over a defined time-frame can better help these financial health fintechs grow and thereby help improve the financial health of people across Canada.



Economic volatility in childhood and subsequent adolescent mental health problems: a longitudinal population based study of adolescents

This research paper investigates the association between the patterns of duration, timing and sequencing of exposure to low family income during childhood, and symptoms of mental health problems in adolescence.



Financial Health Index: 2019 Findings and 3-Year Trends Report

This report explores consumer financial health, wellness/ stress and resilience for Canadians across a range of financial health indicators, demographics and all provinces excluding Quebec. This report provides topline results from the 2019 Financial Health Index study and three-year trends from 2017 to 2019.



2018 White Paper: Financial Wellbeing Remains Challenged in Canada

The study examines consumers’ financial knowledge and confidence levels; financial and money stressors, financial capability aspects and financial management behaviours and practices (across the financial services spectrum). The study also explores external or environmental factors such as income variability and the extent to which Canadians have access to and lever their social capital (i.e. their family and friends who can provide financial advice and/or support in times of hardship).

The study also explores consumer financial product and service usage, debt management and debt stress, access to financial products, services, advice and tools, usage of more predatory financial services (e.g. payday lending) and perceived levels of support by consumers’ primary Financial Institution for their financial wellness. The study also provides benefits of improved support for financial providers improving the financial wellness of their customers – including from a banking share of wallet and brand perspective.



The shared path: First Nations financial wellness

Prosper Canada and AFOA Canada are pleased to collaboratively tell the story of The Shared Path: First Nations Financial Wellness. This work was undertaken in the spirit of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous people in Canada and creating a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between us.

This report defines financial wellness in the context of First Nations Peoples and communities, reviews why it matters, provides a conceptual framework to help clarify the determinants of financial wellness, and identifies barriers, needs, best practices and principles for building the financial wellness of Indigenous individuals, families, and communities together.