Investing basics

Whether you’re a first-time investor, thinking of saving for your education, or planning for your retirement, FAIR Canada's investing basics may help you on your investing journey. 



A guide to protect yourself against investment fraud

Today’s investment landscape offers such a range of products, investing tools, and information that the average investor may feel overwhelmed. As advancements in technology continue to accelerate, new online investing platforms and opportunities are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.


And as the world of investing continues to innovate, so do the tactics of fraudsters when designing and carrying out scams against unsuspecting victims.


In this guide, we discuss investment fraud and some key things you should know before investing, including helpful tips to protect yourself from investment scams.

 



Learn the 101 of financial literacy

This course is offered by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, a non-profit organization that works to improve economic, financial, and enterprising capability.

This financial literacy course for general audiences covers a range of topics: money basics and the economy, setting goals and making wiser consumer decisions, employment, self-employment, spending on major purchases, borrowing money, saving and investing, protecting your money and managing your money. 



The Role of Credit Unions in Providing Alternatives to Payday Lending

High levels of household indebtedness in Canada has been a concern for policymakers at all levels of government over the past decade. As the economic costs of COVID-19 grow, household indebtedness becomes a faster growing and increasingly more serious concern.
 
While responsive government policy, such as the federal government’s Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), has curbed some short-term impacts on indebtedness, the program was developed to fill a temporary gap. The most vulnerable households are low-income households with limited access to credit, who frequently turn to high cost payday lending for financial relief. While regulations on the payday lending industry have increased substantially, low-income Canadian households remain left with few, if any, practical alternatives.
 
The low-income households in greatest need of alternatives are the financially excluded, specifically the underbanked and the unbanked.
 
At the same time, it is important to recognize that not all payday loan clients are in low-income households. A 2016 report by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada states that close to 40% of payday loan borrowers have household income of $55,000 or greater and 20% having income of $80,000 or greater.
 
Thus, payday loan borrowers are not a homogeneous group.
 
Some Canadian credit unions have developed payday loan alternatives for the financially excluded, however, these more reasonably priced loans are only accessed by a very small portion of would-be payday loan clients.
 
The objective of this research is to review the alternative payday loan products currently offered by Canadian credit unions, to identify the barriers to offering more payday loan alternatives, and to make recommendations to expand the offerings.



Financial Anxiety and Stress among U.S. Households: New Evidence from the National Financial Capability Study and Focus Groups

The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the deeply rooted financial struggles that many Americans face. This paper shows that even before the pandemic, a
substantial share of households was already anxious and stressed about their personal finances. The greatest levels of anxiety and stress were expressed by women, young adults,
those with lower income, those with more financially dependent children, those who are not married, and those who are unemployed. In this paper, factors likely contributing
to high levels of financial anxiety and stress are analyzed.



The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the deeply rooted financial struggles that many Americans face. This paper shows that even before the pandemic, a
substantial share of households was already anxious and stressed about their personal finances. The greatest levels of anxiety and stress were expressed by women, young adults,
those with lower income, those with more financially dependent children, those who are not married, and those who are unemployed. In this paper, factors likely contributing
to high levels of financial anxiety and stress are analyzed.

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



Attitudes Toward Debt and Debt Behavior

This paper introduces a novel survey measure of attitude toward debt. Survey results with panel data on Swedish household balance sheets from registry data are matched, showing that debt attitude measure helps explain individual variation in indebtedness as well as debt build-up and spending behavior in the period 2004–2007. As an explanatory variable, debt attitude compares well to a number of other determinants of debt, including education, risk-taking, and financial literacy. Evidence that suggests that debt attitude is passed down along family lines and has a cultural element is also presented.



Stop Overpaying, Start Switching

In the past year, 1 in 4 Canadians surveyed renegotiated their contracts or switched providers to take advantage of better deals and services.

This webpage provides information on switching or renegotiating your contract to reduce your monthly bills and get better products and services.



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.



How to really build financial capability

Recent years have seen an explosion in interventions designed to improve financial outcomes of participants. Yet on-the-ground evidence suggests that not all financial education programs are equally successful at achieving this aim.

This paper examines the difference between interventions that work, and those than do not. It attempts to answer the question: “How do you actually build financial capability?” In doing so, we aim to help interested parties enhance the effectiveness of their programs and policies by providing them with evidence-based recommendations to drive positive outcomes in participants.