THE CASE FOR FINANCIAL LITERACY
Financial education makes sense at home and school, survey finds
Parents and schools should take the lead in educating kids on financial literacy, says a survey conducted for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
But governments and the financial services industry itself also need to step up and make sure today's youth learn basic money smarts, the telephone survey of more than 1,000 Canadians found.
"We're all very busy people, we have a lot on our plate and (financial literacy) is just one of those things that has fallen by the wayside:" said Nicholas Cheung, a senior official with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
"It also comes from learning from parents" - but many parents say they feel ill-equipped to teach their children, he added.
The survey, conducted by Harris Decima last summer, found that 85 per cent of those contacted believe schools should teach money management, and 98 per cent said parents should.
However, while 78 per cent of parents have tried to, most don't feel they succeeded, it also found.
Next fall, the Ontario government will add money management issues to the curriculum in several subject areas starting in Grade 4.
"The focus will be on helping students develop critical money-management skills and will include ... concepts of income, money, earning, saving, spending, investing, budgeting, credit and borrowing, risks and rewards:' said Mike Feenstra, spokesperson for Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky.
Cheung says financial literacy is a lifelong learning process. "Saving money for a new baby, whether to buy or rent a home, or save for retirement - financial literacy has to be throughout your life!"
The survey was conducted last June and July, and is considered accurate to plus or minus 31 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Posted by BEYOND RISK at 1/06/2011