It’s now 2014. The task force has evolved into the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy, and I’m encouraged by the progress we’re making as a country.

We know that the government can’t do it alone, nor should they. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to educate others on financial literacy than a professional financial advisor. So why not start with our children? Financial advisors live in every community, big or small, and are eager to share their knowledge in the communities where they live and work. 

The need for adult financial literacy

However, our children aren’t the only ones who need to be financially literate; adults need to be educated as well. Times have changed. Understanding financial concepts and applying that knowledge to everyday life is becoming an essential life skill, just as important as literacy skills — maybe even more important. Life expectancies in Canada are continuing to rise and Canadians have to prepare themselves financially for the possibility of living longer than expected.

"As a society we have a collective responsibility to ensure that each and every citizen has the basic knowledge and skills to maintain a good quality of life."

As a society we have a collective responsibility to ensure that each and every citizen has the basic knowledge and skills to maintain a good quality of life. Knowledge is one thing, but it’s acting on that knowledge where people sometimes need the help of a professional.

We all know that exercise is a good thing. But do we all act on that knowledge? Often we need others to motivate us to action. The same is true in the financial world. We all know that saving is a good thing. But do we all save enough for our basic needs in the future?

The need for financial advice extends throughout an individual’s entire life, from graduating university and getting married, to saving for a child’s education and preparing for retirement. Increased financial literacy is important to achieving financial health — professional financial advisors help all consumers not just those with large sums of money to invest. 

Everyone deserves access to financial advice. It’s my hope that financial education continues to be a priority for all Canadians.