As Financial Literacy Month gets underway, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, also know as Advocis, is rolling out an initiative to help Canadian consumers build their financial knowledge so they can make sound decisions at every life stage.

Branded “MyMoneySmarts — Build your financial savvy. Shape your future”, the initiative focuses on educating Canadians across generations about how money, credit and debt management, and saving, spending and investing, all work together.

“Canadians are very smart, educated people. But it’s our ‘money smarts’, our knowledge of what you need to know to make sound financial and life decisions, that’s lacking,” says Greg Pollock, president and CEO of Advocis,” in a statement.

The new program is the start of a long-term plan by Advocis to promote financial literacy in support of the national financial literacy strategy, “Count me in, Canada”, launched by the federal government in 2015.

“We’re starting with small steps. Over time, we’ll be developing more resources for both the public and our members,” Pollock adds.

The core of MyMoneySmarts is a new website (, launched Wednesday. The site, which will grow over time, features articles on topics including:

> how having joint bank accounts can make your financial life easier;
> the value of having a financial advisor to guide you; and
> why financial savvy is important in the new “freelance” economy.

There’s also an interactive graphic that shows consumers how all the essential elements of personal finance work together.

Across the country, Advocis chapters will be sending out a MyMoneySmarts tip of the day in public posts on Facebook during Financial Literacy Month.

Advocis encourages financial advisors to actively promote and participate in MyMoneySmarts, and financial literacy. Individual Advocis chapters across Canada have already begun taking the lead in presenting Junior Achievement (JA) Canada financial literacy programs on a voluntary basis to students in their local elementary, middle and high schools.

“Financial advisors have a critically important role to play,” says Pollock.

Advocis is also encouraging its 40 chapters to help create financial literacy networks in their local communities. The networks would bring together representatives of municipal councils, Advocis, JA Canada and chambers of commerce, to develop stronger financial literacy programs in their communities.

“This initiative is currently in the works in our Kingston, Ont. chapter,” explains Pollock. “Once the Kingston financial literacy network is established, it will be a model other Advocis chapters can follow.”

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