BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

April 16, 2013 10:30 ET

BMO Financial Literacy Poll: 96 Per Cent of Canadians Believe Teaching Kids About Money Matters is Key to a Healthier Economy

- Virtually all Canadians agree it is important to develop good financial habits at a young age

- The vast majority feel more should be done to teach kids about finances in school

- Only 18 per cent of parents spend a lot of time discussing money management with their kids

- Inaugural "Talk With Our Kids About Money Day" takes place April 17

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 16, 2013) - BMO Financial Group today released its latest Financial Literacy Study. The report comes in advance of the first annual "Talk With Our Kids About Money Day" - taking place April 17 - and finds that the overwhelming majority of Canadians recognize the important role financial literacy can play in helping bring about national prosperity.

The study revealed:

  • The vast majority of Canadians (99 per cent) agree it is important to develop good financial habits early in life
  • Ninety-six per cent of Canadians agree that teaching financial literacy will contribute to personal and household financial stability and help the Canadian economy
  • Nearly half of Canadians (43 per cent) believe that children under nine years old should have a basic understanding of finances, while 79 per cent believe pre-teens should have a solid grounding on personal finance matters

"The survey results clearly indicate that Canadians put a premium on getting to our kids early to teach them the basics of personal finance and that we, as a society, need to place more of an emphasis on this," said L. Jacques Ménard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and Federal Financial Literacy Task Force Vice-Chair. "Ensuring Canadians are armed with the knowledge and resources to become financially literate is key to the financial well-being of families, as well as the overall economy. This needs to continue to be a focus for all involved."

Having the "Money Talk"

The report also showed that, while the vast majority of Canadians recognize the importance of developing good financial habits early in life, the majority of parents are not spending significant time talking with their children about money and financial matters:

  • Only 18 per cent of parents spend a lot of time discussing money and financial matters with their kids
  • Comparatively, parents spend significantly more time talking to their children about school (62 per cent), their hobbies (50 per cent), their friends (47 per cent) and their future (37 per cent) than about financial matters

Furthermore, the study revealed that nearly all parents polled (96 per cent) believe that schools need to do more to teach children and teenagers about finances. In addition, three-in-ten (31 per cent) rank financial literacy as one of the top three most important subjects to teach children in school, comparable to social sciences and humanities (32 per cent), and ahead of physical education (20 per cent) and the arts (8 per cent).

CFEE and BMO Launch First Annual Talk With Our Kids About Money Day

To help address this issue, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) has launched a new program geared at assisting young Canadians in learning more about money and personal finances. Talk With Our Kids About Money Day, supported by BMO and taking place on April 17, encourages families to have more financial conversations at home by offering online resources and tools, and also includes a school-based component for teachers and students.

"It's essential to make time to talk to kids about basic financial matters and teach them money management skills at an early age," said Gary Rabbior, President, CFEE. "An overwhelming majority of Canadian parents would like schools to increase their efforts around financial education, which is why the new Talk With Our Kids About Money Day program is the ideal tool to facilitate this discussion."

Mr. Rabbior continued: "While kids today have access to a vast amount of online information and resources, it's essential that parents and teachers act as a guide, especially regarding finances," said Mr. Rabbior. "This program offers both home and school resources designed to break down barriers to encourage conversations with children about financial matters."

The first annual Talk With Our Kids About Money Day will take place on April 17, 2013 in schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal. The program's material is designed to support provincial governments' desire to integrate financial education into the curriculum and can be used by teachers throughout the school year.

Families and teachers interested in the program are encouraged to visit

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 11 and 12, 2013, with a sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over. A probability sample of this size would produce results accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About CFEE:

CFEE is a federally chartered, non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic and financial literacy and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with ministries and departments of education along with school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations. CFEE also engages in activities to support and assist newcomers and past immigrants to Canada, and the general public including print resources, videos, workshops, and online resources. Overall, CFEE aspires to help Canadians of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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