How financially savvy are Canadians?

By Staff | September 24, 2012 | Last updated on September 24, 2012
2 min read

Most Canadians think they’re smarter than their peers when it comes to financial knowledge. In fact, 70% describe their own financial smarts as “excellent/good,” while only 30% feel the same about their neighbours, finds an RBC survey.

Read: Kids financial literacy? There’s an app for that

Despite their own confidence, 64% believe financial literacy is a serious issue. Canadians are willing to take steps to improve their knowledge, including:

  • speaking to an advisor (36%)
  • reading newspapers and listening to business reports on TV and radio (30%)
  • getting advice from friends and family (30%)
  • visiting websites of banks and investment firms (22%)
  • taking a course (13%)

Read: Financial literacy pays off for young Canadians

The survey also found Canadians are evenly split on whether they think the economy will improve (30%) or worsen (29%) in the next year.

“The pace of consumer spending has slowed, which is likely a reflection of Canadians exercising a higher degree of caution due to elevated levels of household debt and volatility in financial markets,” says Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist, RBC.

He adds, “As we move into 2013, we project a solid rise in consumer spending, supported by modest economic growth, an improvement in the unemployment rate and stabilizing housing prices.”

Read: Investors shouldn’t worry about inflation

Other survey highlights include:

  • 24% believe their personal financial situation will improve over the next three months;
  • 50% are delaying making any major purchases, such as new cars or household appliances;
  • Nationally, 19% are anxious about their jobs; Regionally, Ontario (24%) leads the country, followed by Atlantic Canada (20%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (18%), Quebec (17%), British Columbia (15%) and Alberta (12%).

Also read:

Canadian economy improving: RBC

U.S. consumer confidence lowest since Nov 2011

Fed leans toward further easing

What’s slowing down Canada? staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.