I was talking to someone in their early 20’s recently about their careers. I advised them that financial literacy is probably the most important skill they can develop early on, and it will help them no matter what direction their career takes.

I believe financial literacy is an essential skill that should be taught to everyone as early as possible. It includes an understanding of some core concepts like: basic numeracy, risk and diversification, compounding interest, inflation, and volatility.

A big part of it ofcourse is developing strong, interntional practices in personal finance - debt and credit, income management, budgeting, investing and taxes. However, it also includes an understanding of broader economic systems and why things work the way they do.

I found a really interesting global survey of financial literacy, which contains some startling results of literacy across a number of segments.

One of the most startling statistics was of India, where less than 25% of adults are considered financially literate.

I’m happy that in Ontario, we have a program to improving financial literacy - starting in Grade 4 and going up to grade 12. The program includes personal finance, consumer awareness, economic understanding and citizenship.