building sound financial management skills puzzle

The RBC WM Financial Literacy Program is currently being tested across Canada and the anticipated launch will take place in 2018. For more information, please contact your RBC advisor.

In the coming years and decades, it’s estimated that approximately $400 billion will be passed down to inheritors in Canada. It’s a powerful statistic that carries with it many underlying questions and considerations for both the giving and the receiving generations, a common one of which is whether inheritors are prepared. With this historical wealth transfer on the horizon — and its significant impact on individuals and families — RBC Wealth Management (RBC WM) is taking proactive steps to strengthen its focus on younger generations, helping to ensure they have the resources and tools needed to be confident and capable as they gain financial independence and as many become receivers of wealth. As part of this focus, RBC WM is launching a new learning platform, the RBC WM Financial Literacy Program, which offers a comprehensive, structured approach to building sound financial management skills.

Addressing the financial education gap

RBC WM has been a long-time advocate of financial literacy for all of our clients and their families, regardless of age. At the same time, we recognize the heightened importance of building financial literacy among children, youth and young adults to set the stage for informed financial decision-making and strong financial management skills into their transitional years and throughout adulthood.

Current research indicates that financial guidance and learning is not taking place as early as it should among many younger Canadians, and it is largely more informal in nature and often guided by family members. In fact, findings from the 2017 RBC WM Wealth Transfer Report note that the average age individuals begin learning is 26, yet the average age at which individuals inherit wealth from their grandparents is 29. From an age standpoint, report data also indicates there’s a direct correlation between earlier learning and improved confidence when it comes to financial decision-making. And lastly, while financial education from family members is effective in some regards, findings from the report indicate that formal and structured educational opportunities are the most effective method for learning.

The RBC WM Financial Literacy Program has been developed with these facts in mind, at the same time recognizing that financial literacy is crucial for individuals at every life stage. As such, its purpose is twofold:

  • To fill the gap that currently exists in when and how younger individuals are exposed to and educated about financial topics, from money basics all the way to advanced planning.
  • To assist individuals of all ages who may be in a situation where they are taking on greater financial responsibilities and decision-making as a result of wealth transfer or other family circumstances or life events.

Designed for individuals 16 years of age and older, this program provides a formalized learning platform and effectively zeroes in on the wealth of benefits that an earlier approach to financial literacy can offer younger generations, as well as the importance of financial knowledge and capabilities throughout life.

cartoon couple holding piggy bank

Furthering RBC’s youth strategy

As an organization, RBC is committed to investing in youth and their future prosperity through all possible means, whether it’s planning tools and resources, educational or career-related programs, corporate partnerships, community involvement or charitable initiatives. The RBC WM Financial Literacy Program has been developed in alignment with the organization’s overall Youth Strategy, “RBC Future Launch.” RBC Future Launch is focused on better preparing youth for future entry into the workforce and equipping them with 21st-century skills.  

The main goal of the RBC WM Financial Literacy Program will be to help younger individuals better prepare for their financial futures, developing the knowledge and skills needed to manage both the growth and preservation of their own financial resources, as well as the wealth they may inherit. Beyond building a strong foundational knowledge and understanding of a full range of wealth and financial planning topics, this program also encourages and supports young individuals in thinking critically, provides exposure to all areas of wealth planning that they will encounter, and fosters relevant skills that can then be applied to planning for every stage of life.

RBC WM Financial Literacy Program overview

The program comprises four main focus areas — Earnings & Savings, Wealth Planning Basics, Investing and Advanced Planning — each with its own set of advisor-led learning Modules that address key topics, questions and aspects. To further augment the learning and usability of the information, a number of the Modules also include case studies and practical exercises to help individuals apply the learning to real-life situations and scenarios. The following provides an overview of the program components:

literacy cartoon board game
Download image for better resolution