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Tools to take control of your finances

Financial education is a bit like celery next to the stock market. potato chips with tomato sauce We know what is good for us, but we neglect it anyway.

Posted at 6:30 am

It’s not hard to find more entertaining videos than the ones that explain how RESPs or exchange-traded funds work. But at a time when 85% of Quebecers are experiencing financial anxiety, according to a recent Léger survey, taking a little time to improve your knowledge can help put you back to sleep.

In fact, those whose financial anxiety is “severe” or “extreme” are very few (less than 25%) who show a good level of knowledge of the concepts of interest, inflation and investment. You will have understood that it is the opposite among those who do not stress with money.

Of course, other factors contribute to money concerns. But if you can’t control inflation, interest rates, income and investment returns, neither can your level of financial education.


“When you have more notions, you obviously have more power over your situation. On évite les erreurs coûteuses, on peut prendre de meilleures décisions qui nous feront gagner de l’argent ou économiser », fait valoir Youcef Ghellache, professor of finance au collège Montmorency, fondateur du site Éducfinance et créateur du groupe Facebook L’argent ne dort Never.

But how to do it, concretely, to learn without suffering too much? In this month of financial education, I posed the question to four experts.

Youcef Ghellache likes to recommend the book. retirement at age 40, by Jean-Sébastien Pilotte, “although the title may seem eccentric”. It is light, the tone is humorous and the explanations are clear, he justifies. Books by Pierre-Yves McSween (Do you really need it?, Freedom 45 Y the bill of love) as much as Rich Dad Poor Dadby Robert Kiyosaki, are other readings nice and accessible.

on your site Educfinance, the teacher and entrepreneur offers a box containing seven tools to better manage your budget, your debts, your investments, your taxes and your insurance, in particular.

The ÉducÉpargne (formerly Question Retraite) site is also filled with a wealth of knowledgeable information on RAP, retirement planning, and even pet insurance. your guide 99 Tips to save without depriving yourself too much it was last updated in 2019, but its recommendations are still valid.

Its general director, Louis-Alexandre Lacoste, agrees that you have to make “a minimum effort” to equip yourself and be able to ask the right questions, “otherwise, it will be organized and it will not necessarily be in your interest.” But the good news is that “the information is there”. Everything is online, easily accessible. He cites as an example the Hardbacon site, the Retraite Québec site, those of the banks, Desjardins, the labor funds.

“What we often hear is people reaching 60 saying, ‘How come they didn’t tell me that when I was 30?’ Wasn’t it said or people didn’t listen asks Mr. Lacoste.

Improving one’s knowledge can improve one’s present, but also one’s retirement prospects. If only because of “the magic of compound interest,” says Philippe d’Astous, director of the Financial Education Laboratory at HEC Montreal.

Starting to save early in life makes all the difference. But for that you have to “optimize consumption” by being attentive to all the tricks that can be found so as not to be fooled, he suggests. Then he learns to manage his surplus by allocating it “where the rate is highest.” This means having some basic investment knowledge.

Some knowledge can have a great impact on our life choices. Some employees reject the possibility of buying shares at a discount from their employer, because they don’t understand how it works, laments Philippe d’Astous. “Not even 25% of people know that they can work while receiving the QPP. For the elderly to return to work, it is not ideal, ”he also gives as an example.

When it comes to retirement, literacy makes a difference.

Knowing at a young age that personal savings may not be enough to build a viable retirement (unless you earn a very high salary), you can make different life choices, believes the sociologist and coordinator of the Retirement Observatory François L’Italien. Either in terms of employer or type of occupation. “You should know that for the vast majority of the world, the RRSP is a small complement and not a pillar for retirement. Knowing it will also allow you to make a better decision when your union, for example, gives you a choice between a better pension plan or a great salary.

Who said we had to wait for 1Ahem January to make good resolutions?


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