Released on November 3, 2022
This November, to mark Financial Literacy Month, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) will educate Saskatchewan residents on four emergent aspects of personal financial management: the cost of investment fees; the pros and cons of variable rate loans; the impact of changing interest rates on loan repayment periods; and the dangers of screen scraping.
"Financial Literacy Month is a great opportunity to highlight hot topics and emerging issues," FCAA Chair and CEO Roger Sobotkiewicz said. "This year we are focusing on four core elements that, if ignored or misunderstood, can contribute to poor financial outcomes. I encourage all Saskatchewan residents to learn more about these topics and to continuously improve their financial literacy."
Saskatchewan residents can learn more about the four focus topics listed below, and find financial literacy resources, on the FCAA's website.
Investment fees can significantly impact an investor's return
We encourage investors to scrutinize how their portfolio fees impact their overall returns. A small difference in investment fees over a long period of time can mean the difference between retiring early and having to stay in the workforce longer than planned. Investors can learn more about the impact of investment fees by visiting https://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/investors/investment-basics/investment-fees.
Variable rate mortgages have pros and cons
Variable rate mortgages can offer lower interest rates than fixed rate mortgages. Variable interest rates can decrease or increase, and have the potential to increase higher than what a fixed rate mortgage might be. In contrast, a fixed mortgage may start out at a higher rate than a variable mortgage, but offers certainty, a protection against future interest rate increases and may ease budgeting anxiety. Residents are encouraged to learn more about the pros and cons at https://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/financial-literacy/adults/is-a-variable-rate-mortgage-right-for-you.
Amortization schedules are key to understanding a loan's length and cost
An amortization schedule outlines how much of a monthly payment goes toward the amount owing on the principal and how much goes toward the interest. If the interest rate increases, or the loan term gets longer, generally more interest will need to be paid over the loan's lifetime. More information about amortization schedules can be found at https://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/financial-literacy/adults/understanding-your-amortization-period.
Screen scraping may be putting residents' bank accounts at risk
Screen scraping occurs when a third party, such as a finance or budgeting app, asks users to provide their online banking username and password to gain access to their financial data. Users who share this information may violate their banking agreements and be liable for losses if their account is compromised. More information about the risks of screen scraping can be found at https://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/financial-literacy/adults/what-you-need-to-know-about-screen-scraping.
Throughout November the FCAA will share helpful tips and direct residents to trusted financial literacy information sources. Educational materials can be found at safeguardyoursavings.ca.
For more information, contact:Lana Guthrie
Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority