Investor Office Launches Fact Cards to Continue Modernizing Investor Education

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission's (OSC) Investor Office today introduced Fact Cards, free digital cards containing unbiased information on investment topics that can be embedded on third-party websites. The Fact Cards cover topics ranging from the red flags of investment fraud to understanding mutual funds to checking the registration of a financial advisor. They are all identified with the OSC's consumer education website GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.

Fact Cards can be embedded by using a publicly available web code (similar to how YouTube videos can be embedded on websites) and shared through social media links. All Fact Cards are built for use on desktop, tablet and mobile devices, and are available in English and French. The catalogue of Fact Cards is available at www.osc.gov.on.ca/factcards and will be continuously updated and expanded.

"The introduction of Fact Cards continues our modernization of investor education," said Tyler Fleming, Director of the Investor Office. "We are delivering investor education in new ways that help it to be widely seen and read by those who need it, and that respond to the changing ways that people are using technology and receiving information."

"We encourage journalists, media organizations, law enforcement organizations, the financial industry, educational partners and others to use our Fact Cards in their websites and articles," continued Fleming. "This has the advantage of providing investors and the public with important factual information from a trusted source while also reducing the need for organizations to produce their own similar content."

"Offering personal finance tips in an engaging way is an effective means to increase financial know-how," said Jane Rooney, Canada's Financial Literacy Leader. "That is why I am thrilled with the step the Ontario Securities Commission is taking with these Fact Cards to deliver money management information to investors in a new and innovative way."

The OSC is represented on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy, chaired by Financial Literacy Leader Rooney. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada will be sharing the Investor Office's Fact Cards on its website and via social media to encourage their use by consumers and stakeholders. Eighteen other organizations and individuals are supporting or partnering with the Investor Office as part of this announcement.

The introduction of Fact Cards follows several other modernization initiatives of the Investor Office, which was launched in the fall of 2015. These include Re: Investing, a new website that receives, answers and publishes real questions from real investors, a refreshed and expanded Investor News newsletter, an interactive equity crowdfunding guide, and many other resources available at InvestorOffice.ca.

Statements from Partners and Supporters

"Advocis wholeheartedly supports the launch of the OSC Investor Office's Fact Cards initiative. We believe consumer education is fundamental to the financial well-being of Canadians. Our network of more than 11,000 members are well-positioned to share this valuable information with their clients and online communities."

Greg Pollock, President & CEO, Advocis

"The Canadian Crime Stoppers Association (CCSA), which represents 108 Canadian Crime Stoppers programs providing Crime Stoppers coverage to over 4,500 communities, is pleased to be a partner of the Ontario Securities Commission Investor Office in providing investors and the general public with important information about not only investing but how to spot and prevent fraudulent activity. The Fact Cards will be embedded on our CCSA website and also on our social media accounts. We will also be encouraging our local programs across the country to include the Fact Cards on their websites."

Ralph Page, President, Canadian Crime Stoppers Association (CCSA)

"CETFA is pleased with the OSC's Fact Card initiative. We believe targeted information is what investors (and advisors) are looking for, and given the Fact Cards' succinctness, organizations will also be able to use them in partnership with their own presentations on similar topics. This strengthens any message firms are offering investors."

Pat Dunwoody, Executive Director, Canadian ETF Association (CETFA)

"Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) has worked for many years with many groups in our society and one of the most common money issues we encounter is the anxiety so many Canadians have of being taken advantage of by others and putting their hard earned money at risk by making financial mistakes and misjudgements. We applaud the OSC for taking this initiative to help Canadians better protect their money, and avoid costly mistakes, by providing easy access to such helpful, simple-to-use, resources."

Gary Rabbior, President and CEO, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and Member of the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy

"The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) is pleased to support OSC Investor Office efforts to develop innovative and user-friendly Fact Cards to raise awareness of financial literacy, fraud and financial abuse prevention. These new tools enhance accessibility of essential resources and information-sharing which aligns with the work of CNPEA and its national Knowledge Sharing Hub, where the Fact Cards will be promoted and available for distribution across Canada."

Raeann Rideout and Pat Powers, Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA)
Board Co-Chairs

"There is strength in numbers and working together we can all make a difference in the effort to improve the financial literacy of Canadians. The OSC Investor Office 'Fact Card' initiative complements the actions of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and other organizations striving to help Canadians gain the skills, understanding and confidence required to make informed financial choices."

Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Member of the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy

"FAIR Canada strongly supports the OSC's Investor Office in its efforts to bring key investor protection information to the attention of Canadians. The new Fact Cards are an innovative way to disseminate that information, and we hope they will be widely used to benefit the public."

Neil Gross, Executive Director, FAIR Canada

"The Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers is proud to be able to partner with the OSC in this important initiative that we hope will, through the wide dissemination of this information, go a long way in educating the investing public. A well-educated client is a better investor and a better client. We will encourage our membership whose advisors count in the tens of thousands, to utilize these Fact Cards with their clients."

Sandra Kegie, Executive Director, Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers

"We are pleased to see the OSC's Investor Office continue to evolve the delivery of its investor education content to best meet the needs of Canadian consumers."

Cary List, President and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Member of the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy

"The OSC's Investor Office is providing great leadership in modernizing how we communicate with investors. IFIC and its members especially appreciate the Investor Office's recognition of the important role the mutual funds industry and its network of advisors can play in helping to put these new easy-to-understand materials into the hands of investors."

Joanne De Laurentiis, President and CEO, Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC)

"The features, accessibility and credibility of the OSC Fact Cards make them a useful education tool to gain information and insights on the investing process and financial markets. The Fact Cards will contribute importantly to investor confidence and market participation."   

Ian Russell, President and CEO, Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC)

"While investor education alone is not sufficient, it is still necessary in order to achieve better outcomes for investors. The Investor Office has accomplished much in a short period of time, and their multi-pronged efforts to get important information to investors through initiatives such as the Fact Cards are to be commended."

Ursula Menke, Chair, Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) of the OSC

"This OSC Investor Office initiative is an innovative and pragmatic step towards financial literacy for Canadian investors. Industry can adopt these fact cards as part of their informational process of engaging investors, not only as a service for their clients, but to assist them in their clients' lifelong path of becoming savvy investors."

Cora Pettipas, Vice-President, National Exempt Market Association (NEMA)

"Ontario's police leaders applaud the Ontario Securities Commission Investor Office initiative to make their new Fact Cards available to Ontario's police services and the communities we serve. Educating the public on smart investing of their money and taking steps to prevent fraud are key to this initiative."

Ron G. Bain, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP)

"The new investor education Fact Cards represent a timely addition to Ontario educators' financial literacy education toolkits. They will help to build greater understanding of the possibilities and pitfalls related to investments."

Francine LeBlanc-Lebel, President, Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF)

"PMAC applauds innovative and robust tools that promote financial literacy, raise awareness of investment topics and support our members' communication with their clients. PMAC members can use the OSC's new Fact Cards in communication with their own clients in promoting their general awareness and understanding of investment issues."

Katie A. Walmsley, President, Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC)

"The Private Capital Markets Association of Canada is pleased to support the OSC Investor Office in its efforts to share clear, thoughtful and relevant financial information with investors. The strength of our capital markets lies in our people, those who build and grow our companies, those who make investments or help others with investment decisions, and all of us as investors who rely on fair and efficient capital markets to support our economy, our families and our future."

Georgina Blanas, Executive Director, Private Capital Markets Association (PCMA)

"Preventing, detecting and deterring crimes that affect the Canadian economy is a priority for the RCMP. Our employees work vigorously to track down those who take advantage of Canadians, stealing their hard-earned money. We also strive to raise awareness about ongoing scams – which is an important part of fraud prevention – by collaborating with our many partners, including the OSC's Investor Office, to provide information to Canadian businesses and investors in new and innovative ways. We look forward to promoting the Fact Cards."

Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean, Federal Policing Special Services, RCMP

***

At the Investor Office, we're invested in people. The mission of the Investor Office is to give investors information to help them invest wisely and confidently, ensure their needs are understood by those who make the rules, and share their voice with the boardrooms of Bay Street. The Investor Office is an OSC initiative.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca

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Visit us at: InvestorOffice.ca
GetSmarterReInvesting.ca
GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission

Image with caption: "Introducing Fact Cards: A new way to share unbiased information about investing from Ontario's new Investor Office. (CNW Group/Ontario Securities Commission)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160217_C1397_PHOTO_EN_622539.jpg

For further information: For Media Inquiries: media_inquiries@osc.gov.on.ca; For Investor Inquiries: InvestorOffice@osc.gov.on.ca

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