For Immediate Release
April 2, 2007

Launch of the ‘Financial Fitness Challenge’ Contest

Montreal - Canadian youth are invited to take part in the “Financial Fitness Challenge” this April, a unique online interactive contest sponsored by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The contest, which runs between April 2, 2007 and April 30, 2007, engages youth with games, a quiz, tips and interactive simulations, to learn the importance of saving and investing money for their future, ultimately aiming to make smart money management ‘cool’ for an increasingly web-savvy generation.

Part of the CSA’s mandate is to improve the financial literacy of youth and in 2004 they created an earlier version of the contest called ‘Test Your Financial I.Q.’. Since then, the contest has seen substantial growth and in 2006 over 20,000 youth participated and registered to win, a 13.5% increase over the previous year. “This tells us that young people have a thirst for learning about saving and investing information,” said Jean St-Gelais, Chair of the CSA and President & Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec).

This year, the contest has evolved to become the “Financial Fitness Challenge” with updated content and many new exciting interactive games such as ‘Slapshot Shopping’ a game where players are given $200 of virtual money to purchase a number of necessities and luxuries. The game uses humour - and our Canadian love affair with hockey - to teach the importance of balancing financial needs versus wants. Other games, warm-ups, include ‘The Tradeoffs’, an overview of different investment types, ‘A Little Goes a Long Way’, a compound interest simulator, and ‘Budget Breakaway’, a student-focused budget calculator.

The quiz, which is available at FinancialFitnessChallenge.ca, features questions and facts about budgeting, saving and investing, in a format directly focused on the experience of students. Thirteen entries, one from each province and territory, will be randomly selected from eligible quiz participants to win a $750 cash award.

Teachers are encouraged to use the Challenge as a fun and informative learning tool. They can download teachers’ resource materials off the web site at www.financialfitnesschallenge.ca/teachers and can enter a contest for a chance to win a prize worth $100. “The learning tools are entertaining and instructional,” said St-Gelais. “I strongly urge teachers to use them.”

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, coordinate and harmonize regulation for the Canadian capital markets. The CSA mandate is to protect investors from unfair or fraudulent practices through regulation of the securities industry. Part of this protection is educating investors about the risk, responsibilities and rewards of investing.

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867-667-5225
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Ainsley Cunningham
aicunningh@gov.mb.ca
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Patricia Trott
416-593-8303
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Autorité des marchés financiers
Frédéric Alberro
frederic.alberro@lautorite.qc.ca
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