Educators Financial Group
Educators Financial Group (Educators) has been dedicated to and supporting the education community since 1975 in a way that adds value compared to the other financial choices out there. Since they were last featured in CBJ, Educators has been steadily working towards improving its service with an educator-specific financial focus.
Being an alternative to traditional banks, Educators Financial Group has been that essential option, where Ontario’s education members benefit from educator-specific financial advice when it comes to things such as pension plans, deferred salary leaves, pay grids, etc. Educators offers a competitive selection of investment and lending products while offering lower investment fees, lower lending rates and a top-notch portfolio of investment products managed by industry-leading experts.
According to Chuck Hamilton, President and CEO of Educators Financial Group, “our deep knowledge of the education community means our clients get financial advice they typically don’t get from other financial institutions.”
Today, Educators administers more than $925 million in assets and serves approximately 17,000 clients across all of Ontario’s education community affiliates. Profits are reinvested back into better serving the education community.
Improving Financial Literacy
Owned by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) since their inception, Educators Financial Group has identified a growing need among members of the education community of all ages to learn more about financial planning, budgeting, investing and borrowing. This has led to a company-wide initiative to focus on helping to improve the Financial Literacy skills of Ontario’s education community.
The overall goal of Educators’ initiatives to increase financial literacy among Ontario’s educators is to alleviate some of the financial stress of this group, by setting up educators – especially those starting out – for a bright financial future and instilling healthy financial behaviors. Educators is a sound resource for educators and their families when it comes to relevant and differentiated financial services.
Educators offers a range of workshops, specifically tailored to the education community.
They also believe in offering services digitally and address this with a recently re-launched website. The site’s new Learning Centre is complete with tools, resources and educator-specific information. They have also recently launched a new device-friendly website which is going to deliver a much more engaging experience for education members and make it easier to conduct business with them.
In addition to adding workshops to its roster for education members, Educators also introduced a “Financial Literacy Workshop for the Classroom”. This curriculum-based workshop is receiving tremendous positive feedback, both from teachers and students.
Financial Kickstart Challenge
Educators Financial Group is working towards a new initiative with the Financial Kickstart Challenge as part of their commitment to increase financial literacy.
The program is exclusive to Ontario’s education community and the only one of its kind. Education members often face unique challenges when it comes to their finances (in the form of contract negotiations, loss of gratuities – compounded in younger education members with difficulty finding permanent full-time jobs, high debt levels after graduating and an increasingly stressful work environment).
The new generation of education members also indicates that they often face conflicting priorities and often don’t know where and how to start their journey towards financial prosperity.
The Financial Kickstart Challenge allows participants to complete a quick online tool which assesses their financial behaviors and evaluates where, from a financial literacy point-of-view, they should focus first. Participants are then provided with support in the form of relevant financial literacy information via online tools and tips.
The financial literacy information is written from an educator-specific perspective and factors in circumstances like mandatory pension contributions, high stress levels, summers off, etc.
While Educators’ future plans center around providing more workshops, the Financial Kickstart Challenge is a key vehicle to supply financial literacy particularly in younger education members. Educators is also committed to continuous improvement for their clients’ experience. Educators works hard to ensure that differentiation comes across in all of their interactions with education members, both clients and non-clients. Education Financial Group hopes to extend their reach with education members and invite them to become familiar with what they do for the education community.