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Financial Literacy Month-BMO's Tip of the Day: Take Advantage of Canada's Numerous Online Personal Finance Resources


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2011) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, which was launched by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, BMO is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of Making Money Make Sense and BMO SmartSteps, the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day to day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Online financial tools and resources can play an important role in helping Canadians set themselves up for fiscal success. The Internet offers Canadians a wide selection of resources that offer a wealth of information to everyone from first-time home buyers, to experienced investors, to Boomers preparing for retirement.

"Canada is one of the most connected countries in the world when it comes to Internet usage. As a result, we're seeing the emergence of a variety of trusted online resources that provide a wealth of personal finance information," said Caroline Dabu, Vice President, Retirement & Financial Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. "Canadians should take advantage of these resources to help them make smart financial decisions. After all, knowledge is the biggest asset they'll have as they work towards realizing their financial goals."

Here are a few Canadian personal finance websites and blogs worth visiting:*

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada - This federal regulatory agency works to protect and inform consumers of financial products and services. Along with providing Canadians with information regarding their rights surrounding investments, the site also hosts interactive tools and calculators. The site is available in French and English.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/consumers/budgetmoney/index-eng.asp

Moneyville - The Toronto Star's website covers multiple topics for Canadians, including saving, budgeting, real estate, investing, retirement and taxes. The site also offers a variety of personal finance tools, calculators and blogs.

Moneyville: http://www.moneyville.ca/

Question Retraite - This website aims to raise awareness of Quebecers, between 25 - 45 years of age, on the importance of beginning to save early for retirement.

Question Retraite: http://www.questionretraite.qc.ca

The Reader - Globe and Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick gathers the day's best financial facts, statistics, tips and information from various online sites. Topics include spending, investing, travel and home ownership.

The Reader: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/personal-finance-reader/

Wealthy Boomer - Authored by The Financial Post's personal finance journalist Jonathan Chevreau, this blog focuses on the investment needs and concerns of Canadian Boomers. Topics of interest include retirement, pensions, Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSPs) and the Boomer family dynamic.

Wealthy Boomer: http://opinion.financialpost.com/category/wealthy-boomer/

* Information, opinions and statistical data contained in the listed websites are provided for informational purposes and are not endorsed in any way by Bank of Montreal or its affiliates. Particular investments or savings products should be evaluated relative to each individual's circumstances. Individuals should seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding any particular investment.

BMO Offers the Following Tools and Resources:

- BMO SmartSteps

- Retirement Institute

- BMO MoneyLogic

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Pay more than the minimum payment on a credit card balance.

November 2: Choose a shorter amortization for your mortgage.

November 3: Contribute to a child's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as early as possible.

November 4: Invest in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to maximize your savings.

November 7: Switch to weekly mortgage payments to save interest and become debt-free faster.

November 8: Take advantage of credit card travel insurance to lower costs.

November 9: Start early and contribute often to your investment account, rather than waiting to invest.

November 10: Use a line of credit to consolidate high-interest debt and save on interest costs.

November 14: Canadians can give the gift of securities and benefit at tax time.

November 15: Students, pay off your credit card balances and take advantage of student discounts to save money.

November 16: Pay an extra five per cent on your mortgage every year to reduce interest costs.

November 17: Secure your retirement by starting to save early and taking advantage of compounding growth.

November 18: Students can save money by ensuring they are in a no-fee student banking plan.

November 21: The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful investment option that can offer long-term financial security for persons living with a disability.

November 22: Maximize your Old Age Security (OAS) benefits by adopting the right tax strategies.

November 23: Stress-test your mortgage to ensure your housing costs are affordable.

For more on financial literacy, BMO encourages Canadians to visit http://www.financialliteracymonth.ca/ and http://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-responsibility/customers/financial-literacy.

Media Contact:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto
416-867-3996
amanda.robinson@bmo.com

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal
514-877-8224
sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com