Who We Are


The story behind FinanceSpa
How FinanceSpa came to be (and our credentials)

Why Canada needs FinanceSpa

FinanceSpa is aimed at Canadians who are responsible for their own financial futures and those of their families; FinanceSpa has a particular focus on women.

FinanceSpa grew out of the financial journalism Ms. Schilder has done for The Toronto Star, beginning in early 2007 as content director of Online Trading, with a circulation of more than 500,000. Online Trading was an 8-page section devoted to building understanding of the hows, whys, and whens of investing by using the services of an online or discount broker.

From January 2008 to mid-2009, she became responsible for the content of Online Trading, including layout and design, as Editor-in-Chief.

In mid-2009, The Star, in a cost-cutting move, took Online Trading back in-house. Ms. Schilder was retained as a freelance writer and to provide content ideas.

In addition to writing about online trading, The Star also commissioned Ms. Schilder to write for other special sections including: mortgages, investing, retirement planning, and wealth management.

FinanceSpa expands the range of coverage and content past what is possible in occasional special sections in a daily newspaper.

As a monthly publication, FinanceSpa has time to carefully write and edit the most important stories—those that impact women and beginner investors—while still being topical.

And the weekly updates ensure readers are informed of the more current news, and keep them coming back.

Our editorial mandate and standards

ITEM 1: We believe Canadians, especially women, must take responsibility for their own financial futures.

No longer are governments, unions, and businesses willing and able to look after us from cradle to grave.

Pensions have diminished or been eliminated; investments soured with the recession, Canadians are living longer than ever, and women, usually, can expect to live many years longer than their partners.

Put another way, the “pension crisis” is the most predictable crisis, according to York University professor Moshe Milevsky.

With one-third of Canada’s population—the Baby Boomers—starting to retire in 2011 and for the next 20 years, here’s the bottom-line:  the pension system was never designed to sustain these kinds of numbers.


Just 32 per cent of Canadians have company pensions, meaning that 68 per cent of Canadians are pensionless.

Further, only about one-third of Canadians have put aside savings for their retirement in the form of RRSPs.

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will only give retirees a maximum payout of $11,200 per year—not enough to live on.

Worried now?

Recognizing these changes in the Canadian economy and in society, it’s clear to us that FinanceSpa can serve the public good through education, information, and perhaps most importantly, support and encouragement.

ITEM 2: We believe in the Canadian finance and investment industry.

It’s far too easy to look at the crooked Bernie Madoff’s of the world, and turn away from any kind of personal financial management with a sense of worry and disgust.

Don’t give up! Hundreds of Canadian businesses are devoted to honestly providing products and services to help Canadians’ money grow at a reasonable pace, so you will have a comfortable life today—and in the future.

But understanding the ins-and-outs of finance and the ups-and-downs of investing is complicated, and, until FinanceSpa there’s been no one source of focused, understandable learning aimed at women.

ITEM 3: We have an educational mandate.

We are a guide to overall understanding of personal finance and the process of investing. We provide specific tips and insights to improve the techniques of online trading, dealing with conventional stock brokers, and working with other suppliers in the finance industry.

We are not stock pickers, we do not offer buy or sell tips, and we do not sell any investment products to our readers.


FinanceSpa is produced by First Principles Communication, a corporate communications, public relations and media relations firm that provides advice and strategy to professional services firms. Jana Schilder is the managing partner of First Principles Communication.

More importantly, Ms. Schilder’s background is change management and change communication, which she has done at Nortel, Hydro One, and Canadian National Railway. 

Ms. Schilder established First Principles Communication in February 2004, after spending more than two decades working in the corporate communications and change management operations of Canada’s corporations and professional services firms.

“We are seeing trends that all point in the same, unhappy direction. These are confirmed by independent pollsters and surveys done by Canada’s big banks,” says Ms. Schilder.

“Many Canadians are not financially ready for retirement. A sizeable percentage have not saved enough. Many are dealing with consumer debt,” she says.

“Canadian women will outlive men by at least four years. The bottom line is that many women will face managing their own investments, but lack the skills and confidence to do so,” says Ms. Schilder.

“This is the biggest change management project I’ve ever been involved with,” she says.

“At the same time, I’ve been fascinated by the interplay among digital technology, the internet, print publishing, television, and for lack of a better phrase, ‘information retailing’,” she says.

“My thinking about these issues has resulted in creating FinanceSpa, a web-based publication that aggregates financial information, especially for women,” says Ms. Schilder.

“Most importantly, we need to deliver the change message in ways that people ‘get it.’ We need to come up with new ways to get people’s attention so that they take personal responsibility for their own financial futures,” says Ms. Schilder.

ITEM 4: FinanceSpa is supported by selected banks, trust companies, insurance companies, mutual funds, conventional and online brokers, financial advisors, and related businesses.

They were invited to be founding sponsors—supporting our creation and launch—as well as ongoing advertisers. Our relationship with our sponsors and advertisers is based on the ethical standards of Canada’s most responsible conventional media.

All organizations and individuals mentioned in FinanceSpa are there because we believe they are leaders worthy of coverage, not because they advertise.

Being the first hybrid finance and investment web-magazine of its kind, FinanceSpa will rely on the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct of the organizations supporting us.

Sponsors and advertisers do not dictate nor approve content.

That said, sponsors and advertisers are encouraged to suggest and support articles and other content.

In addition to benefiting readers, our integrity policy means all advertisers will benefit from knowing that no other advertiser will get bigger, more positive stories, because it has spent more money with us.

Following common practice in the newspaper and magazine world, subjects of stories may support coverage through provision of travel, hospitality, samples, and test units. 

ITEM 5: We follow traditional standards of journalistic integrity, while being industry-friendly.

FinanceSpa welcomes guest columns, op-ed articles, insight pieces, and other contributions from investment industry leaders, including educators, and authors, independent of advertising.

We welcome story ideas from readers, too.

Letters to the Editor are welcome from industry leaders and, most importantly, from readers. After checking for authenticity, a selection will be published regularly.

FinanceSpa does not publish blog-like anonymous comments;  we sign our work, and we expect the same from our readers.

Our writing style is straightforward, aimed at intelligent, non-specialists looking for knowledge. Technical material is simplified for a general audience.

We love using humour to lighten up traditional financial writing, which has a reputation of being stuffy and boring.

How we came up with our name, “FinanceSpa

What to call a web magazine that aggregates finance and personal investing information, aimed mainly at Canadian women?

So, we surveyed the landscape. Here’s what we found:

There are a lot of newspapers, magazines, and websites already out there:  Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist, Moneysense,  Canadian Business, BNN,  CNBC. The Globe’s Report on Business, Moneyville in The Toronto Star, The Financial Post inside The National Post. All these assume readers have a certain level of financial literacy.

At the professional trader level, there are niche magazines like Active Trader and Equities Magazine, that are geared to thevery knowledgeable.

Next, we looked at name choices like Women's Wealth and Women's Finance. We found that many obvious names were already taken by web squatters. Besides, they had no panache.

Now, we had to dig deeper for a catchy name.

We wanted the site to be inviting, friendly, and fun.  What’s more fun than
a spa?

In the days of the ancient Roman empire, spas provided rest, relaxation, and solace. And spas were an important part of the daily life of both Roman men and women of all social classes.

In Europe, during the 19th century, spas such as Karlovy Vary [Carlsbad] in the Czech Republic, became popular again, this time with a strong health and healing aspect. Many Europeans visited spas, almost as an annual “reset” button.

A spa visit is comforting, refreshing, and fun. After every visit, you end up better off than when you arrived.

So, it made sense to us:




At FinanceSpa, we make every attempt to respect the rights of others. If you feel that something here has infringed your work, please let us know and we will correct it immediately.

It is not always easy to determine the status of material posted to the Internet with regard to fair use and public domain.

We welcome responsible web journalists and bloggers to link to FinanceSpa.ca, too.