BMO Financial group, a Canadian based wealth management firm, released a study entitled, “Canadians Spend More Time Thinking About Money than Love or Leisure,” on November 18th. According to the study, 63% of Canadians say they spend more time thinking about their finances than any other subject, including their love life and leisure activities. Leisure activities was top on the list for 18% of Canadians, while love life was top on the list for only 14%.
What does this mean for the average Canadian?
“Even though Canadians are thinking about their finances, they aren’t necessarily doing anything about it,” says Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager of Wealth Planning Strategy for BMO Financial Group. “If they considered working with a financial professional to put together a financial plan, it would reduce the time they spend thinking about dollars and cents, and they could be more secure about their overall financial situation.”
The argument for developing a financial plan is confirmed by the data as well. According to the study, 82% of Canadians said having a financial plan helped them achieve their financial goals, and 69% percent said they wished they had created one sooner.
The study also examined the reasons why Canadians don’t have financial plans to begin with. Here are their responses:
- Do not have enough money to warrant a financial plan (37%)
- Never thought of doing a financial plan (29%)
- Do not know how to start the process (28%)
- Not sure what a financial plan involves (19%)
Roadblocks in financial planning
Though the largest percentage of respondents said they don’t have enough money to warrant a financial plan, Chris Buttigieg says people shouldn’t set a minimum balance before starting the planning process.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you have as long as you can identify what really matters to you, and then build a financial plan that works for your life,” says Chris Buttigieg. “Understanding your goals is the key to successful planning.”
As for the remainder of respondents—those who haven’t thought of creating a plan, don’t know where to begin, or what is involved—awareness is key. Talking with financial professionals, friends, and family is important, and BMO is helping to do their part. BMO introduced the Create a Winning Plan contest this year, offering Canadians a chance to win $5,000 when they create a financial plan with BMO.
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