Market Overview

Why Canadians Fail to Plan (Survey): Financial Planning Myths and Mistakes


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2012) - Most Canadians know that financial planning is good for them, yet far too many fail to act on their best intentions. Why is that? Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC(R)) asked Certified Financial Planner(R) / CFP(R) professionals to weigh in on this question. With Financial Planning Week just around the corner (November 19-25), FPSC is sharing the results to highlight some of the key issues that prevent Canadians from engaging more fully in financial planning.

"Confusion, procrastination and some long-standing myths continue to be serious roadblocks standing in the way of Canadians bringing more financial planning into their lives," says Tamara Smith, Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Affairs, FPSC.

"We asked CFP professionals to weigh in because they interact with Canadians every day and have first-hand experience talking to them about financial planning. With Financial Literacy Month and Financial Planning Week upon us, FPSC is putting a spotlight on these and other issues that impact Canadians and their financial wellbeing."

This survey is one of many initiatives FPSC is spearheading during the lead up to Financial Planning Week to bring to light the importance of individuals engaging in financial planning for the betterment of their lives.


Earlier this fall, FPSC surveyed CFP professionals across Canada inviting them to share why they think too many Canadians fail to engage in financial planning. The following are the seven highest ranked statements in which CFP professionals provided a rating of seven or higher on a 1-10 scale (with 10 indicating very strong agreement).

Q: What do you think are the biggest reasons Canadians fail to have a financial plan?

Statement Percentage of CFP professional
who rated this as 7 or higher
1. They think financial planning is only
about investing or retirement 86%
2. They are too busy and fail to make it a
priority 85%
3. They don't realize the value financial
planning could have on their life 83%
4. They procrastinate and think they have
plenty of time 82%
5. They think financial planning is about
'numbers' and don't realize it's for
life goals 80%
6. They think they have to be wealthier to
merit having a financial plan 75%
7. They think if they have an RRSP or some
investments then they have a financial
plan 74%

Other issues included:

-- They know it's good for them but fail to act on intentions (64%)
-- They don't know how to get started (66%)
-- They don't know who to engage for help (64%)
-- They fear the process will be complicated (69%)
-- They are embarrassed and uncomfortable talking about finances with a
planner (58%)

"Each year in FPSC's Value of Financial Planning Study, we see that those Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning feel further ahead in their financial and emotional wellbeing than those who do not. The more than 3 million Canadians who work with CFP professionals can likely attest to this experience but it's the Canadians who have not yet embraced financial planning that we need to reach," says Smith. New results for the third year of FPSC's longitudinal study will be released during Financial Planning Week.

In congruence with the theme of FPSC's consumer outreach campaign for Financial Planning Week (It's About Time), she adds: "Failing or delaying planning is too costly a mistake to make. We urge Canadians to put time on their side this Financial Planning Week. Engage, take action and bring more financial planning into your life."


Interviews: "Myth-Busting and Eye Opener Conversations": FPSC executives and CFP professionals are available for media interviews to discuss the impact of these and other myths and the truths about financial planning: What it is all about; who is it for; when to engage in it; and when it's time to engage a professional (or not).

The Myths Survey was conducted in September/October via an online survey, nearly 400 CFP professionals voluntarily responded to the survey.

Other Financial Planning Week Activities:

FPSC is spearheading various Financial Planning Week activities to address these and other issues.

Highlights include:

- FPSC will host its fourth annual Financial Planning Vision 2020 Symposium on November 20 (Enduring Challenges, Fresh Opportunities). Among many hard-hitting sessions, FPSC will share highlights of the third year of a longitudinal study (the Value of Financial Planning study) which promises to reveal the tangible and intangible value of financial planning. Media rsvp required.

- FPW Challenge: CFP professionals across Canada will host events to educate Canadians and inspire them to take action.

- Preparing the next generation for financial wellbeing. FPSC will put a spotlight on younger generations with additional research results and CFP professionals' perspective on 'teachable moments.

- And more. See for updates.

About Financial Planning Week

Now in its fourth year, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC(R)) and the Institut quebecois de planification financiere (IQPF) have jointly declared November 19-25, 2012 as Canada's Financial Planning Week (FPW). During the Week, each organization will be spearheading industry events and public outreach activities in their respective markets. Financial Planning Week is part of an ongoing effort by both organizations to make financial planning a cornerstone of Canadians' sound financial management. This year, Financial Planning Week is a dedicated week within Financial Literacy Month. Stay up-to-date at, Twitter @FPWeek, and on LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC(R)) is a not-for-profit organization which develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through Certified Financial Planner(R) certification, and raises Canadians' awareness of the importance of financial planning. FPSC's vision is to see Canadians improve their lives by engaging in financial planning. Currently, there are more than 17,500 CFP professionals in Canada and more than 140,000 CFP certificants in 24 countries worldwide. See for more information.

To arrange media interviews or for further information,
contact: Chadnick Communications (for FPSC)
Eileen Chadnick

Financial Planning Standards Council
Jay Cameron
416.593.8587 x307

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