Let’s not talk about sex — or money

By Maddie Johnson | February 25, 2020 | Last updated on February 25, 2020
2 min read
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About a quarter of Canadians say money is a taboo topic — ranking it right up there with sex, politics and religion — according to an FP Canada survey.

The Discomfort Index, released on Tuesday, found that 23% of Canadians said talking about money makes them squirm, alongside politics (26%), relationships (24%) and religion (23%). 

Women (27%) were significantly more likely to avoid the topic of money than men (18%).

Respondents who said they do talk about their finances were most likely to confide in their spouse/partner (58%), followed by friends (44%), parents (31%), siblings and other family members (28%), adult children (20%) and colleagues (19%). 

Nine per cent of Canadians said they don’t talk about their finances with anybody. 

The survey also found that income levels impacted a respondent’s likelihood of having a conversation about money.

Sixteen percent of those who earned $40,000 or less said they didn’t talk with anyone about money. Only 39% said they would talk to their spouse/partner, compared to 72% of Canadians who earn $80,000 or more. 

The vast majority of Canadians said they would rather speak to a human about money than an online service. 

Respondents said they would speak with a financial planner (43%), close friend (35%), family member (32%), investment advisor (30%) or an accountant (25%), before they would turn to online services such as robo-advisors (4%). 

Almost four in 10 (38%) respondents said they already work with one or more specialists for financial advice. Respondents aged 65 and older were far more likely to work with a financial expert (49%) compared to those aged 18-34 (29%). 

Canadians who earned more than $80,000 were also much more likely to speak with a financial expert than those who earned less.

The survey was based on an online Leger poll of 1,526 Canadians that took place between Jan. 10-13, 2019. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for Advisor.ca since 2019.