Money a bigger concern to Canadians than love

By Staff | November 18, 2013 | Last updated on November 18, 2013
2 min read

Canadians focus most on their finances, finds a new BMO study.

Most people polled (63%) admitted they spend more time thinking about money than about other aspects of their lives, such as vacations, hobbies and their love lives.

But don’t be fooled by these results, says the study, since fewer people have financial plans this year than last year (59% in 2013 versus 64% in 2012). It suggests this is precisely why most people are obsessing about their debts and cash flows.


The main problem is they don’t know what they’re saving for or how they’ll achieve their goals, says Caroline Dabu, vice president and head of BMO Wealth Planning Group.

The study found many Canadians say don’t have a plan because they:

  • don’t know how to start (47%);
  • don’t have enough money to warrant a financial plan (37%); or
  • have never thought about creating one (29%);

So during initial meetings with prospects, make sure you assess how much financial knowledge investors have. Also ask how anxious they are about their expenses. If they haven’t yet ironed out their goals and current situations, encourage them to do the following.

Read: Canadians blame money problems on sneaky spouses, friends

Examine their futures: Help clients decide where they want to be financially in five, 10 and 20 years. Have them list out their short- and long-term goals, and even their retirement goals.

Calculate their net worth: They need to add up the values of their assets and incomes, minus any liabilities. They should also outline their spending habits. Read: Get out of debt without going broke

Seek experts: Along with helping people create financial plans, help them seek advice for tax and estate challenges, for example, if you don’t specialize in those areas. Read: How to partner with lawyers and accountants

Regional breakdown of survey results

Region % who worry about finances % who think more about leisure activities % who think more about love lives % with a financial plan % whose financial plans have worked
National 63 18 14 59 82
Atlantic 68 17 11 61 85
Quebec 55 20 17 57 85
Ontario 69 18 11 62 78
Prairies 62 19 14 50 81
Alberta 59 22 14 59 80
B.C. 62 16 19 62 90


Clients who plan more likely to reach goals

Canadian poverty measurements flawed

Canadians are addicted to spending

Most think they’re financially literate

Help couples blend financial plans staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.