Desjardins Group Gender Survey on Financial Planning: Men and Women Have a Different Approach

Women take an overall approach, while men prefer an approach based on objectives

L�vis, December 12, 2007 – Should a person�s approach to financial planning be based on the future well-being of the family or on meeting a set of financial objectives? Is it better to have a notarized will and should you also have a mandate in case of inability? Do you really wish to attain financial independence? What do the expressions �investor profile� and �investment horizon� mean?

Although these questions appear simple, your answers will vary greatly depending on whether you are a man or a woman, according to a survey by Desjardins Group, Canada�s largest integrated cooperative financial group, designed to measure the differences between men�s and women�s concerns and attitudes when it comes to financial planning.

The survey was taken in the fall of 2007 among a group of 1,400 respondents (1,000 in Qu�bec and 400 in Ontario) representative of the adult population and including an equal number of women and men. The survey was made up of 40 questions divided among areas such as: ease of discussing financial planning with an advisor, the importance given to the various aspects of financial planning and the understanding of financial planning vocabulary.

�Even if the average spread between men�s and women�s answers is relatively narrow (7 points), the trend that emerges from our study shows a significant difference in terms of the approach: women see financial planning as a whole that involves the well-being of the family, while men have a more compartmentalized approach, based on fixed objectives. This observation confirms the accuracy of our orientation, which is based on personalized, value-added service, explained Mr. �ric Lemieux, Vice-President, Wealth Management at Desjardins Group.

Women more concerned about the well-being of others

According to the survey, women appear more concerned about the well-being of others and more worried than men about the idea of being a burden on the family. They are more concerned than men by such things as financing the children�s education (+6 points), the importance of having a budget (+8 points) and increasing the value of investments in the short term (+9 points). They are also more aware than men about the importance of having a notarized will (+10 points) and a mandate in case of inability (+13 points).

Men more oriented towards reaching objectives

Men�s targeted approach comes across mainly in their greater concern for reaching financial objectives (+6 points), for the tax consequences of their financial decisions (+7 points) and for their retirement planning strategy (+7 points). There are also more men than women who say they are solely responsible for their decisions (+9 points) and are consequently less inclined to ask for advice.

The language of financial planning and investment also seems more familiar to men. They were more likely to understand expressions such as �investor profile� (+17 points), �investment horizon� (+6 points) and �net worth� (+8 points). However, the more general concept of �financial independence� is understood equally well by women as by men, and women are more likely than men to desire such independence (+7 points).

�This survey is a tool that can help Desjardins Financial Planning Advisors to better understand members, both men and women, and to better accompany them on the path to financial security for themselves and their families,� added Mr. Lemieux.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, with overall assets of $147 billion, as at September 30, 2007. It comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Qu�bec and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,800 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods.