Canadians Lack Strong Confidence In Achieving Their Financial Goals

Canadians worry a lot about their financial situation, according to new global research released in the lead-up to Financial Planning Week, November 15-21

Toronto, ON (Nov. 17, 2015) – As Canada recognizes its 7th annual Financial Planning week, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) has just released the results of a new study which confirms that the majority of Canadians lack confidence in their financial knowledge. New global research commissioned by FPSC’s international body, the Financial Planning Standards Board, in partnership with FPSC in Canada, reveals:

  • 79% of Canadians don’t have strong confidence that they’ll achieve their financial life goals;
  • only 18% strongly agree that they are knowledgeable about financial matters; and
  • only one in five strongly agree that they’re successful in sticking with their financial strategies.

The research was conducted in June and July of this year, and involved over 19,000 adults in 19 different countries, including over 1,000 in Canada.

Canadians are worried about money

Seven out of ten Canadians (68%) say they worry a lot about their financial situation. Women (73%) are more likely than men (63%) to worry, and those in mid-life are more likely to say they worry a lot about their financial situation (79%) than those who are younger or older.

Canadians struggle with conflicting financial priorities

Canadians are facing the most challenging economic times in decades. There is increasingly a need to juggle conflicting priorities (debt, budgeting, home ownership, retirement planning) – each one impacting the other.

In these tough and uncertain economic times, having a financial cushion is the top priority for Canadians, according to the survey research. When asked to rank the importance of various financial goals, building a savings or emergency fund ranked number one (94%).

This is followed closely by being free of major financial debt (93%), being prepared for a financial emergency (93%), and being free of common consumer debt such as credit cards and lines of credit (92%).

These financial priorities far outranked home ownership, saving for education and leaving an inheritance. It’s interesting to note that the importance of leaving a good sized inheritance is the lowest priority for Canadians overall, dropping from 67% in youth to 60% in mid-life, to 50% for those 50 years of age and older.

“Conflicting financial priorities – and often stressful choices – are a fact of life for Canadians today,” says Cary List, President and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Council. “There is no doubt that Canadians need the guidance of competent, professional financial planners who can assist them in determining their financial goals for today and to position them for success in the future.”

Many Canadians don’t have a plan

Over a third (35%) of survey respondents report that they “aren’t active” in having a financial strategy to deal with major life events and/or achieve life goals, and seven in ten (69%) report they don’t have a comprehensive, written financial plan to help meet important life goals (or aren’t sure).

Men are more likely to have a financial plan (36%) than women (28%), and interestingly, young people are more likely to have a plan (37%) than those aged fifty-plus (27%).

More highlights of the study are available here.

Use Financial Planning Week to get started on the path to financial confidence

Financial Planning Week, which runs from November 15 to 21, is the perfect time for Canadians to get started on the path to achieving their financial and life goals.

Financial Planning Week is part of an ongoing effort by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) to raise awareness of financial planning as fundamental to the financial well-being of Canadians and encourage Canadians to take positive planning action by working with a qualified financial planner.

Visit to learn more about how to choose a planner, including FPSC’s Find a Planner or Certificant tool.

About Financial Planning Standards Council

FPSC is a not-for-profit organization that develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through Certified Financial Planner® certification. FPSC’s purpose is to instill confidence in the financial planning profession. As a standards-setting and certification body, FPSC ensures CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. More information is available at

SOURCE: Financial Planning Standards Council