WINNIPEG, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - According to the latest research from Investors Group, Canadians give
themselves a B on their level of financial literacy. Despite the good
grade, 47 per cent are not satisfied with it.
While seniors (Canadians 65 and older) claim to be most knowledgeable
about fundamental financial planning concepts, only 62 percent say they are comfortable about retirement
planning. Among those poised for this next life stage (Canadians 45-64
years), only half (50 per cent) are comfortable with the knowledge they
have on this topic area.
"If the student gives themselves a B, it means there is room for more
learning," said Debbie Ammeter, Vice-President, Investors Group. "We all need to understand the when,
where and how of financial literacy."
"The federal task force defined financial literacy as increasing the
knowledge, skills and confidence of Canadians to make responsible
financial decisions. The report added that there will be teachable
moments in the progression of people's lives where we can all do more
work," added Ammeter.
The new research was conducted by Harris Decima Research for Investors
Group in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month to gauge Canadians'
understanding, interest and action in obtaining financial knowledge.
You don't know what you don't know
Despite the self-awarded B grade, less than half (47 per cent) of
Canadians say they have enough financial knowledge. Only
three-out-of-ten (27 per cent) claim to be well informed. More than
four-in-ten (44 per cent) Canadians say they find financial planning
"The truth is that all of us learn as we go to some extent," said
Ammeter. "Every important life stage and milestone requires a different
investment and personal finance strategy to help you achieve your
Not having enough money to make financial planning meaningful is cited
by 53% of respondents as a reason why they have not tried to learn more
about financial topics. Other major barriers to learning about
financial planning and investing were identified as:
Intimidated by complexity of choices (39 per cent)
No personal contacts to engage in discussion (30 per cent)
Lack of time (29 per cent)
Value of advice
Forty-four per cent of Canadians feel the best way to gain financial
knowledge is by seeking the advice of a professional financial advisor.
Canadians who have financial advisors are most likely to say they are
satisfied (60 per cent) with their personal level of financial
However, some Canadians appear to be deviating from the lesson plan:
they rank themselves as poor to average at saving money (60 per cent),
following a budget (59 per cent), investing regularly (58 per cent), or
following a financial plan (61 per cent). Seventeen per cent admit that
they are influenced by impulses or emotions.
Older may be wiser
Experience matters when it comes to managing and understanding your
personal finances. Eighty-three per cent of seniors say they are
comfortable with cash flow management; 64 per cent are comfortable with
saving and investing decisions; 62 per cent are comfortable making
decisions about their retirement; and 62 per cent say they have a
comfortable understanding of their insurance needs.
Younger Canadians (44 years and under) are the most likely group to be
intimidated by the complexity of financial planning choices available
(39 per cent) and 28 per cent don't know who to ask for information.
How to learn
A significant number of Canadians appear to be taking the long-term
approach to gaining financial knowledge - nearly half (47 per cent) say
they want to receive financial information on an ongoing basis. In
addition, eighteen per cent say they would like to receive information
well in advance of making a financial decision. In contrast, twenty-two
per cent say they want information only when it's applicable to their
"Learning how to budget, save and invest at an early age lays the
foundation that is vital for the rest of your life," said Ammeter. "The
key is what you do with the information you gather - how you put it
into action. Don't be afraid to seek advice when you need it."
Some Financial Literacy Fast Facts
86 per cent of Canadians say they are very good or excellent at paying
bills on time;
Only one-third (32 per cent) are happy with what they save or invest
68 per cent of Canadians say they do not or can not afford to save or
28 per cent of women admit they are in the dark or need to understand
more when it comes to their financial knowledge (versus 21 percent of
men who feel this way).
More infographics, regional highlights and information are available at Investors Group's Media Room. Kevin Regan, Executive Vice President, Financial Services, Investors
Group shares some insights into financial literacy and how it impacts
Canadians in their daily lives on YouTube.
About the Survey Methodology
These data were collected through an online panel survey between October
20 and November 1, 2011. In total, 2503 surveys were completed
nationally. Online panel surveys are non-probability samples and thus
margin of error cannot be calculated. For this particular survey,
standard weighting was applied to gender and regions within Canada,
while weighting for age was split between those over and under the age
About Investors Group
Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering
personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of
approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition
to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles,
Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage
and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM
Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of
Canada's premier financial services companies with over $121 billion as
of October 31, 2011, in total assets under management.
SOURCE Investors Group Inc.
For further information:
Teresa Pagnutti or Lisa Mills
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