WHILE ECONOMIC FUNDAMENTALS INCREASE, SOME CANADIANS FEELING UNSETTLED ABOUT RETIREMENT, ACCORDING TO LATEST RUSSELL FINANCIAL HEALTH INDEX

  • Females are less positive about their financial health in retirement than men
  • However, older/retired Canadians are less concerned

TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - While this time last year, Canadians were beginning to f
eel the economy was improving after the downturn, the most recent results of the Russell Financial Health Index show a slight shift towards greater concern about retirement, indicating that Canadian investors are feeling somewhat unsettled, by recent global events.

The Russell Financial Health Index -- an online calculator that gauges the overall financial health of Canadian investors -- decreased to 48.10 in the first quarter of 2011 from 51.12 in the first quarter in 2010. However, this number is only marginally down from the last three months of 2010, when the Index was at 48.51,

"We are encouraged that much of the global economy continues to transition from recovery to expansion, and we are seeing increasingly stronger fundamentals," said Keith Pangretitsch, Director of National Sales at Russell Investments Canada.

"Nonetheless, recent Black Swan Events, such as Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis , as well as, the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, seem to be giving some Canadians pause."

What is particularly noteworthy in the first quarter of this year, is the shift in sentiment about what is worrying Canadians as they think about retirement. In Q1 2011, Canadians were more concerned about:

  • Reducing debt or borrowing
  • Family needing financial help
  • Reducing fixed costs for greater flexibility
  • The financial impact of a partner/spouse's death

By comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2010, Canadians were more worried about leading an active and healthy lifestyle in retirement and having a reliable source of income for their desired retirement lifestyle.

One segment of respondents that wasn't as concerned this quarter were older or retired Canadians, who exhibited a more positive attitude about their financial health. "While this seems counter intuitive, it may be related to their more experienced and 'settled' state in these unsettled times," according to Mr. Pangretitsch.

Also of note was the fact that the need for a reliable, trustworthy professional advice reached an all time high level of importance.

"While having reliable, trustworthy professional advice has always been a fairly important and constant component that Canadians consider as part of their financial health in retirement, this quarter investors are telling us it has taken on added importance," said Mr. Pangretitsch. "During these uncertain times, it is hard to predict when and where shocks to the market will come from, but when they do occur, having  broad diversification within your investment portfolio  is the best defence against these macro-shocks."

About the Russell Financial Health Index

The Russell Financial Health Index gathers its data from a confidential web survey, which takes approximately five minutes to complete. Based on a user's answers, a Financial Health Score is assigned, which can be measured against the scores of other Canadian investors who have used the tool.

Each score is a result of analyzing variables that include physical health, personal finances, unexpected events and financial planning. Respondents are also asked questions related to how prepared they feel to ride out changes in their long term investment performance before and during retirement.

Findings from the Index will be used to assess and report findings, on a quarterly basis, about how Canadians perceive their financial health, as they deal with different economic environments and changes in their lives.

About Russell Investments

Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is a global financial services firm that serves institutional investors, financial advisers and individuals in more than 40 countries. The firm has C$154 billion in assets under management (as of December 31, 2010) in its mutual funds, retirement products, and institutional funds.

Russell Canada was recently named the #1 fastest growing money manager in Benefits Canada's 2010 Top 40 Money Managers Report. For more information about how Russell helps to improve financial security for people, visit us at www.russell.com/ca.

Important Information

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing.

Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

Nothing in this publication is intended to constitute legal, tax securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type. This is a publication of Russell Investments Canada Limited and has been prepared solely for information purposes. It is made available on an "as is" basis. Russell Investments Canada Limited does not make any warranty or representation regarding the information.

Russell Investments and the Russell Investments logo are registered trademarks of Frank Russell Company, used under license by Russell Investments Canada Limited.

Copyright © Russell Investments 2011. All rights reserved. This material is proprietary and may not be reproduced, transferred, or distributed in any form without prior written permission from Russell Investments.

SOURCE Russell Investments Canada Limited

For further information:

Media Contact:
Russell Contact: 
416-825-2125
Susanne Desrochers, 416.640.2520
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