Canadians confident about their financial health

Russell Financial Health Index jumps to highest positive levels since its inception in 2008

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Positive economic indicators and stock market gains are two vital signs that helped Canadians feel more optimistic about their financial health of late.

The Russell Financial Health Index (RFHI), based on an online calculator that gauges the overall financial health of Canadian investors, recently increased for the second consecutive quarter. The RFHI is now at its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008, up to 51.1 points from its low of 47.9 points in the third quarter of 2009 (higher points indicates greater financial optimism).

"The Russell Financial Health Index has helped Canadians get a better understanding of their financial situation so that they can take action and start planning for a financially healthy retirement with the help of a financial advisor," says Fred Pinto, Managing Director of Distribution Services at Russell Investments Canada Limited.

"In addition to Canadians feeling more optimistic about their finances of late, the RFHI results also indicate that having a financial advisor continues to have a positive impact on a person's financial health."

Investors who recently used the online calculator displayed less concern across almost all of the 11 potential areas of financial concern listed in the RFHI. Having sufficient income to cover essentials saw the greatest decrease in concern among Canadians.

Investors are also less concerned about having enough income for their lifestyle, riding out Canada's economic performance, and having a reliable source of income.

However, a few factors did show increased concern among Canadians. Having the ability to leave assets/inheritance to beneficiaries saw a notable increase in concern, followed by concern over finding reliable, trustworthy, professional advice and worries about the financial impact of medical issues and healthcare needs.

The RFHI allows investors to compare their financial health to Canadians across the country and is available in English and French at: www.myfinanciallyhealthyretirement.com.

To learn more about the Russell Financial Health Index and its results, please call: 416-640-2529

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. Over the course of its history, Russell's innovations have come to define many of the practices that are standard in the investment world today, and have earned the company a reputation for excellence and leadership.

Through a unique combination of wide-ranging and interlinked businesses, Russell delivers financial products, services and advice. A pioneer, Russell began its strategic pension fund consulting business in 1969 and today is trusted by many well-known worldwide institutions for investment advice. Russell's global consulting assets total approximately $813 billion CDN. The firm has $184.9 billion CDN in assets under management (as of 12/31/09) in its mutual funds, retirement products, and institutional funds, and is well recognized for its depth of research and quality of manager selection. Russell offers a comprehensive range of implementation services that helps institutional clients maximize their assets. The Russell Indexes calculate over 50,000 benchmarks daily covering 65 countries and more than 10,000 securities.

Russell is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, USA with offices in Amsterdam, Auckland, Chicago, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. Russell Investments Canada Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frank Russell Company. For more information about how Russell helps to improve financial security for people, visit us at www.russell.com/ca

SOURCE Russell Investments Canada Limited

For further information: For further information: Thien Huynh, (416) 640-2529; Katita Stark, (416) 929-9100; For real-time news updates, follow @Russell_News on Twitter


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