Men more optimistic than women about their financial health



    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - The Russell Financial Health Index (RFHI) - a
quarterly online calculator that allows investors to compare their financial
health to other Canadians across the country - recently dropped 3 points from
53.8 to 50.7 as the economic and market downturn impacted how Canadians felt
about their financial health.

    
    The calculator is available in both official languages at:
    http://www.russell.com/ca/retirement/my_retirement/RFHI.htmlNo.ep

    According to the RFHI results:

    -   Females are more concerned than males regarding financial matters.

    -   French Canadians are less concerned about their finances than English
        Canada

    -   Younger investors (25 to 34 years old) are more concerned than older
        ones (55 years old and over) on income related factors. Their ability
        to lead desired lifestyles in the future and longer term factors
        related to inheritance and dependent aging parents and children were
        the key concerns.

    -   Retired investors are less concerned about all financial factors
        listed in the survey.

    -   Canadians who were married or had higher investable assets also felt
        more comfortable about their financial standing.
    

    "Tools such as the Russell Financial Health Index can be useful in
helping Canadians get a picture of where they stand in the current market
environment. The Index should be revisited and updated every quarter or any
time personal financial circumstances or financial markets evolve," says
Irshaad Ahmad, president of Russell Investments Canada Limited.
    Based on the 11 key questions featured on the calculator - ranging from
lifestyle choices to thoughts on the economy - the RFHI found that income and
the ability to lead an active and healthy lifestyle are the main issues
concerning Canadians about their financial health.
    Areas of least concern relate to specific family related issues further
in the future, such as inheritance and the financial impact of death of a
spouse or partner.
    "In addition to visiting the RFHI to check up on your financial health,
our research has found that the key to a secure and financially healthy future
is to plan ahead by working with an advisor. Investors who work with an
advisor tend to be more financially secure and do not have to worry about the
possibility of outliving their money in retirement," says Ahmad.
    "Now more than ever, investors need advice to get a clear understanding
of what is going on in the market."

    About the Russell Financial Health Index

    The Russell Financial Health Index gathers its data from a confidential
web survey. 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.
    The calculator was developed through extensive market research with
Harris/Decima among Canadians 42 years of age in early 2008. Of the 800 people
who completed the calculator (as of December 31, 2008), over 70% of
respondents had household income from $75k to $175k and greater. Close to 75%
of respondents had investable assets between $100k and over $1 million.
    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.
    For detailed results from the RFHI, please contact Thien Huynh:
416-640-2529

    About Russell

    Russell Investments provides strategic advice, world-class
implementation, state-of-the-art performance benchmarks and a range of
institutional-quality investment products. With over US$150 billion in assets
under management (as of Dec. 31, 2008), Russell serves individual,
institutional and advisor clients in more than 40 countries. Russell provides
access to some of the world's best money managers. It helps investors put this
access to work in corporate defined benefit and defined contribution plans,
and in the life savings of individual investors.
    Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is a subsidiary of Northwestern
Mutual Life Insurance Company and headquartered in Tacoma, Wash. Russell has
principal offices in Amsterdam, Auckland, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New
York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
    Russell Investments Canada Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frank
Russell Company. For more information, please go to www.russell.com/ca.





For further information:

For further information: Thien Huynh, (416) 640-2529; Katita Stark,
(416) 929-9100


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