Standard Life declares war on financial inertia

  • Standard Life launches Financial Inertia Program to help get Canadians moving towards their long-term savings and investment goals
  • Research shows how  life goals, concerns, behaviours and values impact Canadians' investment decision-making - and hold them back from investing
  • Over 40% of Canadians are very concerned with their finances

MONTREAL, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Standard Life") today launched a comprehensive program at, aimed at getting Canadians moving and breaking free from financial inertia, primarily due to financial uncertainty and the volume and complexity of information. At the heart of the Financial Inertia Program is the Motion Profiler, a new online tool all Canadians can use to understand how finances and investing fit into their broader life goals and concerns, and what might be preventing them from saving or holding them back from investing.

"Financial inertia happens when investors are unable to make sense of the market volatility and sort through the volume of financial information and its impact on their long-term savings strategy. As a result, they may slow down or stop investment decision-making altogether," said Charles Guay, President and CEO of Standard Life. "Even those who actively manage their savings can benefit from understanding their financial mindset. Standard Life's Motion Profiler is a simple and easy place to get started. Through this program, we want to give Canadians a clear call to action to help get them moving and become more proactive in managing their finances."

Standard Life's Financial Inertia Program is aimed at all Canadians. Once on the site, a person self-selects their particular path: individual investor, advisor, group retirement plan member or employer.  Each audience benefits from a personalized landing page with tools and information relevant to them.

Investors are directed to the Motion Profiler tool, which will determine which of five Motion Profiles best corresponds to their mindset. Standard Life partnered with Environics Research Group and tapped into its Social Values Monitor, a longstanding study of social values in Canada, to focus on specific perspectives relating to finance and investment, in order to develop the five profiles. These are based not on financial outcomes such as income, assets or life stages, but on inputs such as social values, attitudes and motivations that drive Canadians to be either more or less engaged with their finances. The goal is to help Canadians understand what's holding them back and enable them to take action and become more disciplined in saving for the long-term.

Select Standard Life proprietary questions focusing on investors' confidence in the economy and their own employment and financial situation, combined with the 250+ attitudinal and psychographic questions as well as demographic measures that are the foundation of Environics Research's Social Values Monitor, uncovered these five profiles.

Each profile presents a snapshot of the investor and includes a call to action. The five Motion Profiles are:

Sophisticated Investor
15% of Canadians
  In-charge with the determination to achieve financial goals
Confident Accumulator
23% of Canadians
  Ambitiously striving to get ahead
Contented Passive
21% of Canadians
  Financial matters are a routine chore
Cautious Analyzer
20% of Canadians

Constantly worrying about the future
Concerned Investor
22% of Canadians
  Struggling and uncertain how to improve situation

"This tool provides a different perspective. It allows Standard Life to present the profiles not as simple classes of investors based on their portfolio size and risk profile, but as people first," said David MacDonald, Group Vice President, Custom/Financial, Environics Research Group. "By going beyond the mandatory financial questionnaires that already exist in the market, Standard Life is demonstrating its commitment to thinking outside the box and providing their investors with the best tools possible."

For Standard Life, this program represents a major commitment to helping Canadians who face challenges with long-term saving and investing. "We believe all Canadians, whether they already actively invest or are interested in starting a more formal, long-term savings strategy, should begin with a solid understanding of why they make certain decisions about their finances," said Michel Fortin, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Solutions at Standard Life. "We also believe in the value of independent advice, and for advisors, Standard Life's Motion Profiler tool helps them to better understand their client's investor mindset and accelerates the relationship-building process."

Standard Life also revamped its Education Centre to address plan member financial inertia for its group savings and retirement plans, with videos, interactive tools and content to get them planning and gaining confidence. "This is also a key concern for plan sponsors," added Fortin.

Fact sheets available as attachments to this release:

  • Motion Profiler
  • Motion Profiles

About Standard Life
Standard Life provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members. Standard Life in Canada has been doing business for 180 years and has approximately 2,000 employees. It operates under Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd.

Standard Life Financial is the largest operation outside the United Kingdom of Standard Life plc, its parent company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life plc has around six million customers worldwide and operates in the UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and globally with Standard Life Investments Ltd.

As at June 30, 2013, Standard Life plc had $372.5 billion in assets under administration, including $45.4 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial.

About Environics Research Group
Environics Research Group Ltd. is a leading marketing and public opinion research firms, with a reputation for integrity, accuracy, and insight. Environics is a fully Canadian-owned company that has been providing consulting and research services for businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations for more than 30 years. Established in 1970, the firm has evolved into a multi-disciplined international research and consulting group offering a broad range of research services to business and government, with its headquarters in Toronto and with offices and affiliates in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, and San Francisco.


PDF available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: Standard Life

For further information:

Ann-Marie Gagné
514-499-7999, poste 4600

Daniela Gentile
Mobile : 647-338-4388

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